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  #1  
Old 02-05-18, 01:42 PM
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Default Assistance Board Mobile Office

The Assistance Board, known until 1940 as the Unemployment Assistance Board became part of the wartime post-raid services, helping with claims for personal injuries, war damage and providing payments for the replacement of furniture, tools, clothing and other personal property.

Originally working in local council Rest Centres - where the Board's staff were identified by the armlet shown - from 1941 the Board formed a number of mobile offices which could be sent to any part of the country after serious air raids.

The photos show such a Mobile Office in Oxford in January 1943. As can be seen from the close up the staff of these Mobile Offices wore uniforms - their colour unknown - which carried a cloth arm title.

I have never seen an example of this title and wondered if anyone had.

Jon
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Assistance Board NK.jpg (47.9 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg Assistance Board Mobile 1.jpg (93.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Assistance Board Mobile 2.jpg (69.0 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Assistance Board Mobile 3.jpg (53.3 KB, 34 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-05-18, 02:00 PM
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Another one of those Home Front organisations that nowadays are so interesting.
I've never heard of them.
Go back a couple of decades and people like me were wondering why some people were interested in Home Front stuff, tons of it around, hardly anyone's really interested, bit like all that common as wotsit US army and air force stuff. Give me a good British army badge any time.
All the things I've missed that I want now........
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  #3  
Old 02-05-18, 03:46 PM
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Have to echo what Leigh has said, all those times at Fairs and in shops walking past Home Front items, you couldn't give them away.

A collecting field all there own now as these images show. Have never seen this Unit before and wonder how rare items would be.

Simon
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  #4  
Old 02-05-18, 04:04 PM
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As one of those sad people who have been collecting Home Front stuff for over thirty years I have to agree that it used to be disregarded - and therefore cheap - but is now much sought after.

I'm disappointed that I never got any further than the first four parts of my Within the Island Fortress series that was going to record the uniforms, ephemera and insignia of the numerous Home Front Organisations - I still have copies of those on the WVS and Identity Documents.

And as an avid Home Front collector I have never seen an example of the Assistance Board arm title and have no idea what colour the uniform was - my guess is blue or green.

I am hoping to post details of some more unusual HF organisations so that they are at least recorded somewhere.

Jon
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  #5  
Old 02-05-18, 04:25 PM
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Jon,

Look forward to seeing more items as and when you can post them. The odd Home Front items I have come across I have foolishly passed on but find they do still crop up locally. Will pm you should I find anything that I think will interest you.

Regards Simon.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-18, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postwarden View Post
As one of those sad people who have been collecting Home Front stuff for over thirty years I have to agree that it used to be disregarded - and therefore cheap - but is now much sought after.

I'm disappointed that I never got any further than the first four parts of my Within the Island Fortress series that was going to record the uniforms, ephemera and insignia of the numerous Home Front Organisations - I still have copies of those on the WVS and Identity Documents.

And as an avid Home Front collector I have never seen an example of the Assistance Board arm title and have no idea what colour the uniform was - my guess is blue or green.

I am hoping to post details of some more unusual HF organisations so that they are at least recorded somewhere.

Jon
Would the uniform be likely to be green? Khaki and blue would be more readily available as BD, perhaps discount "army khaki" but would not blue fit in with civilian Home Front organisations rather than green? I've not heard or read of green as as a colour for BD, apart from army denims.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-18, 05:18 PM
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I have to admit that green was a guess. We simply don't know as yet what it was.

Jon
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  #8  
Old 08-05-18, 04:23 PM
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Usual great detail Jon.

Yes, loved your Within The Island Fortress - it stopped just when it was getting to the juicy ones - ARP, AFS/NFS etc!

Would love to see an expanded and updated A People's Army, featuring full uniforms, period photos etc.

I'm desperately trying to hide a smug smile after several decades of militaria dealers giving me, at best, a confused look or at worst, patronising/sneering response when I stated I collected Home Front - those same dealers are now desperately straggling to buy it themselves.

Even more surprising is the throught that SOME dealers are faking Home Front memorabilia, from dodgy shoulder titles to elaborate ARP helmet designs - all something that was unthinkable back in the 1980s, when seemingly, all ARP helmets, no matter the rank/design were a fiver!

There now seems to be less HF material available and the prices for what there is - particularly on ebay - are quite often ridiculous, with the sellers seemingly disproportionately greedy. I also have noticed that there seems to be far fewer HF collectors to say 10-15 years ago, mostly just a rump of long-term hardcore collectors. As a result, prices of some items, such as factory ARP badges - which I've always thought were overpriced, as though they are interesting, are not that amazingly scarce and always turn up on ebay - have dropped: they seem to sell for around 75, whereas 10 years ago, they were regularly fetching silly money, around 200 each!

Just wish I'd collected way more HF memorabilia back in the day: I'm sure I'm not the only one who kicks themselves when they remember items that slipped through their hands they should have picked up, e.g. enamel 'Danger - Butterfly Bombs' sign for 40, 10 years ago at Stoneleigh.

