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  #1  
Old 22-02-18, 02:32 PM
AJCarson AJCarson is offline
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Default Natal Mounted Rifles

I'm new to this forum and seeking advice on insignia please. I am writing the biography of a young man who volunteered for the NMR in September 1914 aged 17 seeking service in GSWA, but for reasons of physical injury and/or age was not accepted for active service until December; he then served as 2nd Lt, SADC, until June 1915 whereupon he volunteered for flying training and was transferred from the SA Aviation Corps to the Royal Flying Corps. This pre-RFC part of his career is poorly recorded but I would at least like to pay due respect to his brief period of service in SA and it strikes me that an illustration of regimental insignia, or at least badge(s), would perhaps bring it to life. But it would have to be insignia accurately reflecting the period described, so I need expert guidance. As with all non-fiction books, the collection of images is at my personal cost so I suppose I also have to ask whether any members might be able to provide images of the relevant insignia without fees attached (but with due credit, of course). I have a NMR collar badge with spurred cavalry boot (toe pointing right) surmounting the motto and encircled with scroll saying 'Natal Mounted Rifles', and am hoping this might be accurate.
All help appreciated!
P.S. Would he qualify for 1914-15 Star?
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  #2  
Old 23-02-18, 04:52 PM
craigen craigen is offline
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Hi,

Colin Owen's reference book suggests that the badges worn around that time included a cloth helmet flash with white metal "3" in the centre, a slouch hat badge consisting of the letters "NMR" with a "King's Crown" above, and cap and collars of the same design as the one you mention (with the riding boot in the centre).

If somebody will confirm that those are the appropriate badges, I will let you have pictures of the ones I have.

Regards
Craig
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  #3  
Old 23-02-18, 07:06 PM
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Arthur R Arthur R is offline
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If the helmet flash in Owen's book is blue over green over brown/maroon over grey, with the 3 over all, then, according to Curson, it dates from 1923.
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Arthur
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  #4  
Old 24-02-18, 03:33 AM
milhistry milhistry is offline
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According to the official history of the Regiment, khaki serge with green facings was worn around this time, along with white metal NMR shoulder titles. Smasher hat with cocks feathers was worn prior to 1915, then helmet. Cap badge during WW1 was the the boot badge. It also says the flash was worn on helmet. There is a photograph dated 1915 in which the men are wearing khaki shirts with breeches and Wolseley pattern helmets. There is a flash on the left side of the helmet but I can't quite make out the detail but the 3 looks visible on one. One man appears to be wearing a high neck Service Dress tunic with green shoulder straps with NMR titles and boot collar badges.
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  #5  
Old 24-02-18, 04:54 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Hi AJ
I have a fairly big collection of NMR insignia and you would be welcome to use any or all of them. If you PM me your address I can mail the photos to you though I'm not sure if the resolution will be suitable. I can always take more if necessary.
Cheers,
Alex
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  #6  
Old 24-02-18, 04:55 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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To see if he qualified for a 14/15 Star you'd have to get his medal index card from the archives, which are unfortunately, closed at the moment I believe.
Cheers,
Alex
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  #7  
Old 24-02-18, 09:51 AM
AJCarson AJCarson is offline
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Default Natal Mounted Rifles

Thanks to all who have kindly replied, and for your willingness to share images. In my biography I have tried to illustrate the full official insignia of each service corps, complete with motto, which is not too difficult when my chap is with the RFC and later RAF, although I am still awaiting a reply from the College of Arms on a particular point ... but the NMR being a volunteer body makes me wonder where to find the full official regimental insignia for any given period, because who was in charge of such things? Which is why I thought of you people who are experts on badges. I'll PM Alex since I'll be able to go into more detail that way, but I hope everyone will forgive me for being confused as to why a variety of designs (apparently at the same/similar times) were used on badges for different items of clothing. It's turned into a fascinating discussion.
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  #8  
Old 24-02-18, 10:04 AM
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Traist Traist is offline
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Hi AJ, if you still need anything after Alex has assisted, please let me know. Do you also need the SA Aviation Corps badge? Regards Andrew
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  #9  
Old 24-02-18, 11:01 AM
AJCarson AJCarson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traist View Post
Hi AJ, if you still need anything after Alex has assisted, please let me know. Do you also need the SA Aviation Corps badge? Regards Andrew
I do, Andrew, I certainly do, and I gather these badges are as rare as rocking-horse poo, to quote another forum friend! Also do you happen to know whether the SAAC was regarded as part of the South African Defence Corps in 1915? And did they have a motto? Sorry I am full of questions.

