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badgecollector 27-01-20 12:42 PM

unusual position for colour patch?
2 Attachment(s)
just watched "Australia in Colour" on the SBS. coloured up old films and saw this.
have never seen a colour patch worn on the upper back.
is this something that actually occurred or is this artistic licence?
thanks in advance

Bill A 27-01-20 01:02 PM

The first location for battle patches in the Canadian Corps was on the back between the shoulders. This was in the early fall of 1916. It was moved to the sleeves because equipment concealed the patches. Some Canadian units (Canadian Railway Troops) continued to wear the patch on the back.

mike_vee 27-01-20 02:00 PM

Found the following on GWF relating to a scene in a movie.

Q. As the camera follows him from behind, we see a small red, white & blue ribbon in inverted V shape pinned to the back of his tunic just below the collar.
Can anyone tell me exactly what this ribbon represents?

A. It is a battle patch or tactical sign/flash (the terms used vary) and introduced in the lead up to the Somme offensive that commenced 1st July 1916. The intent was battlefield recognition and within Divisions many Brigades had a variety of shapes and colours on upper arms and upper back to show the identity of battalions and their ‘place’ (seniority according to the Army list) within the formation. In part this reflected that the wearing of steel helmets without any cap badge made all soldiers and officers look very similar, thus making battlefield progress reporting, when observing through binoculars and telescopes very difficult. The colours used often related to the ‘regimental ribbon’ that proliferated before the war.

grey_green_acorn 27-01-20 02:17 PM

The tin triangles on the back pack were to enable aerial observers to determine how far units had advanced.


fairlie63 27-01-20 06:40 PM

They are British soldiers bc, note also the dark triangle on the left arm of one of those men.

However, Australians also wore arm bands, battle patches, objective markings, and company patches, on the back below the collar, the back of the right upper arm, the helmet and no doubt elsewhere for specific operations. This was most prominent during Messines and 3rd Ypres in 1917, but also at Pozieres in 1916.

Haven't seen any photos unfortunately of them in wear, they were removed immediately after the operation.


lettman 28-01-20 01:49 AM

I wonder if the pictured troops are 1st Lancashire Fusiliers, 29th Div, and that the back patch was actually yellow over red. Just a conjecture.

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