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Identification of cap badge WW1

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Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby Rich1 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:04 pm

Hi,

I have been given a copy of an old family group photo from about the time of WW1 showing a soldier. I think his rank is a Company Quatermaster Sergeant Major or CQSM, but can't determine his regiment from the cap badge.

I think this may possibly be a photo of George Henry WALTERS, who was a tailor by trade and rose to the rank of CQSM with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in France in 1916 (aged about 44) shortly after which he was transferred in 1917 to "430 Agric Company, Labour Corps" in Norwich. I can't however find any similar looking badge to the one in the picture either for the RWR or indeed the Labour Corps.

Some of the other men in the photograph are wearing a similar looking badge on their lapels. Would this suggest that they had also served in the same regiment?

Any assistance in identifying the regiment would be most appreciated!

Many thanks,

Richard
Attachments
Walters Family Group edited.jpg
Walters Family Group edited.jpg (165.07 KiB) Viewed 2778 times
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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:10 pm

There are several cap badges that are star-shaped. However, many of them have scrolls beneath and this doesn't. That still leaves one or two other than my first choice - for instance, the Devonshires have a star-shape with a cut-out centre, like this. Looking, though, at large clear photos of the Devonshire badge (and the small ones from reality can look quite different!), this badge seems to have a sharper set of points and the central ring looks wider than the Devonshires.

My best guess is that this is an Army Service Corps badge - cut-out monogrammed ASC in the centre, garter ring, sharper rays in the star-burst.

If the other guys have this on their collars, then the odds are it's a post-WW1 picture - not a certainty, just a likelihood. Maybe some ASC experts might (a) confirm if this is ASC and if so (b) whether such lapel badges were found in the ASC during WW1. (If it is post-war then I think that may make it Royal Army Service Corps).

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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby Rich1 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Hi Adrian,

Many thanks for your helpful reply. I have found an image of the the ASC cut-away badge you mention, and agree it does look very similar to the one in the image above. Would this be the right regiment (and cap badge) for the Labour Corps do you think?

I also attach the section of the photo (unfortunately it is too hi res to upload the whole photo) which shows the lapel badges worn by two other men. The badge of the chap on the left also looks a bit like like the ASC star-shaped badge, but that of the chap on the right is quite different - do you have any thoughts on this one?

It is interesting that you think the photo may be post WW1, as if this is a photo of GH Walters, he had a brother killed in Greece in 1917, and one of his sisters is holding a medal.

Thanks again for your assistance - and apologies for the delay in acknowledging your response - I forgot to click the notify when a reply is posted box! :D

Richard
Attachments
Walters Family Group Ed 2.jpg
Lapel badges and medal
Walters Family Group Ed 2.jpg (210.65 KiB) Viewed 2711 times
ASC.JPG
WW1 ASC cut away cap badge
ASC.JPG (41.65 KiB) Viewed 2711 times
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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:17 pm

The Army Service Corps and the Labour Corps are two totally different things. Both are Corps (to state the obvious! ) and in an Army organisation chart could be drawn at the same level as the infantry regiments - though they were much bigger.

The Labour Corps was disbanded about 1921 according to Wikipedia so it could be that someone could have transferred from one to the other. See the Wikipedia article on the Royal Pioneer Corps (a successor to the Labour Corps but much later) for the badge which from memory is very similar to the Labour Corps badge.

Apologies but I misunderstood you about the lapel badges - I thought you were referring to chaps in uniform.

But I still suspect that to be a post WW1 photo. If those are Army badges (and I can't see what they are) then why would several men in one photo be wearing them in a pre-war photo? Unless it was an army family. ... More likely to be a post war photo? I also have a vague impression that the first photo is post-war - he just looks a bit neater. But I can't give any good reason for that view.

Sent from my GT-I8190N
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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby Rich1 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:34 pm

Thank you Adrian.

I've done a little browsing about the Labour Corps and came across the following excerpt from the Long, Long Trail website:

The Labour Corps is formed

Formed in January 1917, the Corps grew to some 389,900 men (more than 10% of the total size of the Army) by the Armistice. Of this total, around 175,000 were working in the United Kingdom and the rest in the theatres of war. The Corps was manned by officers and other ranks who had been medically rated below the "A1" condition needed for front line service. Many were returned wounded... The Labour Corps absorbed the 28 ASC Labour Companies between February and June 1917.


George Henry Walters was invalided back to England in 1916 and transferred to the 430 Agricultural Company of the Labour Corps based in Norwich in August 1917 (his rank remained as CQMS). I wonder therefore if it feasible that he would wear the ASC cap badge (if indeed that's what it is)? The Labour Corps badge looks quite markedly different to this.

Thanks again for your help.

Richard
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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby jeffward » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:17 pm

Just a thought about the lapel badges, the photos could well have been taken during the war. Such was the pressure on young men to join the army- white feathers and all that- they they often wore lapel badges ,while in civvies, to show that they were serving or had served. Jeff Ward.
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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby Rich1 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:06 pm

Thanks Jeff, that's very helpful. Richard :D
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Re: Identification of cap badge WW1

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:21 pm

Just been looking at his records on Ancestry.

There is no sign of any reference to the ASC that I can see so, I think we can be fairly clear that George Henry Walters was never in the ASC, only in the Labour Corps and the RWR, and therefore he should never have worn an ASC cap badge. While there are those ASC companies that became Labour Corps, we have no sign of any evidence that he was ever in such a company - and it should appear if he were.

Using Google, the Great War Forum does seem to suggest that the Agricultural Companies of the Labour Corps worked alongside some of the ASC companies but that's quite a different thing from being in one and wearing the other's cap badge.

So the service records are as clear as it's possible to be, that he would not be wearing an ASC badge.

They also add something else - GHW was originally 2903 (indexed as 8703 on Ancestry but 2903 is clear on a later page) in the RWR. In this incarnation, he served in South Africa and was issued with South African campaign medal(s) - this is on his records. If this is a fairly formal photo, then I would expect to see GHW wearing the ribbon for the South African medal(s). The guy there is not, so that's another reason for him not to be GHW.

Having said all that - I still find myself wondering why you have a CQSM (or whatever he is) in the photo - it's just a bit of a coincidence, isn't it? If those Labour Corps Agricultural Companies worked close to the ASC forage companies or whatever they were, could it simply be that this guy and GHW were friends?

Or even.... having been demobbed - could GHW have joined up again? This time in the ASC? ASC Territorials? Such a record might have become completely disconnected from his WW1 and S African service records.... Although we come back to the lack of S African medal ribbons.
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