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  #16  
Old 07-04-16, 02:55 PM
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Alan O Alan O is offline
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Wessex Regt. The Wessex Regt was formed in 1971. 1st was formed from the Wessex Volunteers which was brought into existence in Feb 1966 by the disbandment of the 5 county regts TA Bns.

The Wessex Vols was made up by 5 companies each drawn from the old TA Bn.

In 1966 they decided to wear the Wessex bde badge. Dress regs for this were published in Jan 1967.

"The Battalion's badge was the Wessex Brigade's Wyvern' - white metal on berets or gold wire on officers' cap for officers, and gilt metal (sic anodised) for NCOs and soldiers.'
The regulations were amended 3 times - stable belt in 1968, removal of former regtl distinctions (collars, flashes etc) in 1973 and a lanyard in 1973.

Source: 1 Wessex A West Country Territorial Army Bn' by Martin Lee Browne 2009.

It was the Wessex Vols who became 1 Wessex in 1971.

The 2nd battalion as raised as 2 Wessex. This was formed up from the 8 man cadres of the Bucks Regt RA, Hants&IOW Territorials, Royal Berkshire Territorials and Dorset Territorials.

Last edited by Alan O; 07-04-16 at 03:44 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-16, 04:09 PM
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To summarise:

In 1966/7 the large regts are reduced in size/disbanded and the remaining sub units amalgamated.

Some companies/squadrons are themselves formed in to new amalgam regtl groupings.

The infantry abandon their pre-58 designs and adopt the Inf bde badges that were still in use.

The yeomanry retain their old badge designs at sqn level. Note- some regts do introduce a regtl badge such as the QOY.

However some sub units are split off to form TAVR III units made up of a inf/yeo/RA mix. The fact that the same parent unit could split sub-units off to both TAVR II and TAVRIII units has muddied the waters.

The new TAVR III regtl badges are designed but upon the cadreisation of the TAVRIII IN 1968, all badges are cancelled. Subsequent expansion of the TA takes this cadreised lineage to form the basis for TA expansion.

So the question remains: did the cadres of 8 men receive any of the TAVRIII badges and wear them, or did they continue with their old regtl designs? Knowing the TA mentality I suspect the latter but you never know.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-16, 07:32 PM
bess55 bess55 is offline
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Absolutely and there you have it Alan - I understand the intricacies of the amalgamations, but ultimately we don't really know for sure about many of these anodised TA type badges, in whichever way one wishes to describe them. I don't believe they can all be readily dismissed. The lineage of many units is indeed difficult to follow.


As I understand all of the above we are saying:-

So then is it the case of the A/A R Wilts Territorials, that the badge isn't illegitimate in itself, its highly likely to have been manufactured before cancellation (by several makers its would appear because things actually exist - marked Gaunt B.Ham and Firmin London) but effectively not required for issue - specifically in the case of the RWY detachment who appeared to wear their original cap badge for a short period within the R Wilts Territorials, before disbanding - with the former Wiltshire Regt Company, retaining their former cap badge presumably?

The A/A Hampshire & IOW Territorials would appear to also fall into this 'made but not required bracket' (again as they exist showing multiple makers) - but slightly more intriguing as there are specific A/A collars for E Coy made for this regiment. Additionally officers gilt and enamel cap badges can be found for this regiment.


.................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .....


The J R Gaunt London Ltd mark would generally be found on later A/A badges, although I do have a DLI with this mark. I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you but without knowing exact date for this mark , again its hard to say for sure. And yes, I am aware of all the research that Chris has in his book, but in general it would be out of kilter if this badge were contemporary for its potential time of manufacture with this mark.

Clearly these badges (the contemporarily correct makers marked ones) make their way eventually onto the market and collectors possession, whether they originate from an unopened box of unused badges at a TA centre stores or out the back door from Firmins. I'm not sure why they would be described as unofficial when research shows that clearly they were official and even manufactured, (they exist) albeit slightly prematurely if they were not actually required or ultimately issued and a cancellation notice from MOD procurement wasn't timely enough.

In much the same way as the Hants and Gloster Regt exists but was not required - which actually makes them more unusual and interesting. Again a whole raft of insignia destined for this regiment can be found - buttons, titles, officers badges etc. The A/A badge is found in multiple makers too.


