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Is this a soldier of WW1?

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Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby Michele » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:18 pm

I've been told by a family member that the photo is of my grandfather, who was born in 1906. However I think that it may actually be my great grandfather, who was born in 1887, because I think the uniform is more likely WW1 than WW2. Am I correct?

I have tried zooming in on the cap badge and think it is for the Labour Corps. Could this explain why I haven't been able to find a medal card record or service record?

Thanks for any help and advice!
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:52 pm

1. Soldiers from the Labour Corps who went abroad got issued with Campaign Medals just like anyone. Besides, that's not a Labour Corps badge but possibly a Army Service Corps badge (while there are many infantry regiments with star-burst badges, most have scrolls underneath, which this doesn't).

2. Looking at my copy of "Military Photographs & How to Date Them", I believe that the photo is taken in the period between WW1 and WW2. The major diagnostic is that badges on the collar were not found on ordinary ranks' collars in WW1 ("Never say never", but....) Instead, they appear post-WW1.

Also the post-war caps are subtly different - the best I can say is that they just seem a bit more "there" - maybe taller??? Anyway, that's what this one feels like to me. Not sure when caps like this are phased out in favour of what I call forage caps (worn rather on the side of the head) and then berets, but possibly around the start of WW2???

So your photo is taken in the inter-war years (or maybe just at the start of WW2???). Which doesn't mean that he might not have been conscripted earlier.
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby Michele » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks AdrianB38 for your help....I've since done some more research concerning cap badges and agree with you that this definitely doesn't show a cap badge of the Labour Corps and is indeed likely to be the Service Corps.
Your suggested date for the photograph means that it is more likely that this is my grandfather and not my great-grandfather.
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby g w aldous » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:45 am

This is not a post 1920 uniform as they didn't have the shoulder patches. most likely a picture of a survivor of WW1. Collar dogs were worn WW1 and also the brass shoulder titles were sometimes worn on the collar when collar dogs weren't. he is wearing the service dress cap as opposed to the trench cap or slouch cap that was floppy. at the start of the war the only head protection as they had no steel helmets. I agree the badge looks like ASC.
Pattern 37 battledress was issued from 1939 at the start of WW2 along with forage caps & berets although some units had them earlier.
As with all things military he may be a territorial issued with an older style uniform, so not really a help.
If he served abroad there should be a medal card, if the service continued Post 1920 his service record should be kept at glasgow next of kin can request a copy but you will need Full name, DOB and preferably a service number oh and £30.
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:12 pm

Sorry but I don't see any shoulder titles / patches here.

Sent from my GT-I8190N
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby g w aldous » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:27 pm

sorry should have explained better the patches I refer to are reinforcing on the shoulders it comes down the front and back on each shoulder above the pocket.
I was just saying that some regt's wore the brass shoulder titles instead of collar dogs and some wore nothing.
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:10 pm

g w aldous wrote:... the patches I refer to are reinforcing on the shoulders it comes down the front and back on each shoulder above the pocket. ...


Ahh - those patches.... Sorry, thought you meant patches of some sort on the shoulder strap. (For those of you who haven't had your brain filled with bits of information that are useless 99% of the time, the patches in question were on uniform jackets to reinforce against the effects of carrying back-packs over the shoulder and - maybe? - against the effects of rifle fire recoil?) The edge of the patch here is evident as a thin line above the bottom r/h corner of the photo - I did consider that line might be the seam at the top of the pocket flap but that seam would appear to be slightly more chunky. In addition, there's another vertical line, probably where the light highlights the edge of the material of the patch, coming down from the bottom left (his right) corner of the collar. So I'll believe there is a patch there, and well done for spotting it.

However, looking again at my copy of "Military Photographs & How to Date Them", I'm looking at a photo dated 1940 of a young Signaller in the Royal Signals, complete with brass buttons, brass collar insignia and forage (side) cap - he's wearing SD (Service Dress), not Battle-Dress, and the SD jacket still has reinforcing shoulder patches. On the previous page there's a similarly dated guy from the Royal Artillery, which I also believe has patches on the SD jacket.

There isn't really a big enough selection of inter-war pictures to come to any conclusion about whether patches might have been "included out" then included back in.

The two 1940 photos, however, make me think of something else which is a bit subjective.... This is not the typical WW1 pose - this is an angled shot, taken from slightly below shoulder level, I think - it just doesn't look like a pre-1920 pose. It does look like the 1940 poses....

So I'm still inclined to think we're looking at a photo that is definitely post-WW1 and could be at least up to 1940.
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Re: Is this a soldier of WW1?

Postby Michele » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:52 pm

Interesting replies, thank you very much.
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