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I am not sure where this fits in, i assume here so maybe Ed can move it if he sees it fits elsewhere...

I saw a pinback badge today, it was round, had a WW2 brit kings crown at the top, crossed schimatars underneath and i think a half moon above where the blades crossed. In the middle was a banner with (I think) OVERSEAS SERVICE.

It was numbered on the back 15674.

I am not sure it is for moslems in Malaya or India....

Anyone have an idea?

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It is the Indian Overseas Badge for WWII service. Gordon (4th ed.) makes some fairly derisive comments about it (Gordon at his worst), but it is generaly pretty much undocumented. A numbered badge is unusual, though I have seen them named as well.

I'll dig one out and post it.

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Any idea of value? I was tossing the thought around of getting it, but it is about EUR50 without the pin.

Any idea when they were worn?why they were worn? I assume during the war as after the war their medals would have shown they had served overseas?

Thanks

Chris

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Pretty easily available in New Delhi for Rs. 300 - Rs. 500 (around EUR 5 - EUR 9).

Not being in MYB it is fairly safe from silly price inflation. And most Western dealers don't bother with it, not knowing what it is.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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Actually had a scan here of the group to N/902511 L/Nk. Nagina Singh, A.S.C. (M.T.). Apologies for naked medals, so many yet to reribbon!

Independence Medal 1947 - N/902511 L/NK. NAGINA SINGH, A.S.C.(M.T.)

Defence Medal - MTN/902511 SEP. NAGINA SINGH, R.I.A.S.C. (M.T.)

War Medal - MTN/902511 SEP. NAGINA SINGH, R.I.A.S.C. (M.T.)

Overseas Badge

Unofficial George VI Coronation Medal

Suspect he served in Iran or Iraq.

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Actually had a scan here of the group to N/902511 L/Nk. Nagina Singh, A.S.C. (M.T.). Apologies for naked medals, so many yet to reribbon!

Independence Medal 1947 - N/902511 L/NK. NAGINA SINGH, A.S.C.(M.T.)

Defence Medal - MTN/902511 SEP. NAGINA SINGH, R.I.A.S.C. (M.T.)

War Medal - MTN/902511 SEP. NAGINA SINGH, R.I.A.S.C. (M.T.)

Overseas Badge

Unofficial George VI Coronation Medal

Suspect he served in Iran or Iraq.

Just for clarification, Ed, I assume the badge was worn on mufti, and NOT on the uniform?

Best,

Hugh

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No, worn on uniform.

Somewhere I have some photos of it in wear.

Not all received it, of course, and I associate it (correctly?) with service units and not front-line folks. I have the regulations somewhere and, while they complex, they are not as silly as Gordon wants to make them sound.

Guess I need to add this to the list of things I need to write up for the JOMSA or, maybe, OMRS?

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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Not really, Leigh. Most were unnamed and unnumbered. Unless they come with a group (which, of course, will usually be mostly named, like Nagina Singh's) with 100% provenance (his came from the family), they are just solo items. A few have been seen (like Chris') with numbers, which I assume to be regimental numbers (though the WWII numbering sequence is far more haphazard than the post-Independence ones and few reliable regimental links can be established for number ranges), and a very few are seen named (I have one in a group that poses many puzzles); I assume this numbering or naming was done regimentally or privately (unlike the WWII medals, which were named at the mint).

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That's a very nice badge, I like it and have never seen one before.

Can it be compared with something like the Great War Imperial Service badge worn by territorials? E.g. volunteering/signing up for overseas service.

Tony

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That's a very nice badge, I like it and have never seen one before.

Can it be compared with something like the Great War Imperial Service badge worn by territorials? E.g. volunteering/signing up for overseas service.

Tony

While I had never thought of it in those terms, Tony, this might not be a bad parallel. Except: (1) the Indian "territorials" were basically the existing training battalions of Indian Army regiments (result of the infamous 1922 reorganization) or European/Anglo-Indian establishments and (2) it was awarded to the (all-volunteer) Indian Army troops for overseas service. Need to dig out the full regulations . . . .

I feel an article gestating . . . .

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While I had never thought of it in those terms, Tony, this might not be a bad parallel. Except: (1) the Indian "territorials" were basically the existing training battalions of Indian Army regiments (result of the infamous 1922 reorganization) or European/Anglo-Indian establishments and (2) it was awarded to the (all-volunteer) Indian Army troops for overseas service. Need to dig out the full regulations . . . .

I feel an article gestating . . . .

Hope you'll put your article in JOMSA.

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There's a nice sketch in the Dogra Regiment history of a Sepoy wearing his badge. As I recall it is centred on the pleat of his left breast pocket. (I also seem to recall it is captioned as being a Sepoy c. 1920!)

Which Dogra history, Michael? There are several.

"1920", eh? Amazing how WRONG these histories can get things!

They seem to have been worn on left chest, either above or below the ribbon bars.

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sorry,

I meant 39-45.

I am still in the dark as to why they were worn. See an indian troop in Egypt and you could more or less guess he was "overseas" whether he had a badge on or not.

See him home on leave... surely for security reasons he should not wear a badge saying he and his unit are serving overseas?

Did these badges serve some kind of official function, or were they simply a distinction to show the lad was overseas in the thick of it?

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These are all good questions, and I have never found the file of discussions that led up to it. I fear they are buried in a place where mere mortals can't consult them, in the Ministry of Defence Historical Section in New Delhi. Though I have friends who can access them there.

My guess is that it pre-dated the issuance of campaign medals, to indicate service out of India. While it became less relevant as stars -- other than the 1939-43 (later 1939-45) Star and the Africa Star -- and medals came along after the war -- though the nasty dispute surrounding the Defence Medal in India may be relevant here -- I suspect it continued in wear (and, again, I know I have pictures someplace).

The only relevant (bearing a crown) overseas service after the was was in Southeast Asia which was so controversial and embarassing (restoring Dutch and French imperialism against rising nationalism) and in Palestine (with all THOSE problems) that I know the interim government wished there'd have been some way to sidestep even the British GSMs (but, during India's short time as a Dominion there was no constitutional way to tell the king 'Thanks for the offer of those medals, but no thanks').

Right now, the questions just have to ferment. Next time I'm back . . . .

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  • 4 weeks later...

R.D. Palsokar's. I haven't seen the latest history by Lt-Gen. Prasad - any good?

Hello Michael,

Yes Lt Gen Prasad's book is very good as it has a wealth of photos but a lot of it is obviously covered by the earlier regimental histories.

I had a quick look through my copy of Palsokar's book but couldn't find the illustration you referred to......the only sketch I could find of troops in the 1920's was the well known series by Tulloch of operations in Waziristan.......although I have seen pictures of the badge being worn in other publications.

I too have an example of this badge and it's a pity that they were issued unamed.

Regards

Rod

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Michael,

I nearly forgot to ask; I see that you used to collect medals to the Dogras and I'd be interested to know of any examples that you have/had/seen so that I can add them to a database? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Rod

Edited by Grevvy
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