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    A Band And Drums Of The Royal Marines Light Infantry, by P. Simkin, & a Vctorian "scrap", printed for people to collect & paste in their scrapbooks..

    Shown wearing the pre - 1902 uniform. The RMLI did'nt adopt all the features of Lght Infantry after they were designated RMLI in 1855, retaining a blue universal pattern helmet & marching at the normal regulation pace rather than the Light Infantry pace.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    The Royal Marine Brigade In Belgium, August 1914.

    There were 20-30,000 men of the Royal Navy reservists who were not required to serve on board ships at the outbreak of WWI, they provided manpower for two Naval Brigades and a Brigade of Royal Marines for land operations.

    The Royal Marine Brigade was formed & at Ostend in Belgium on 27 August 1914, but returned to Britain four days later.

    On 20/9/14 it arrived at Dunkirk, to help defend Antwerp, the two RN Brigades arriving at Dunkirk on 5/10/14.

    Now known as The Naval Division, eighty per cent of its men were without basic equipment including items such as water bottles & packs, & no army style uniforms were available - the Royal Marines fought in blue uniforms with blue "Broderick caps", & the two Royal Naval Brigades were armed only three days before disembarcation, with obsolete rifles. The Division lacked ancillary units such as artillery & field ambulances.

    Units of the Royal Naval Division that managed to withdraw from Antwerp returned to England in October 1914, about 1,500 men of the 1st Royal Naval Brigade were however interned in Holland, having crossed the Belsian / Dutch border.

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    Leigh, just found this thread thanks to Mervyn. Thought I'd add a few photos from my archives.

    First, a photo showing both RMLI and RMA aboard HMS Superb. I love the blackboard inscription. 'THE BANANA BALANCERS!' Now there must be a story behind that one.

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    Nice photos, hard to spot those long service chevrons in posts 31 & 32, & has that RMA man in post 31 got a beard or just heavy 5 o'clock shadow?

    The jackets worn in 31 were, I think, made up by RN or RM tailors on board ship, can't remember where I read it.

    Post 34, not a Russian award? I think I've mentioned on a previous thread that it looks like the Serbian 1913 War Cross.

    I have a few photos of RM internees in Holland, presumably members of 1st Royal Naval Brigade who entered Holland to escape the Germans in September 1914, I'll post them.

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    They were introduced at the time Mr Broderick was Minister for War or whatever so he got lumbered with his name being applied to this much disliked form of headgear. The caps were based on the German style. They had coloured patches in facing colour behind the cap badge. When they were dispensed with by most of the army, peaks were added to convert them to "viors", but I think that the Guards kept them a while longer & the Marines kept them for a couple of decades.

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    Royal Marines Landng Craft Deckhand - "D" Day 1944.

    The figure is wearing the "Combined Operations" patch trimmed from it's "tombstone" shape to a circular one.

    At the beginning of WWII the Royal Marines were provide detachments to man ships guns & provide a strike force to provide a force to conduct amphibious raids.

    The army would wage war by land, the Royal Navy by sea, the Royal Marines would carry out amphibious operations as appropriate, which they did initially, including at in Norway, France and the Low Countries in 1940.

    The Royal Marine Brigade was formed, expanding later to the Royal Marine


    Combined operations assumed major importance with the ejection of British forces from mainland Europe,.

    Although the RM ?belonged? to the Admiralty, raids on the enemy coastlines became responsibility of the Director of Combined Operations instead..

    Amphibious operations for the purposes of seizing enemy naval bases would require more resources than the RM alone had, large formations of army personnel were trained for landing operations which were now part of grand strategy rather than then domain of the RN Commander in Chief & the Royal Marines found themselves operating under army command instead of naval, their old function obsolete.

    Although not laid down until 1943, their role was, as of 1940, to continue providing detachments for manning ships guns, undertake landing operations, special amphibious operations in conjunction with other services, & to provide unts for thr rapid establishment & temporary defence of Royal Navy & Fleet Air Arm bases.

    Linked more to Combined Operations HQ, the RM were to provide Commando forces, support, man minor landing craft, provide beach maintenance, conduct raiding operations & fulfil a variety of miscellaneous functions.

    The Royal Navy had manned minor landing craft prior to 1943, but manpower requirements

    Resulted in consideration of American craft & crews for the RN & transfer of personnel from other services to the RN.

    Ultimately, the task of manning minor landing craft was taken up by all three services, the army & RAF assisting the RN.

    The Royal Marine Division was disbanded and its units reorganized, its HQ formed the main element of the new

    Commando Group Headquarters, its infantry battalions were re-formed as Commandos, & the large

    numbers of officers and Ors from other divisional units were were used to man landing


    The RM took up what was to become one of their permanent commitments during & post WWII.

    The status of RM officers aboard ship changed, & they were appointed to command various types of landing craft:

    Landing craft, assault .. .. .. .. (L.C.A.)

    Landing craft, flak .. .. .. .. (L.C.F.)

    Landing craft, gun .. .. .. .. (L.C.G.)