I'll PM you with my email address in the hope you have a digital scan I may be permitted to use. You guys are the best!
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  #10  
Old 25-02-18, 11:05 AM
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iaindh iaindh is offline
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Colin Owen has the NMR, 3rd MR, "3" with helmet flash worn from 1914; this is when the SAMR were formed

b 582.jpg

I must say though, that Dudley Wall also dates the flash to 1923.
Having said that most helmets in the photos in the book "Urgent Imperial Service," have flashes on them.

regards, Iain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur R View Post
If the helmet flash in Owen's book is blue over green over brown/maroon over grey, with the 3 over all, then, according to Curson, it dates from 1923.
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Last edited by iaindh; 25-02-18 at 11:18 AM.
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  #11  
Old 25-02-18, 01:20 PM
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Arthur R Arthur R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaindh View Post
Colin Owen has the NMR, 3rd MR, "3" with helmet flash worn from 1914; this is when the SAMR were formed
I must say though, that Dudley Wall also dates the flash to 1923.
Having said that most helmets in the photos in the book "Urgent Imperial Service," have flashes on them.
Helmet flashes were certainly worn in WW I, but they weren't standardised. The standard pattern for ACF units, with provincial colour (in this case, blue for Natal) at the top and branch colour (in this case, grey for mounted rifles) at the bottom, was introduced in 1923. It's possible that the NMR wore a patch of green over brown only before 1923, but that's a guess on my part.

I wonder if the regimental history, 'Rough but Ready', by E. Gutsche, throws any light on the subject. Unfortunately, i don't have a copy to hand to check.
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Arthur
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  #12  
Old 25-02-18, 02:00 PM
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iaindh iaindh is offline
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I never thought to check Eric Goetsche's book and it's there; from the formation of the 3rd MR on 1st July 1913, the blue, green, chocolate, grey helmet flash was worn with the numeral 3.

Blue for Natal, green for BMR, chocolate for NMR, grey for the arm of the service

regards, Iain

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Originally Posted by Arthur R View Post
Helmet flashes were certainly worn in WW I, but they weren't standardised. The standard pattern for ACF units, with provincial colour (in this case, blue for Natal) at the top and branch colour (in this case, grey for mounted rifles) at the bottom, was introduced in 1923. It's possible that the NMR wore a patch of green over brown only before 1923, but that's a guess on my part.

I wonder if the regimental history, 'Rough but Ready', by E. Gutsche, throws any light on the subject. Unfortunately, i don't have a copy to hand to check.
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  #13  
Old 25-02-18, 03:43 PM
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Arthur R Arthur R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaindh View Post
I never thought to check Eric Goetsche's book and it's there; from the formation of the 3rd MR on 1st July 1913, the blue, green, chocolate, grey helmet flash was worn with the numeral 3.

Blue for Natal, green for BMR, chocolate for NMR, grey for the arm of the service.
Thanks, Iain. That's most interesting. If Goetsche is correct, then the NMR anticipated the standardised system by ten years -- or perhaps they inspired it. Are there any WW I photos in the book showing men in uniform with visible helmet flashes?
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Arthur
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  #14  
Old 25-02-18, 04:19 PM
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iaindh iaindh is offline
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Arthur, there is a group photo which shows a helmet flash with the no 3 which is dated 1915

b 595.jpg

I suspect in 1923 it was formalised


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur R View Post
Thanks, Iain. That's most interesting. If Goetsche is correct, then the NMR anticipated the standardised system by ten years -- or perhaps they inspired it. Are there any WW I photos in the book showing men in uniform with visible helmet flashes?
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Last edited by iaindh; 25-02-18 at 04:32 PM.
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  #15  
Old 25-02-18, 06:48 PM
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Traist Traist is offline
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Great picture Iain, thank you.
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