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  #1  
Old 04-01-18, 07:36 PM
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Default Free French Forces in England

I do not believe that this was posted before. It is a British made officers uniform from WW2. It has been made for use by a French Foreign Legion officer of the 13th Demi Brigade. As you can see it has nice mix of period Free French FFL insignia. the ribbon bar was in the pocket of the uniform when I received it. this uniform had come from a museum which closed here in the U.S. a number of years back.

The name of the wearer as can be seen on the tailors' pocket label is what I will assume is a "Nom de Guerre"??

What is also interesting is that the uniform tailor "Nicolls of Regent Street" is also the same individual who had made another F.F. uniform that I had posted several months back.. this being for a women engaged in medical work and associated with the Free French in England. I am re-posting her uniform again for reference

Does anyone know or have information regarding the tailor, and could they have had a contract with the Free French for uniform production during the war. Or is it a great coincidence?



thanks
Jack








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Last edited by irish; 05-01-18 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Photo's
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  #2  
Old 04-01-18, 08:39 PM
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Wow, very nice indeed.
Andy
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Old 04-01-18, 09:37 PM
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From an online search one can see that Nicolls had been around for a while. They were advertising Royal Navy Officer uniforms in the early 1940’s.
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Old 04-01-18, 10:06 PM
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Hello,
Very nice uniform ! From what I found, Humbert Bellini Delle Stelle was born in 1895 in Italy. He joined the Free French in July 1940 in London. He reached the rank of Captain during WW2.
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Normandie18
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Old 04-01-18, 10:11 PM
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Normandie, thank you very much for that information. Quite helpful
Best
Jack
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  #6  
Old 04-01-18, 10:47 PM
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I found a Pier Luigi Bellini Delle Stelle who was 25 years younger being born in 1920. He was an anti fascist partisan in Italy during the war. Is credited with or in conjunction with his unit in capturing Mussolini at Dongo in April 1945.
Very interesting.
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Old 04-01-18, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORMANDIE18 View Post
Hello,
Very nice uniform ! From what I found, Humbert Bellini Delle Stelle was born in 1895 in Italy. He joined the Free French in July 1940 in London. He reached the rank of Captain during WW2.
Regards
Normandie18
He appears to have rallied to DeGaulle and the Free French at this time. The 13th DBLE having arrived in England from actions in Norway.
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Old 05-01-18, 01:46 PM
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A cap that accompanied the FFL officers uniform.

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Old 05-01-18, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORMANDIE18 View Post
Hello,
Very nice uniform ! From what I found, Humbert Bellini Delle Stelle was born in 1895 in Italy. He joined the Free French in July 1940 in London. He reached the rank of Captain during WW2.
Regards
Normandie18
Do you know what he did in WW1?

He seems to be wearing the British ribbons for the 1914 Star, (or, more likely, the 14-15 Star) plus the War Medal and Victory Medal.
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Old 05-01-18, 02:31 PM
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I do not see the ribbons you mention? To me they all appear French. I do not know what if any WW1 service he may have had at.

Since a forum member was nice enough to confirm his name for me I have not found much. He served with the 1st Free French Division (1 DFL) in the mid-eastduring WW2. The 13th demi-brigade FFL being part of that division.

I have had this uniform for over 10 years and until last night could never figure out his name. He is listed on a Free French website with a small amount of bio information. I am sure the history of this individual would be quite interesting if and when it unfolds.

Jack
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Old 05-01-18, 04:03 PM
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I believe BWEF is confusing the image of the lady medic tunic with the officers tunic
Regards Pete

Last edited by Pembird; 05-01-18 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Mistake
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  #12  
Old 05-01-18, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pembird View Post
I believe BWEF is confusing the image of the lady medic tunic with the officers tunic
Regards Pete
Ah yes, my Confusion. Do not know her WW1 service.
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  #13  
Old 05-01-18, 09:28 PM
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Hello,
Unfortunatelly, I can't find more information about Captain Bellini. When the 13rd DBLE (Demi-Brigade de la Légion Etrangère) came back from Norway, about 14000 french Officers and ORs found themselves in the UK when the french Government surrendered. At that time, these men were offered to go back to France or to stay with De Gaulle and go on fighting with the UK. Only 1300 officers and ORs stayed in the UK of whom 900 were from The Légion Etrangère !

Here is the link about Capt Bellini from free french list website :

http://www.francaislibres.net/liste/...hp?index=54435

Regards

Normandy18
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Old 06-01-18, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pembird View Post
I believe BWEF is confusing the image of the lady medic tunic with the officers tunic
Regards Pete
You are quite right.

My mistake.
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  #15  
Old 06-01-18, 04:33 PM
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Another rare uniform. Thanks for sharing.

It is possible that the FF HQ recommended Nicolls of Regent Street as their preferred tailors in exactly the same way as the British Army's regiments always had regimental tailors.

As these officers uniforms were like those for the British Army, privately purchased - ie not an issue - it may simply be that one officer recommended another officer to the tailor who had done a good job and produced a smart uniform for a reasonable price.

There were numerous tailors in and around Saville Row - which is just off Regent Street - and British made officers uniforms can be found for most of the Free Forces and the Americans stationed here.

Jon
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