I'm not sure you can really gather them in the same camp as the other well known fakes, which I wholeheartedly agree with.


Its all great debate spawning some good information and on my part . . . . learning has taken place.


Regards all


Bess

Last edited by Alan O; 14-04-16 at 05:32 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-04-16, 07:46 PM
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Bess

There should be no concern over E Coy's a/a collars. The use of regtl badges and flashes with the Wessex badge was practised by the Coys. For example the coy that had Berkshire lineage wore the triangle brandywine patch behind their Wessex badge and the Glosters wore the back badge. These regtl distinctions were removed with some disagreement in 1973.

Alan
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  #20  
Old 07-04-16, 08:02 PM
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As regards official versus unofficial, as described in the posts above the badges shown were official designs and some may have been ordered by the MOD and then not required; to be sold off by the manufacturer or by the MOD disposals. It is clear that any order was cancelled in 1968. There is a clear distinction between them and the unofficial commissions such as the F&F yeomanry and they are indeed in 2 camps.

It is not impossible that between 1968-71,the 8 man cadres wore some of these stock; The Berkshire Yeomanry history does state that their cadre wore a w/m horse on a red plastic oval backing but I am not 100% confident about this as the book was retrospectively written and is patchy in other places.

If my badges had a contemporary marking then they could have been one of these 1968 badges. However I think it highly likely that the Gaunt London Ltd is a later mark; even later than Gaunt Bham. This would make them candidates for latter day unofficial commissions.

At the end of the day I have the examples in my collection, in the same way that I have the Hants&Glosters, but I would not pay a premium price for them.

Last edited by Alan O; 07-04-16 at 08:08 PM.
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  #21  
Old 20-05-16, 08:27 PM
didithevan didithevan is offline
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What Chris says is essentially correct. You can however argue over the meaning of official. Some argue that official is endorsed by the dress committee, but then it might be endorsed, produced and withdrawn before issue or more importantly codification.

You could also argue that like most equipment (I underline most), the fact is that in stock holding and authorisation to use terms, items only become official when they have been codified iac with the UK and STANAG directives AND have appeared in the relevant catalogue (part of the configuration management process).

It doesn't really matter if they are withdrawn before issue, or rejected by the unit, technically the fact that an item has a NSN and has appeared in the issue/type catalogue, however briefly, makes it an official item whether we as purists and protectors of the regimental flame like it or not.

See my other posts about HLI A/A and Gordons A/A BY DAND variants, that I got off the shelves in the depot at Bicester - they may not have been issued, but they had a part number, were bought, held in stock then disposed of through the official MOD stock reconciliation processes and you can't actually get more official than that!.

Last edited by didithevan; 20-05-16 at 08:42 PM.
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  #22  
Old 21-05-16, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan O View Post
As regards official versus unofficial, as described in the posts above the badges shown were official designs and some may have been ordered by the MOD and then not required; to be sold off by the manufacturer or by the MOD disposals. It is clear that any order was cancelled in 1968. There is a clear distinction between them and the unofficial commissions such as the F&F yeomanry and they are indeed in 2 camps.

It is not impossible that between 1968-71,the 8 man cadres wore some of these stock; The Berkshire Yeomanry history does state that their cadre wore a w/m horse on a red plastic oval backing but I am not 100% confident about this as the book was retrospectively written and is patchy in other places.

If my badges had a contemporary marking then they could have been one of these 1968 badges. However I think it highly likely that the Gaunt London Ltd is a later mark; even later than Gaunt Bham. This would make them candidates for latter day unofficial commissions.

At the end of the day I have the examples in my collection, in the same way that I have the Hants&Glosters, but I would not pay a premium price for them.
Hello all,

Having read this fascinating thread I now find myself a little confused regarding the chicken and egg scenario (which one came first) regarding the Gaunt London and Gaunt Birmingham marks on AA badges, if my memory serves me correctly (which it may not, having no reference material to hand as I'm away from home) Chris as I do/did believes the London mark to be earlier than the Birmingham mark and Alan in this post believes the Birmingham mark to be earlier than the London, can anyone elaborate on this issue as whilst it may sound petty it does actually have a big affect on some research I have been doing regarding the insignia to the Leeds Rifles.