    Landing craft, infantry .. . . .. .. (L.C.I.)

    Landing craft, mechanised . . . . .. (L.C.M.)

    Landing craft, personnel .. . . . . .. (L.C.P.)

    Landing craft, support .. . . . . .. (L.C.S.)

    Landing craft, tank .. .. .. .. (L.C.T.)

    Landing craft, vehicle .. .. .. .. (L.C.V.)

    Landing barges .. .. .. .. .. (L.B.)

    During the Normandy Invasion in 1944, two thirds of British landing craft were manned by Royal Marines, & they manned landing craft n amphibious operations in all theatres of war.

    Royal Marine crews, could & did operate on land in assistance of raiding personnel they landed, leaving one or two men with their craft & fighting ashore.

    Mobile Landing Craft Advanced Bases - "M.O.C.L.A.B.s" were formed - bases which could be established quickly & accommodate personnel & maintain & repair landing craft & consisting mainly of RM personnel.

    They would operate as a temporary advanced base to enable the assembly of short range elements of assault groups, an advanced base in enemy territory, set up immediately after an assault, an advanced base at which an assault force could regroup, a temporary addition to a static rear base.

    M.O.C.L.A.B.s were primarily formed for deployment in South-East Asia and the Far East and, not all of the five which were planned were necessary due to the defeat of Japan, ultimately only two were located in the Far East.

    Half of another M.O.C.L.A.B. was sailed aross the Channel & transported by road to the Rhine, where it assssted with the Rhine crossing.

    in the Far East.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    The Royal Marine Forces Volunteer Reserve, 1948.

    Originally Commandoes wore their own regimentalheaddress and cap badge (79 different badges being worn in No 1

    Commando alone).

    In 1942, No. 1 Commando adopted a standardised beret. As thes this Commando wore an arm insignia of a green salamander in red & yellow fire, the colour green was chosen for the beret.

    The beret was first issued in October 1942.

    Other ranks cap badges were of yellow metal, sergeants and above gilt, Quartermaster sergeants gilt but with the crown & lion part of the design wore seperately above the globe & laurel part.

    A bronzed badge was worn in khaki SD by OR's prior to WWII, during WWII a plastic economy cap badge was introduced, as were matching collar badges - in dark blue plastic.

    Officers? cap badges with seperate crown & lion were yellow metal with white metal globe, & had to be polished, prior to the introduction of anodised badges for all ranks.

    Since 1958 all cap badges have been anodised, & since 1964 all ranks have worn bronzed cap badges on field servicece, officer's badges in two pieces, OR's one piece.

    From late 1941 all ranks had worn a red "flash" had been worn behind the cap badge on khaki caps after completion of initial disciplinary training, & this was continued on the blue beret. With the training of all Royal Marines as commandos, the blue beret with red flash was instead worn by recruits prior to completing Commando training.

    Officers of 41 RM Commando wore an officers full dress collar badge as a badge on the green beret during WWII.

    A variety of different badges have been worn by RM Bands.

    Navy Blue Battledress of the same pattern as khaki BD was introduced in June 1942.

    It was worn by officers with an open collar, white shirt, black tie & blue lanyard.

    Originally "RM" shoulder titles were worn on the shoulder straps, but in November 1943 woven "ROYAL MARINES" in red on dark blue were introduced

    NCOs & Marines wore BD with closed collar & badges of rank in red on dark blue.

    navy Blue BD was worn by landing craft crews and ships detachments, & manufacture ceased in 1950 although it continued in wear for many years for office duties, often with the blouse worn with the trousers from the "Blues" uniform.

    During WWII, medal ribbons were not worn on the BD blouse.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    Officers anodised cap badge, seperate crown & lion with the correct bi-anod globe & wreath.

    The crown & lion of this example is fitted with a long pin, by 1979 this was being replaced by a screw fitting with small prong to prevent the badge from swiveling in the headgear.

    The globe & laurel section on its own is also the collar badge.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    Worn as a cheap version of the officers badge, this example consists of the officers crown & lion (this example is also a pin fitting) but with an OR's gold anod collar badge instead of the officer's bi-anod.

    The reason being that the OR's collar badge cost a few pence from the stores whereas the oficers collar badge cost over ?3.

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    I have QE II belt lcket & swagger stick - I got them from a Commando unit near Londonderry in 1979 - the belt lockets all had the central design emery clothed down to remove detail & increase shine.

    Yours has been attacked in a different way, keeping the detail of the central design but smoothng out the ribbed background.

    The swagger stick I have is of a light cane wth white metal fittings, I believe it was used by ORs.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    Royal Marines wearing an interesting badge in their caps.

    The photo is from Pte John Steele of the RMLI, & gives his status / address as Kriegs-Gefangenen at Lager Dyrotz, Westermarsch, Deutschland.

    There were nearly 300 German camps for POWs, Dyrotz was one of the principal camps & was in Brandenberg.

    It was a camp for Other Ranks, a "Mannschaftslager".

    The stamp is dated 8th September 1916.

    A close ups of the cap badge, this man also wears RM collar badges.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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