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  #1  
Old 10-08-17, 05:29 PM
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Guzzman Guzzman is offline
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

I have recently returned from West Wales where I spent some time at Pembroke Dock investgating what remains of the old Royal Dockyard which existed there and closed in 1926.

An excellent heritage centre has been established in the old Dockyard Chapel. This tells the story of the dockyard itself and tells how, after the closure of the dockyard, the site became the RAFs largest seaplane base.

Amongst the items on display was something which I thought members of the forum might find of interest. Displayed in a glass cabinet was the WWII uniform of a local man who served as a stoker in the Royal Navy. It seems that he also served as a Royal Navy Dispatch Rider as the uniform has a Dispatch Riders badge on the right cuff. There are also photographs on display of the man wearing his uniform complete with the Dispatch Riders badge.

The badge has obviously been privately purchased and it must be admitted that it is not the finest example of badge making ever seen. Such badges were technically illegal but were tolerated during WWII. The badge is in gold wire and consists of a winged wheel above the letters 'D. R.'.

I have two examples of this badge in my own collection - one in gold wire and one embroidered in red. I obtained these from a former RN Dispatch Rider. However, I have never seen an example of this badge in situ on a uniform. I regret that I forgot to make note of the gentleman's name. I have included some images of both the badge and the photograph which shows him wearing it. Sorry about the poor quality of the images but it was hard to get decent pictures because of the glass of the cabinet.

Pete
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DR badge.jpg (41.6 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg DR badge 2.jpg (61.2 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg DR badge 3.jpg (33.7 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg DR badge 4.jpg (34.8 KB, 49 views)

Last edited by Guzzman; 10-08-17 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Spelling!
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  #2  
Old 10-08-17, 05:46 PM
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Rob Miller Rob Miller is offline
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That's very interesting, I notice he is wearing several medal ribbons in the photo, would that indicate when the picture was taken?

Rob
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  #3  
Old 10-08-17, 06:42 PM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Very interesting, thanks for showing that. Looks like the first 2 ribbons are '39-45 Star & F&G Star. Must be a post-WWII photo.
Cheers,
Alex
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  #4  
Old 10-08-17, 07:24 PM
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

The picture was probably taken sometime between 1945 and 1948 as it was in the latter year that the Admiralty ordered all unauthorised badges be removed from uniform. I guess he probably left the navy before 1948 since his uniform retains the badge.

Pete
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  #5  
Old 10-08-17, 08:38 PM
irish irish is offline
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Great piece of insignia. In addition to having a photo of said in use. I particularly like the apparent handmade quality of the badge.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-17, 12:53 PM
Mike B Mike B is offline
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Pete
Many thanks for sharing. If there are staff on site I bet if you emailed them they would get a name for you
You will know better than me but I wondered if this was the link
http://www.sunderlandtrust.com/
All the best
Mike
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  #7  
Old 11-08-17, 03:46 PM
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

Hi Mike

Yes that is the place. Don't worry - I'm already in touch with someone there and just awaiting a reply.

Pete
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  #8  
Old 14-08-17, 07:02 PM
royston royston is offline
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Very interesting. I have never seen this badge before, it just goes to show we do not know everything. I do have a 1WW RNAS either a dispatch rider or MT rating, the size indicates a collar badge. The book "Badges & Insignia of the British Armed Services" indicates there is a similar one in the Service Museum Edinburgh.
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  #9  
Old 14-08-17, 11:16 PM
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

As I said earlier I have two examples of this badge - one in gold wire and one in red thread. Both were obtained from the same former RN Dispatch Rider. If anyone is interested I will get them out and post some images.

Pete
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  #10  
Old 15-08-17, 05:18 AM
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Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guzzman View Post
As I said earlier I have two examples of this badge - one in gold wire and one in red thread. Both were obtained from the same former RN Dispatch Rider. If anyone is interested I will get them out and post some images.

Pete
Yes, please. Mike
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  #11  
Old 17-08-17, 10:22 AM
royston royston is offline
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1WW RNAS Dispatch Rider or Motor Transport, mentioned in my post above.
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File Type: jpg RNAS Wings & Wheel.jpg (26.7 KB, 22 views)
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  #12  
Old 18-08-17, 08:18 PM
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

Finally had chance to scan some images of my WWII Dispatch Rider's badges.

I've only just noticed that the 'D.R' on my badges is above the Winged Wheel. On the badge in the museum display it was below. I suppose variations in unofficial badges are only to be expected. The design appears to be similar to the badges used by Army dispatch riders. I have no idea where the man who originally wore these got his from - but it obviously wasn't from the supplier who made the one in the posts shown above!

Very nice to be able to compare them to the RNAS Dispatch Rider's badge from the First World War.

Anyway, here are the images. And please excuse the cat hair that somehow got onto the first image!

Pete
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Scan 6.jpg (35.1 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Scan 7.jpg (42.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Scan 8.jpg (33.3 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Scan 9.jpg (38.6 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by Guzzman; 19-08-17 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Duplication of text.
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  #13  
Old 19-08-17, 09:48 AM
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

Just been looking at the images I posted. My scanner always makes red badges appear much brighter than they really are. The colour is actually quite faded and the image doesn't really show the individual threads very well. Sorry!

Pete
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  #14  
Old 19-08-17, 10:42 AM
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Here's a similar one from my collection, until know I've not heard any confirmation of who wore them in these colours, National Fire Service or Royal Marines had been suggested but Royal Navy is very interesting.

Rob
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File Type: jpg rn dr.jpg (63.8 KB, 5 views)
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  #15  
Old 19-08-17, 01:15 PM
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Default RN Dispatch Rider's Badge

Hi Rob

Yes, I've seen the red badges described as being Royal Marines before too. Of course, there is no reason why they couldn't have been worn by both Royal Navy AND Royal Marines dispatch riders. Gold badges wouldn't have been worn much (if ever) during the war years so it would make sense that the badge existed in red for Royal Navy dispatch riders - however unofficially it was being worn.

Pete
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