Kind Regards,

FMT600
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  #23  
Old 21-05-16, 11:38 AM
bess55 bess55 is offline
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Default Gaunt Bham vs Gaunt London

Essentially, I believe the conclusion was thus:-

Yes the Gaunt London mark was accepted as generally earlier. It is not found in badges made after about 1970, if we use Chris Marsh's appendix of sealed patter cards as a representative sample.

The latest we see on pattern cards for Gaunt BHam was 1969.

However where it was originally believed that the change over date from the London to the BHam mark was around 1973, Chris Marsh's excellent research found this to be incorrect.

Chris found that going by MOD/WD documented material that the earliest mention for Gaunt Bham was I believe 1966 (reference to a Queens Regt slider problem). I tended to disagree as this slider was brass and not anodised which may have been significant.

But following on from this, Alan highlighted that on some of the Brigade cap badges, the Gaunt Bham mark can be found, going back pre 1960 even, which kicked my theory of 1970 as the approximate change over point into the long grass. There may not be documentation effective but the badges exist.

So if I understand all this correctly it would appear that the Gaunt Bham and London marks were used simultaneously throughout the 1960's to a greater or a lesser extent. The London mark almost certainly coming first and being phased out prior to 1970. The Gaunt Bham mark was used well into the 90's.

In relation to badges that are perceived as being outside the recognised NSN regime as it were, but do exist. Chris refers to them as unofficial commissions. If they were made and sold essentially as fakes to collectors or for a museum or regimental reunion I would agree. If they were commissioned by a battalion from Regimental funds (the best example of this practise is the anodised black badges that we find) perhaps a more accurate term would be 'Regimental commission'.

Best regards all.

Bess
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  #24  
Old 21-05-16, 02:18 PM
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Bess

To clarify the Gaunt Bham mark is found on pre 1960 Bde designs but these could be made as late as 1964. After 1964 some of the Bde badges were no longer used so this is the 'stop' date. This is the same dates as KLR's date for the move to Bham so I would say that the Bham mark is 1964 onwards.
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  #25  
Old 21-05-16, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bess55 View Post
Essentially, I believe the conclusion was thus:-

Yes the Gaunt London mark was accepted as generally earlier. It is not found in badges made after about 1970, if we use Chris Marsh's appendix of sealed patter cards as a representative sample.

The latest we see on pattern cards for Gaunt BHam was 1969.

However where it was originally believed that the change over date from the London to the BHam mark was around 1973, Chris Marsh's excellent research found this to be incorrect.

Chris found that going by MOD/WD documented material that the earliest mention for Gaunt Bham was I believe 1966 (reference to a Queens Regt slider problem). I tended to disagree as this slider was brass and not anodised which may have been significant.

But following on from this, Alan highlighted that on some of the Brigade cap badges, the Gaunt Bham mark can be found, going back pre 1960 even, which kicked my theory of 1970 as the approximate change over point into the long grass. There may not be documentation effective but the badges exist.

So if I understand all this correctly it would appear that the Gaunt Bham and London marks were used simultaneously throughout the 1960's to a greater or a lesser extent. The London mark almost certainly coming first and being phased out prior to 1970. The Gaunt Bham mark was used well into the 90's.

In relation to badges that are perceived as being outside the recognised NSN regime as it were, but do exist. Chris refers to them as unofficial commissions. If they were made and sold essentially as fakes to collectors or for a museum or regimental reunion I would agree. If they were commissioned by a battalion from Regimental funds (the best example of this practise is the anodised black badges that we find) perhaps a more accurate term would be 'Regimental commission'.

Best regards all.

Bess
Hi Bess,

Many thanks for your post, so it would seem both marks were used concurrently or at least overlapped, thankfully as far as the Leeds Rifles go their is enough information in the National archives to be able to logically work out what was worn/not worn despite the little confusion with Birmingham mark.

