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WW! Uniform - South Africa?

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WW! Uniform - South Africa?

Postby Lynden » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:53 pm

Can anyone identify the WW1 uniform in this photograph? The individual is South Africa, but I do not know whether he was already in the UK before the start of the War. The photograph is undated, but the photographers details are: Norman Taylor, Day & Electric Studios, Carfax House, 142 High Street, and 74 Cowley Road, Oxford.

So- Is this the uniform of a South African unit, or is he wearing a British uniform?

Thanks for any help, Lynden
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Re: WW! Uniform - South Africa?

Postby snaphappy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:47 am

Lynden, my initial thought on seeing this image was that it he was an officer cadet in the Royal Flying Corp however the cap badge is not that distinctive to be sure. Any chance for a high res' image showing just the cap badge as this may help others (and myself) to help even more.
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Re: WW1 Uniform - South Africa?

Postby Lynden » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:47 pm

Hi Snaphappy - thanks for any help you can give. I have attached the image of the cap only, at the highest resolution I can get, but it is still not very sharp at all. However, I'd be very interested to know your thoughts. If it is the RFC, do you know if the South Africans had their own squadrons?
Many thanks indeed, Lynden
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Re: WW! Uniform - South Africa?

Postby Editor » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:01 am

Hi Lynden,

We put your posting into our June issue and someone has written in with the following answer:

"The man is wearing the uniform of the Royal Flying Corps which was introduced for service by the 1911 dress regulations. The Lancer style jacket was worn by both enlisted men and those officers who were commissioned directly into the RFC. Officers who joined from other regiments continued to wear the uniform of their previous unit with their pilot's wings sewn on. The jacket was known as a 'maternity' jacket. His field service cap has the RFC badge on it and the white band around the base shows that he is an 'aviation' officer cadet, with the status of probationary pupil pilot.

During World War One the RFC had a camp called the Oxford School of Military Aeronautics where ground training took place prior to actual flight instruction. this may well explain the photo having been taken in Oxford."

I will send you a personal mesage with the name of the reader and his address. It would be nice if you could pop him a quick note to say you have received his message as I suspect he is not online. I'd like him to know that we do pass on this information to other readers!


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