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  #1  
Old 25-12-21, 09:17 AM
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Default NAAFI B.L.A. BUFFET CARS shoulder title

Merry Christmas to all Ho Ho Ho
I am trying to find a picture of the shoulder title worn by EFI / NAAFI B.L.A. BUFFET CARS staff. I have a line drawing (see attached) but would like a good photo of one either bring worn (clear shot if possible please) or an actual photo of one. I do not know what colour these were.
Thanks,
engr9266
Jerry
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File Type: jpg BLA BUFFET CARS.jpg (31.5 KB, 70 views)
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Old 25-12-21, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engr9266 View Post
Merry Christmas to all Ho Ho Ho
I am trying to find a picture of the shoulder title worn by EFI / NAAFI B.L.A. BUFFET CARS staff. I have a line drawing (see attached) but would like a good photo of one either bring worn (clear shot if possible please) or an actual photo of one. I do not know what colour these were.
Thanks,
engr9266
Jerry
Hi Jerry , where is the drawing from ?

I can find nothing about B.L.A Buffet cars and the British Liberation Army was a short lived "unit"
Quote:
was the official name given to the British Army forces which fought on the Western Front of World War II between the Invasion of Normandy and the end of the war.
Would they have been running buffet cars during most of this time period with hostilities still going on ????

NAAFI
Initially there were concerns about providing 'mobile canteens' :

Quote:
to the effect that the question of providing a number mobile canteens for use during the period of military operations on the continent had been reviewed.
I found mentions of Pullman cars being ordered for the NAAFI but some of the orders were later cancelled , five of them were given NAAFI numbers :

Quote:
Ist Class Kitchen Cars

Corunna NAAFI No 29
Sapphire NAAFI No 37
Palermo NAAFI No 21
Seville NAAFI No 3
Rosalind NAAFI No 18

The IWM has a set of photos of NAAFI BUFFET CARS (in Germany) from 1946 but these appear to be staffed by "NAAFI girls".

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205436120


Could it be that the B.L.A BUFFET CARS title was simply a concept/design that was never needed/produced ?

.
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  #3  
Old 25-12-21, 06:27 PM
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A reference in Hansard to NAAFI buffet cars (13 February 1945).

Tim
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Old 26-12-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
A reference in Hansard to NAAFI buffet cars (13 February 1945).

Tim
I think they were probably referring to "leave trains" running in the UK :

Quote:
From there, I went to work on the leave trains to run a café for when the soldiers came home from leave, where the leave ships docked.
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Old 26-12-21, 09:43 AM
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Attached is a rather poor copy of a copy of an illustration of an actual shoulder title from "Women's War Work With The Army: Additional Notes" by Ernest J. Martin which appeared in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research.
The text reads "In addition to the "Mobile Canteen" designation previously described, a similar one bearing the inscription "B.L.A. Buffet Cars" was worn by female staff serving on leave trains."
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Old 26-12-21, 09:47 AM
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There is also this from January 1945

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205124031

Reads "THE FIRST BRITISH LIBERATION ARMY LEAVE PARTY TO ARRIVE IN BRITAIN FROM NORTH WEST EUROPE, 1 JANUARY 1945"

Tim
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Old 26-12-21, 10:10 AM
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First off, I cannot remember where the line drawing came from (old age?)
Second, thanks for the information supplied. I will keep looking.
Jerry
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Old 26-12-21, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engr9266 View Post
First off, I cannot remember where the line drawing came from (old age?)
Jerry

The line drawing you posted rings a bell, I'm thinking it might have been in an issue of the Formation Sign?

Graham
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Old 26-12-21, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
There is also this from January 1945

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205124031

Reads "THE FIRST BRITISH LIBERATION ARMY LEAVE PARTY TO ARRIVE IN BRITAIN FROM NORTH WEST EUROPE, 1 JANUARY 1945"

Tim
IWM has another photo with the same date titled :

"D.DAY MEN HOME ON THE FIRST LEAVE BOAT"

"Boarding the train , on route for the port."

Unfortunately there is no info about where it was taken , trains were running from Paris to the Ports (first 'leave train' from Milan was 23/7/45) but would they have had NAAFI buffet cars ?

Another IWM photo shows :

"ATS trained NAAFI girls in Hamburg"

It is dated 27/5/45 , shortly after the BLA was redesignated to become the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in August 1945.

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Old 26-12-21, 11:06 AM
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Attached is a poor copy of a copy of an illustration for the article "Women's War Work With The Army: Additional Notes" by Ernest J Martin which appeared in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research.
The accompanying note stated "In addition to the "Mobile Canteen" designation previously described, a similar one bearing the inscription "B.L.A. Buffet Cars" was worn by female staff serving on leave trains."
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  #11  
Old 26-12-21, 11:23 AM
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Graham, I have just dug out my copy of the Formation Sign, issue 281 Jan-Mar 2021 and on page 20 is a picture of the B.L.A. BUFFET CAR shoulder title that I am looking for. How I missed that one I don't know seeing that I had some input in that issue
Thanks for the info.
Jerry
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Old 26-12-21, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engr9266 View Post
Formation Sign, issue 281 Jan-Mar 2021 and on page 20 is a picture of the B.L.A. BUFFET CAR shoulder title that I am looking for.
Does it contain any further info about the title ?

Perhaps the new member NAAFI BL&S might have some details ?

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=87837


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Old 26-12-21, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
Does it contain any further info about the title ?

Perhaps the new member NAAFI BL&S might have some details ?

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=87837


.
Mike, I have scanned the page, attached, but you might need to expand it as the information is the last paragraph with the title.
Jerry
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Old 26-12-21, 06:20 PM
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Thanks Jerry an interesting article but (being a devil's advocate ) I'll keep hunting around for evidence/photos showing it actually being worn.

Quote:
some - wearing the arm title shown - served on Europe's railways staffing buffet cars for service personnel on leave or heading home for demobilisation.
Timeline

There appears to be some confusion about dates , the article says the NAAFI Advance party landed in Normandy on 4th August 1944 , yet other sources state :

Quote:
NAAFI opened its first base canteen in the village of Sully, near Bayeux on July 1, 1944.
Quote:
On 13 July eight Bulk Issue Stores were opened and the first two mobile canteens started operating


Also ,the first "leave train" was 1st January 1945 but where did it depart from , and when would the first soldiers be heading home to be demobbed ?

So , which of "Europe's railways" had canteen cars , how long did they operate (till May 1945 ??) and how many staff would have worn the title ?


More research needed !

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  #15  
Old 02-01-22, 01:43 PM
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There is little evidence in all of the publications from NAAFI (I have in excess of 600) that show or mention this badge. I will say that this could have been a test badge which was never worn or the lovely re-enactor types, making it up as they go along, so people know who they are representing. I will say there are many badges like this, that are not official and weeding them out is tough when all that is available is a drawing or a replica!

If i find hard evidence I will post up and share. If you guys get anything do let me know.

(I'm not getting notifications from the forum yet so feel free to contact directly)

Sue
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