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Unusual WW1 South African Military Nursing Service Badge

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    #16
    Steven

    Not sure if you have one of these rarities:

    Quote from page 178 from the Military Nursing in SA 1914-1994.

    "A navy-blue, double breasted tailored style gaberdine coat of the same length as the dress was worn with a self-coloured two inch wide belt. On each shoulder of the coat the words "South Africa" were woven in gold lettering onto a band that was stiched in place."

    I was very fortunate to pick up a pair of these with a WW1 BWM to a attractive SA nurse Alice Ross along with loads of documents and bit and pieces. Her named nursing badge is illustrated and can be seen on her cloak (circled in red). She led a sad life with a philandering husband with whom she had a baby girl whom died on the day of her birth. She kept diaries for the rest of her life which she kept updated daily into the 1950's and make sad reading.

    I passed on one of the pair to a fellow Forum member, I hope he still has it?

    Brian

    Brian
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Brian Conyngham; 30-06-12, 07:29 PM.

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      #17
      Hullo Stephen

      Many thanks for the kind words. The cloth titles of the period that you speak of were supposed to be worn "bi-lingual" - one arm in English and one arm in Afrikaans. It was an effort to placate the speakers of both languages. It did not always work out though!! I did check the title again as per your suggestion and did not find any evidence of an extra 1 being removed. I have attached it here for interest.

      Regards

      Dudley
      Attached Files

      Comment


        #18
        Here is the pic of the Transvaal medic badge as requested. Sadly I swopped it a while back. In hindsight !!!!
        Attached Files

        Comment


          #19
          Attached a few ABW OVS medic documents of my grandfather for interest. He was stationed at Smiths Crossing outside Ladysmith and later was on the Tugela line for the Colenso battles and Vaalkranz.
          Attached Files

          Comment


            #20
            Steven

            Took this picture in Simonstown in March this year, the original was in a shop and mounted behind glass hence not too clear. There was no price as the owner was out I lost the chance to purchase it However the assistant let me photograph it, all it said was Wynberg Hospital staff.

            If you would like a better copy, just pm me your email address.

            Regards
            Brian
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Brian Conyngham; 30-06-12, 08:51 PM.

            Comment


              #21
              Hi Dudley,
              Thanks for the enlarged pictures and pictures of your grandfathers documents. Pity the TMSC is no longer valuable.

              As far as the title goes, I was also under the impression that they came in english and Afrikaans versions to be worn on right and left shoulders. But I have two Medical Corps uniforms c.1960's, one of which came from the owner, and both jackets have unilingual titles (one to 4 FD AMB and other to 9 VD AMB)... no bilingual titles worn. Recently I got a copy of a document showing the SAMC units and it clearly shows certain units as English, others Afrikaans and remainder (mostly PF) as bilingual.

              So based on this info I came to the conclusion I did and therefore the question of the title you have.

              Steven
              Attached Files

              Comment


                #22
                Hi Brian,
                Thanks for posting the items you have. Pm sent.

                Steven

                Comment


                  #23
                  That is absolutely true.

                  Originally posted by Milmed View Post
                  These original contingent nurses were issued with Type 1 badges prior to leaving the UK for France. It has been said that these badges were all named to the specific nurse, but I have not seen evidence of this yet.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Very interesting thread, perhaps you could you show the reverse of your badges please?

                    Originally posted by Milmed View Post
                    Hi William,
                    Thanks for starting this thread on the SAMNS WWI badges. I have been meaning to do a thread on these as this is my primary collecting field, but just have not got round to it. Secondary interests would be SAMC/SAMS and then commonwealth medical, dental and nursing insignia.

                    I have not seen the badge you are quering before. I have thus far been sceptical as to the validity of brass SAMNS badges. My feelings is that all the WWI SAMNS badges should be silver. Even the second world war badges were silver up until c. 1944 when the SAMNS were issued with white metal cap and collar badges. The WWII cap badges had a brooch pin and the collars were lugged with the springboks facing each other. These were worn until 1953 when they were replaced with gilt cap and collars of the same design. The SAMNS was a voluntary service but became a permanant force unit of the UDF in October 1950. From documents I have seen the Gilt badges were first recorded by the quartermaster stores in 1953.

                    But back to the WWI badges. I am aware of 5 variations of the silver badge and two variations of brass badges. The brass ones appear to be castings of original silver badges. The 5 variations I have classified as follows based on the symbol seen between the words 'SOUTH' and 'SERVICE' at the bottom of the badge(see attached pictures):
                    Type 1. Silver hallmarked London 1915 with a 'pattee cross' symbol
                    Type 2. Silver not marked with a 'Fleur-de-lys' symbol
                    Type 3. Silver not marked with a 'East African cross' symbol
                    Type 4. Silver hallmarked London 1918 with a 'plus' symbol
                    Type 5. Silver stamped "SILVER" with a 'square box' symbol. This badge is larger than the others and more crudely made with letters typical of old woodblock engravings.

                    The brass versions I have seen are copies of types 3 and 4. These brass versions I have seen with brooch fittings as well as crudely soldered copper lugs with no indication of a brooch ever having been fitted. I have made an unfounded assumption that these brass badges may have been copies produced for the collectors market, but I stand to be corrected. It is very possible that they may have been produced in East Africa as most of them seen are of the type with the East African cross.

