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Tom.Delahoyde

Help with a British 1955 RASC BD Blouse

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Evening all,

 

I'm more of a helmet guy so I have not much knowledge in uniforms.

I found this today for 40 quid in an antique shop.

It's a Royal Army Service Corps 1955 dated 1949 pattern Battledress Blouse. It has a patch with an image of a stone that looks like it's from Stonehenge? There is also 1 crown on the epaulettes, not too sure of rankings of this period, looks like a major but I doubt it is? Also what medals do the ribbons correspond to?

 

I stupidly through the tag that was with it in the shop but it didn't have that much info. All I remember was that it mentioned Salisbury and Africa??

Any info on what the RASC was doing around this time would be much appreciated as there doesn't seem to be too much online about them although I'll do some more research now.

I've no clue about all this so any help is much appreciated as you lot know your stuff.

 

Many thanks, Tom

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This is the battledress that replaced the wartime 1937 or 1940 patterns. The crowns (Queens Crown post 1953) on the shoulders are indeed for a major, the yellow backing has also some significance, the shoulder titles for Army Catering Corps happened to be yellow in the post-war years,
I had a pair on a jacket many years ago! It also had paratroopers wings and Combined operations badges on both arms! It had belonged to Pete Price of London, E12, who was a post-war Territorial and had served in WW2, also apparently with the Parachute Corps, as I was told.
The arm badge does look somewhat like stonehenge, I'm sure someone on the forum will recognise and explain this

The medal ribbons are following:

1939-45 War Star
Africa Star
1939-45 War Medal
The last one I don't recognise, but I'm sure you'll find this somewhere.

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Cheers Fritz,

Any idea of the significance of the yellow background? 

Does the supposed Stonehenge badge represent the unit or similar?

 

Thanks much for your information, I'm sure someone else will be able to fill the gaps,

 

Tom

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Hi Tom,

one of our FB members have just posted this reply for you.

Sean Featherstone It’s a RASC Major’s BD blouse who had service in WW2. Salisbury Plain District.

The last medal ribbon is a GSM most probably for Palestine 1945-48  or Malaya as these were the two closest conflicts to WW2 

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10 minutes ago, kenny andrew said:

Hi Tom,

one of our FB members have just posted this reply for you.

Sean Featherstone It’s a RASC Major’s BD blouse who had service in WW2. Salisbury Plain District.

The last medal ribbon is a GSM most probably for Palestine 1945-48  or Malaya as these were the two closest conflicts to WW2 

LOL.... I just saw this on Facebook and was going to say the same GSM (1918), it was replaced GSM (1963). However he could have had the GSM pre-war also.

Possible bars are listed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Service_Medal_(1918)

The patch is the " British Army Salisbury Plain District Formation"

/Ian

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Thanks Ian, 

welcome to the forum, that's the problem the the FB page allot of members posts replies on the FB page and the original question goes unanswered. Good to have you on board :thumbsup:   

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Thanks guys,

Yeah definitely looks like the 1918 GSM.

Very interesting information which I will look into further myself.

By FB group I assume you mean Facebook, can you point towards this group as I can't seem to find it with a simple search.

Many thanks again for all this wonderful information,

Tom

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Hi Tom,

It's just our own Facebook page, but posts from here get automatically posted there. Much better to ask your questions here as the answers get lost on FB, plus if they do get answered there I always post them here anyway.

https://www.facebook.com/treasurebunker   

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Thanks Ian, talking of forums have you heard anything from Stewy? He seems to have vanished from the face of the earth? 

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Found following information:

General Service Medal, GSM      

19 January 1923

Always issued with appropriate campaign clasp

12 November 1918 – 23 December 1962

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Cheers again both of you, yeah I've got the page now 👍.

One last question what is the collctibility or rarity of this BD, I'm assuming not very but I must reiterate I know jack-all about uniforms really.

 

But I do hope to start collecting WW2 and post war, like this BDs and uniforms as they seem cool and interesting.