Kind Regards,

FMT600

Last edited by FMT600; 21-05-16 at 03:19 PM.
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  #26  
Old 21-05-16, 05:47 PM
bess55 bess55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan O View Post
Bess

To clarify the Gaunt Bham mark is found on pre 1960 Bde designs but these could be made as late as 1964. After 1964 some of the Bde badges were no longer used so this is the 'stop' date. This is the same dates as KLR's date for the move to Bham so I would say that the Bham mark is 1964 onwards.
Alan,

We know that the Home Counties Bde went from 1958 to Dec 1966, when it became the Queens Regt. Unlikely to have been made after this date and I am unaware of any units wearing it from this date. Happy to be informed otherwise though.

The only possible explanation would be if Bde staff still wore the HCB cap badge until its formal merger with the Fusilier and East Anglian Bde. forming the Queens Div in 1968. I would doubt that, but I couldn't say for sure.

Whilst this badge is found made with makers marks bearing Gaunt Bham, Gaunt London, Smith & Wright, HW Timings and GS Tye etc, we cannot assume that the Gaunt Birmingham mark was the last. We simply do not know. If one had all of the sealed pattern cards together in one place and compared the entries on the rear indicating when it was sent out to a manufacturer, the batting order could probably be roughly worked out. I would agree that it is a general 'given' that the London mark is found on earlier Gaunt badges, but with this badge we don't know when either mark was used between 58 and 66.

Our earlier discussions have highlighted an unknown area - if one takes an amalgam of sealed pattern card dates and makers along with badges know to have a start and end year.

I understand about the move to Birmingham in 1964, but sealed pattern cards still show Gaunt London marks until 1969.

We realistically do not know if there was a cut off date or a general overlap. The latter is the most likely.
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  #27  
Old 21-05-16, 07:37 PM
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The 1964 stop date is for production of the East Anglian Brigade and the Forestors - I am not saying that the others were not made after that but you should not find either of those Bde badges being made from 1964, Of course the HCB were made after 1964 and indeed the Yorks and Wesex were made for decades afterwards as they continued to be worn by the TA.

yes the London/Bham could and may have overlapped esp if old sliders were in stock. I am not trying to end date the London mark for that reason.

Short answer - Gaunt Bham in use as early as 1964.

Last edited by Alan O; 21-05-16 at 07:44 PM.
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  #28  
Old 21-05-16, 09:53 PM
bess55 bess55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan O View Post
The 1964 stop date is for production of the East Anglian Brigade and the Forestors - I am not saying that the others were not made after that but you should not find either of those Bde badges being made from 1964, Of course the HCB were made after 1964 and indeed the Yorks and Wesex were made for decades afterwards as they continued to be worn by the TA.

yes the London/Bham could and may have overlapped esp if old sliders were in stock. I am not trying to end date the London mark for that reason.

Short answer - Gaunt Bham in use as early as 1964.
Or any time between 1958 and 1964. Nothing to say they weren't manufactured in say . . 1961, issued in 62 . . . 'short answer' is we don't know for sure.
True we know that they were using the Gaunt Bham mark as early as 1964 due to the wrapping up of Foresters and East Anglian Bdes that year who bear that mark. But we don't know how much earlier than that date the Birmingham mark was being used at the point of manufacture is my point really.

So an overlap of both marks during the sixties, unfortunately with no definite start year for the Gaunt Bham mark really, save that it was known to be at least as early as 1964 I believe is what we can say.
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  #29  
Old 22-05-16, 07:22 AM
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Exactly. The 1970 date is incorrect unless we believe that there was a market in the 70s' or 80s' for the early brigade badges. They are quite common in mint condition which I would suggest' are boxes of the un-issued final production runs dating fromc.1963-4 being sold off.
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  #30  
Old 22-05-16, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan O View Post
Exactly. The 1970 date is incorrect unless we believe that there was a market in the 70s' or 80s' for the early brigade badges. They are quite common in mint condition which I would suggest' are boxes of the un-issued final production runs dating fromc.1963-4 being sold off.
Youll never know a definitive answer to that. You can only give a window at best. As Bess says, Gaunt badges were wrapped in tissue paper and then put into a cardboard box, so many per box. I have seen a number of these boxes but cant recall what information is on the labels.
When I next see a box,i will make a note of what the label says. It certainly isn't as detailed as the information given on the bags that Firmin use/used. Then again just because the production date is x doesn't mean that it was issued before y. Would certainly be dependant on regt or corps and location.
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