                    I have documented reference (that I cannot place at present) that the SAMNS were issued with two bronze springbok badges prior to departure for UK in September 1915. These I believe were standard officers "Union is Strength - Eendracht Macht Maagt" badges. These original contingent nurses were issued with Type 1 badges prior to leaving the UK for France. It has been said that these badges were all named to the specific nurse, but I have not seen evidence of this yet. I believe the Type 2 (Fleur-de-lys) badges were issued in France and Type 3 were issued in East Africa. Type 4 may have been a privately purchased replacement badge as it has a 1918 hallmark and made by silversmith Murrle Bennet & Company. Lastly Type 5 may have been manufactured locally and possibly post WWI era.

                    From photographic evidence nurses in the GSWA campaign and the original contingent can be seen without any badges prior to departure for UK. Photographs taken in UK, France and in the Union post 1916 all show nurses with the silver (or possibly brass) cape badge.

                    As for your badge it may possibly be an unknown incompleted variation or anouther copy that was not completed or even a commemorative medallion.

                    Regards
                    Steven

                    Comment


                      #25
                      A superb lot to have been able to acquire, Brian, the tippet badge is particularly nice, I like it very much.


                      Originally posted by Brian Conyngham View Post
                      Steven

                      Not sure if you have one of these rarities:

                      Quote from page 178 from the Military Nursing in SA 1914-1994.

                      "A navy-blue, double breasted tailored style gaberdine coat of the same length as the dress was worn with a self-coloured two inch wide belt. On each shoulder of the coat the words "South Africa" were woven in gold lettering onto a band that was stiched in place."

                      I was very fortunate to pick up a pair of these with a WW1 BWM to a attractive SA nurse Alice Ross along with loads of documents and bit and pieces. Her named nursing badge is illustrated and can be seen on her cloak (circled in red). She led a sad life with a philandering husband with whom she had a baby girl whom died on the day of her birth. She kept diaries for the rest of her life which she kept updated daily into the 1950's and make sad reading.

                      I passed on one of the pair to a fellow Forum member, I hope he still has it?

                      Brian

                      Brian

                      Comment


                        #26
                        I really would be very interested to see the reverse of your badges, if at all possible?


                        Originally posted by Frank Kelley View Post
                        Very interesting thread, perhaps you could you show the reverse of your badges please?
                        Originally posted by Milmed View Post
                        Hi William,
                        Thanks for starting this thread on the SAMNS WWI badges. I have been meaning to do a thread on these as this is my primary collecting field, but just have not got round to it. Secondary interests would be SAMC/SAMS and then commonwealth medical, dental and nursing insignia.

                        I have not seen the badge you are quering before. I have thus far been sceptical as to the validity of brass SAMNS badges. My feelings is that all the WWI SAMNS badges should be silver. Even the second world war badges were silver up until c. 1944 when the SAMNS were issued with white metal cap and collar badges. The WWII cap badges had a brooch pin and the collars were lugged with the springboks facing each other. These were worn until 1953 when they were replaced with gilt cap and collars of the same design. The SAMNS was a voluntary service but became a permanant force unit of the UDF in October 1950. From documents I have seen the Gilt badges were first recorded by the quartermaster stores in 1953.

                        But back to the WWI badges. I am aware of 5 variations of the silver badge and two variations of brass badges. The brass ones appear to be castings of original silver badges. The 5 variations I have classified as follows based on the symbol seen between the words 'SOUTH' and 'SERVICE' at the bottom of the badge(see attached pictures):
                        Type 1. Silver hallmarked London 1915 with a 'pattee cross' symbol
                        Type 2. Silver not marked with a 'Fleur-de-lys' symbol
                        Type 3. Silver not marked with a 'East African cross' symbol
                        Type 4. Silver hallmarked London 1918 with a 'plus' symbol
                        Type 5. Silver stamped "SILVER" with a 'square box' symbol. This badge is larger than the others and more crudely made with letters typical of old woodblock engravings.

                        The brass versions I have seen are copies of types 3 and 4. These brass versions I have seen with brooch fittings as well as crudely soldered copper lugs with no indication of a brooch ever having been fitted. I have made an unfounded assumption that these brass badges may have been copies produced for the collectors market, but I stand to be corrected. It is very possible that they may have been produced in East Africa as most of them seen are of the type with the East African cross.

                        I have documented reference (that I cannot place at present) that the SAMNS were issued with two bronze springbok badges prior to departure for UK in September 1915. These I believe were standard officers "Union is Strength - Eendracht Macht Maagt" badges. These original contingent nurses were issued with Type 1 badges prior to leaving the UK for France. It has been said that these badges were all named to the specific nurse, but I have not seen evidence of this yet. I believe the Type 2 (Fleur-de-lys) badges were issued in France and Type 3 were issued in East Africa. Type 4 may have been a privately purchased replacement badge as it has a 1918 hallmark and made by silversmith Murrle Bennet & Company. Lastly Type 5 may have been manufactured locally and possibly post WWI era.

                        From photographic evidence nurses in the GSWA campaign and the original contingent can be seen without any badges prior to departure for UK. Photographs taken in UK, France and in the Union post 1916 all show nurses with the silver (or possibly brass) cape badge.

                        As for your badge it may possibly be an unknown incompleted variation or anouther copy that was not completed or even a commemorative medallion.

                        Regards
                        Steven

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Hi Frank,
                          Sorry for late reply. In the throws of house renovations, so items all packed away and not easily accessed. When I get there I will scan the reverse of badges to show.

                          Steven

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