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  #1  
Old 05-10-09, 02:57 PM
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Default Medical (Sick Berth) branch

Pre 1950, the Medical branch was made up of Sick Berth Stewards (SBS) until approx WWI, then Sick Berth Attendants (SBA).

These ratings entered directly from civilian life & some might have had previous training in a medical field. Their rate badge was a red cross & it appeared in 1885.
In 1911 specialist letters made their appearance above the cross, these being:
L (Laboratory att’d), M (Masseur), O(Operating Rm att’d), & in 1933 X (X-Ray Ass’t).
These rates remained pretty constant until after WWII when the branch badges changed & the letters were moved to below the cross logo & more specialty letters were added.
If a Sick berth rating elected not to specialize he wore the plain red cross rate badge his entire career. No stars or crown was added below or above the cross until 1949.

Examples of Sick Berth rates circa WWI & between the wars period.
The smaller gold wire rate is a CPO lapel badge.

The rate badges with the letters above are very rare.

Bryan
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File Type: jpg SBA rates.jpg (40.8 KB, 30 views)
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Old 05-10-09, 02:59 PM
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Default SBA rates

Examples of WWII & post WWII period SBA rates.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-09, 03:11 PM
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Default SBA rates - unusual rate badge

This rate I am not 100% certain on, but I am speculating that immediately after WWII the RCN experimented with a new medical branch rate badge,{during that late '40's time frame various designs were being prepared for the new rate badges that were intended for the 1949-50 branch badge changeover} of which this design was actually adopted for the new 1950 Medical branch rate badges.
The design was taken from the Staff of Caduceus, which represented the magic wand of the god Hermes, dating from ancient Greek times, & which has been associated with medicine from ancient times {illustration below}

This badge I think dates from that post war to 1949 period. Specialty letters were to be included within the circle of the staff/wings logo. D represented the Dental Assistant specialty.
This in itself is unusual as the RCN had no formal dental branch. The dental services for the RCN were provided by the CADC - Dental Corps of the regular Canadian Army.

This is the only pre 1950 medical badge of this new design I have ever seen.
so am illustrating it 'for the record', instead of any definitive answer on exactly what it represents or signifies.

Bryan
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  #4  
Old 20-12-15, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RCN View Post
BA).

In 1911 specialist letters made their appearance above the cross, these being:
L (Laboratory att’d), M (Masseur), O(Operating Rm att’d), & in 1933 X (X-Ray Ass’t).
These rates remained pretty constant until after WWII when the branch badges changed & the letters were moved to below the cross logo & more specialty letters were added.

Examples of Sick Berth rates circa WWI & between the wars period.

The rate badges with the letters above are very rare.

Bryan
Hi Bryan
I have been consulting your earlier threads concerning rate badges and must compliment you for a very comprehensive effort. Most enlightening and very helpful. Thanks for sharing your collection.

Unfortunately the only SB trade badge with letter above in my collection has been grievously mutilated courtesy of silverfish. Do you think it would be worthwhile to attempt to affect a repair (that is if the type and shade of red wool can still be obtained)? Or leave as is?
The Cross former is stiff card.
GTB
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Old 31-12-15, 05:58 PM
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Hi Bryan


Unfortunately the only SB trade badge with letter above in my collection has been grievously mutilated courtesy of silverfish. Do you think it would be worthwhile to attempt to affect a repair (that is if the type and shade of red wool can still be obtained)? Or leave as is?
The Cross former is stiff card.
GTB
Nice badge GTB, thanks for posting, it is unfortunate about the condition.
I have no idea if you might even be able to get the badge restored with the correct period thread, probably might be best to leave it as is.

Bryan
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Old 01-01-16, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for reply. I usually subscribe to the 'leave in original condition' maxim. At least the varmint didn't devour the whole lot!
I have also been checking up on other red threaded/woolen badges and noticed different shades used.

Concerning unlettered SBA badges (white), I have a couple, differently shaped. One is round as in your photo; the other is square. Any significance?

GTB
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Old 01-01-16, 08:19 PM
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I don't think so GTB, there were likely several manufacturers as contracts were let out, thus one sees variants in the style & construction of the badges.

Pls feel free to post any more Medical examples you may have in this topic.....

Best.... Bryan
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Old 03-01-16, 11:22 AM
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These are the aforesaid badges plus a red on blue. Sadly, the square version is in even worse condition than the 'M' badge. I must say, however, that they came to me in this condition. For some reason the scanner refused to display the rear of the 3 badges together, so am displaying them individually.!!
Note that the red on blue badge has a tiny penned label attached which I suppose could be an old inverted price tag (2/6).
GTB
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File Type: jpg SBA_0001.jpg (53.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg SBA_0003.jpg (83.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg SBA_0002.jpg (82.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg SBA_0007.jpg (79.2 KB, 17 views)
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  #9  
Old 03-01-16, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for posting your Medical badges GTB, it appears as if the silverfish
(or whatever insect likes this thread) had a real field day on the red embroidery, both sides actually. I have never seen badges with some insect damage(I have a couple) but never this bad! Strange they did not go for the blue embroidery.

Where did you have them stored?

On the red /black background badge it appears to be 9/6 to me. Old 1950's (pre decimal) money I guess.

Bryan
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Old 03-01-16, 06:49 PM
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First of all, as I said, they came to me in that condition and the infestation happened long before I obtained them. I suppose the silverfish fed themselves to death! I have a substantial amount of naval cloth badges which came to me from different sources, mainly from a couple of long defunct army & navy tailors. They had open cartons lying about for years in dark and damp corners so vermin would have had a field day. Many badges still have a lot of surface dirt and could do with a good clean but I'm loath to wash away the dirt of years and be left with a whiter-than-white badge!
I have also noticed that it is only the red wool yarn that is attacked, although I have badges with silverfish damage to the dark blue backing cloth.
Re the 'price tag' - you have to read it inverted, and it shows 2/6 (or half-crown in pre-decimal currency). I would think that was the tailor's price, inclusive of badge, for sewing on to uniform.
GTB
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Old 04-01-16, 02:03 PM
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Hi GTB - I tend to agree with you in regards cleaning old badges, but I have cleaned some old gold & red embroidered badges that were really soiled, but not much one can do with the gold wire badges. Do you have any of those?

I see now on the 2/6 inversion, I had it upside down!
Bryan
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Old 04-01-16, 02:26 PM
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PM sent

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  #13  
Old 13-03-17, 03:56 PM
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Default SBA Badge being worn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCN View Post
Examples of WWII & post WWII period SBA rates.
© IWM (A 22970)Sick Berth Attendant Peter Lyall of Glasgow,


AMPUTATION SAVES SEAMAN'S LIFE. 26 APRIL 1944, ROSYTH. THE LIFE OF A SEAMAN WAS SAVED RECENTLY WHEN A NAVAL SURGEON OPERATED ON HIM ON THE DECK OF THE MERCHANT SHIP WHERE HE WAS INJURED. WORKING IN THE LIGHT OF TWO HASTILY RIGGED ELECTRIC LIGHTS, THE DOCTOR GAVE BLOOD-TRANSFUSIONS AND AMPUTATED THE SEAMAN'S ARM.Sick Berth Attendant Peter Lyall of Glasgow, who assisted the doctor with the operation


© IWM (A 429)Sick Berth Steward takes the temperature of a man in the Sick Bay.HMS Kelvin,Aug.1940.
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