Jon - I recently just saw your PM to me from January (I received no notification) and have replied to you via PM.

Last edited by ARPCDHG; 08-05-18 at 04:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-18, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARPCDHG View Post
Usual great detail Jon.

Yes, loved your Within The Island Fortress - it stopped just when it was getting to the juicy ones - ARP, AFS/NFS etc!

Would love to see an expanded and updated A People's Army, featuring full uniforms, period photos etc.

I'm desperately trying to hide a smug smile after several decades of militaria dealers giving me, at best, a confused look or at worst, patronising/sneering response when I stated I collected Home Front - those same dealers are now desperately straggling to buy it themselves.

Even more surprising is the throught that SOME dealers are faking Home Front memorabilia, from dodgy shoulder titles to elaborate ARP helmet designs - all something that was unthinkable back in the 1980s, when seemingly, all ARP helmets, no matter the rank/design were a fiver!

There now seems to be less HF material available and the prices for what there is - particularly on ebay - are quite often ridiculous, with the sellers seemingly disproportionately greedy. I also have noticed that there seems to be far fewer HF collectors to say 10-15 years ago, mostly just a rump of long-term hardcore collectors. As a result, prices of some items, such as factory ARP badges - which I've always thought were overpriced, as though they are interesting, are not that amazingly scarce and always turn up on ebay - have dropped: they seem to sell for around 75, whereas 10 years ago, they were regularly fetching silly money, around 200 each!

Just wish I'd collected way more HF memorabilia back in the day: I'm sure I'm not the only one who kicks themselves when they remember items that slipped through their hands they should have picked up, e.g. enamel 'Danger - Butterfly Bombs' sign for 40, 10 years ago at Stoneleigh.

Jon - I recently just saw your PM to me from January (I received no notification) and have replied to you via PM.
I Can remember buying a beautiful Home Guard officers BD named and complete with a military medal ribbon for the Great War cost me 18 quid ( knocked down from 20 ) and been openly laughed and and ridiculed by dealers as I walked round the Leeds fair with it over my arm Completely all long the lines of " What the f"&K you bought that piece of crap for ....." it had been hung on the stall all day till I bought it .......all the clever dicks missed the significance it was a rocket anti -aircraft unit clearly shown by the insignia
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  #10  
Old 11-05-18, 12:10 PM
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I Can remember buying a beautiful Home Guard officers BD named and complete with a military medal ribbon for the Great War cost me 18 quid ( knocked down from 20 ) and been openly laughed and and ridiculed by dealers as I walked round the Leeds fair with it over my arm Completely all long the lines of " What the f"&K you bought that piece of crap for ....." it had been hung on the stall all day till I bought it .......all the clever dicks missed the significance it was a rocket anti -aircraft unit clearly shown by the insignia
Sounds a top find that. Glad it went to an appreciative home!
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  #11  
Old 12-05-18, 04:18 PM
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My thanks to all for the comments.

A little digging in National Archives file AST9/32 which covers the setting up of the Board's Mobile Units reveals that the staff originally wore Civil Defence pattern blue uniform which they received in July 1941, the armbands shown being introduced to distinguish the Board's staff from the CD services

By September the Ministry of Home Security had objected to the use of blue uniforms as the Board were not part of the CD organisation and they opted instead for a green uniform of RAF style worn with a collar and tie. A second file I have still to look at may reveal the style and introduction date for the arm title.

The file also reveals that the Mobile Unit's vehicles were painted khaki with their title and a crown in yellow paint to show it was an official vehicle, the crown originally objected to by the Lord Chamberlain. The board also adopted a flag - an oblong divided diagonally, one half dark brown with an amber circle and a crown, the other amber with the words "Assistance Board" in brown, a design that a heraldry enthusiast on the Board's staff objected to as brown did not exist as a colour in heraldry.

Amazing what they got up to considering there was a war on!

Jon
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Old 12-05-18, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postwarden View Post
My thanks to all for the comments.

A little digging in National Archives file AST9/32 which covers the setting up of the Board's Mobile Units reveals that the staff originally wore Civil Defence pattern blue uniform which they received in July 1941, the armbands shown being introduced to distinguish the Board's staff from the CD services

By September the Ministry of Home Security had objected to the use of blue uniforms as the Board were not part of the CD organisation and they opted instead for a green uniform of RAF style worn with a collar and tie. A second file I have still to look at may reveal the style and introduction date for the arm title.

The file also reveals that the Mobile Unit's vehicles were painted khaki with their title and a crown in yellow paint to show it was an official vehicle, the crown originally objected to by the Lord Chamberlain. The board also adopted a flag - an oblong divided diagonally, one half dark brown with an amber circle and a crown, the other amber with the words "Assistance Board" in brown, a design that a heraldry enthusiast on the Board's staff objected to as brown did not exist as a colour in heraldry.

Amazing what they got up to considering there was a war on!

Jon
Hilarious! Unbelievable petty bureaucracy - how did we win the war etc...
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