 

Tom,

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As for the yellow backing under pips/crowns, not sure what that is, red has been stated for infantry units, yellow may be for various Corps Troops, such as those on the shoulder titles. There must be some reference information somewhere on details like this. This insignia was worn on early WW1 tunics on a cuff patch, but backing was always khaki at that time.

You should look for a nice WW2 battledress with closed collar and overseas cap to go with it!

I suppose 40 pounds for the jacket was ok.

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Cheers Fritz, I'll be looking out for some over the near future,

 

Tom,

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There is still enough on offer. Ideal would be a complete battledress, the jacket preferably with original insignia. The trousers usually cost more, as they are harder to find. I would start off with a basic uniform, being the jacket and trousers, the overseas cap, belt, boots and gaiters. I would go for wartime dated items, and beware of the the boots, these must be all leather, leather soles with horseshoe heel irons and iron studs on the soles, and if possible, 1940s dated. If the jacket doesn't have insignia, I would suggest fitting it with authentic period insignia, to be carefully stitched on. See my article on British uniforms, badges and personal equipment.

Wartime cloth badges and shoulder titles were often printed rather than embroidered, this was an economy measure.

A Home Guard uniform would also be an interesting project, however, they had often (brown) leather equipment instead of the regular webbing, and mostly used the American made P.14 or P.17 rifle with a British 303 calibre.

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1937 overseas cap, has never been issued, 1940 dated, no badge has been fitted, the G.S.C. brass buttons with patina through storage.

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These boots, entirely of solid leather, have never been issued and still unstudded - identical to wartime issue, but dated 1952. The gaiters are 1941 dated with brown leather fastening straps and brass fittings, these usually had black leather or webbing straps.

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Thanks for the information Fritz, I will definitely look into getting a complete WW2 original set. It all looks very interesting,

 

Many thanks,

Tom,

 

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image.png.4cc2745dc3eeb1eebbccd78350e446b8.png

There were variations in pattern of battledress jackets. There was also a version with a concealed button front, and pockets with a central fold. As well as standard wool as in photo, there were denim jackets and trousers. Sometimes the buttons on earlier examples were the dished brass type, these are brown bakelite. Insignia was postwar removed. The trousers should have two patch pockets to the front, on the left, a large pocket with a buttoned flap, to the right, a small buttoned pocket with central fold, but no flap, this was the first aid dressing pocket, these are the wartime pattern. Postwar 1949 examples have no dressing pocket! Canadian, Australian and South African clothing often had a different shade of khaki. Some battledresses were also US made - war aid.

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Thanks so much again Fritz.

 

If/when I get round to getting some more BD uniform pieces and start putting a set together I'll definitely post it up on here to make sure it's all correct etc,

 

Many thanks,

Tom,

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Battle dress was also worn by Kriegsmarine U-Boot crews, these were at first re-issued captured British stocks, later they made their own closely copying the British pattern. Difference was, Kriegsmarine gilt buttons were added, and the orginal "epaulettes" removed and either worn without these or KM examples on loops fitting. A breast eagle was also sometimes worn, favoured more often was the denim type blouse.

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This would be for an NCO grade with the gold tresse on collar tips.

The Wehrmacht also introduced their very last uniforms as the Modell 44 jacket and trousers, as seen towards the end of the war.
Now very rare and very expensive! I had an original many years ago.

 

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Wow, very interesting that the crews preferred our kit.

Thanks again for the great information, I hope I can have that much knowledge at one point 👍

 

Many thanks,

Tom

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They were very practical in the close confines of a sub, also they captured large stocks at Dunkirk and elsewhere, so therefore these had to be put to use. Captured French, Russian supplies were also used. Everything was used, even if it had to be altered or converted. It wasn't a matter of preference, they had to take what was issued and had been decided on by higher authorities.

These were shown in the iconic German film of the early 1980s "Das Boot" - long film, but throughout the film are many examples of this batteldress shown.

 

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Aye, yeah that does make sense.

 

I still need to get round to watching Das Boot, I've been meaning to for a while now.

Thanks again, 

Tom

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more pictures of German "battledress" added!

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