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Hello gents,

I would be grateful for any help in identifying the purpose of this small commemorative silver plate/fob.

It seems Mr. F. Evans served in this Belgian regiment in 1914 but how this thing was actually used given the attached chain?

The inscription reads

1 Reg: De Lugne,

Evans F.

Bruxelles.

1914

The total size is 5 cm with 15 cm long chain.

 

 

20190808_194754_small.jpg

Reverse side with chain.

20190808_194826_small.jpg

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I'm not an expert but my guess would be that it's some kind of dog-chain similar to those US soldiers use stating name, religion, bloodgroup etc.

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Posted (edited)

This has all the appearance of being one of the ID bracelets which were commonly - but unofficially - worn by soldiers during the Great War. Click on this link and then click on 'images' and you will see many more,

https://www.google.com/search?q=wwi+id+bracelet

You may already know that the hallmark tells that it was made in Birmingham in 1917. 

Edited by Trooper_D

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Posted (edited)

Trooper_D

So in essence it served essentially the same purpose as a modern dog-tag to identify a dead soldier or a wounded soldier that might be unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate who he is and which unit he's from?

Edited by Wessel Gordon
Corrected a typo.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Wessel Gordon said:

So in essence it served essentially the same purpose as a modern dog-tag  ... ?

Ostensibly, yes. However the British Army had been issuing official ID tags since 1907 (according to the link below) so I am of the opinion that bracelets, particularly the silver ones, were more of a fashion item than anything else. See the interesting explanation, here,

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/first-world-war-identity-tags

Edited by Trooper_D

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In the book of General Thoumin The Great War volume 1 a French Infantry Officer relates that before the depart to the frontier he was worried about two things: one he has not received his ID tag the other, his sabre was not sharpened. he asked to his battallion chief about the ID and he received the following answer : Its right, we must have all of us the ID tags ,they are ready but for some reason they were not distributed yet. the next day they were distributed.

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Thank you very much for providing a very accurate and well supported answer to my question.

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Silver bracelets with the ID tag were at least tolerated in the French Army .

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On 11/08/2019 at 04:39, Volovonok said:

It seems Mr. F. Evans served in this Belgian regiment in 1914 but how this thing was actually used given the attached chain?

The inscription reads

1 Reg: De Lugne,

Evans F.

Bruxelles.

1914

Something I have only just noticed. Your bracelet is named for EvEns not EvAns, so a Belgium rather than a Welshman, I would suppose :)

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I do WWI living history and many of the men who portray French soldiers wear a wrist chain with very similar information: unit, name and rank, as I recall.  So, not unlikely that the Belgians died as well.  And, while 'Evens' doesn't sound very Belgian, my sisters went to school with a whole family of Poles surnamed 'MacDonald', so... ?

 

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In South Africa it very common to have either an English or Afrikaans surname and yet that' person's first language is the opposite of what the surname seems to indicate it should be. I've got a Scottish surname and sometimes i struggle with simple English and can't even understand the Scottish accent, lol.

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