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  #1  
Old 28-04-17, 03:10 AM
Burton Burton is offline
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Default Airborne lanyard query

I've recently come across this passage in Ken Joyce's book on the Canadian Parachute Bn, "Into the Maelstrom", suggesting that before it settled down into the lanyard colours documented well elsewhere on the Forum, many of the British airborne units used an unofficial light blue lanyard.

Airborne lanyards.jpg

With this in mind I have re-assessed a service dress I own (I'm not 100% sure that it's not made up) that has such a lanyard. I previously thought it was 12th Bn, but now I'm not so sure...

DSC_1662Pinterest.jpg

Para tunic 4.jpg
Thoughts anyone?
Thanks in advance,
Burton
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  #2  
Old 28-04-17, 11:30 AM
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Hello Burton, Welcome to the Forum. Your account is active and open for posts.
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  #3  
Old 28-04-17, 06:52 PM
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Thanks Bill. I've been here before, but forgot all my login details!
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Old 29-04-17, 01:48 AM
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Hi Burton,
If I refer to Oliver Lock's book 'British Airborne Insignia', it doesn't look like 12th Bn. The structure is different as well as the color. I would say this one is more Royal blue and could be a candidate for 8th Bn.
I was wondering if members of Para units were not wearing at some point lanyards from their previous units (see http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/for...hlight=lanyard)
Pierre
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  #5  
Old 29-04-17, 05:13 PM
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Thanks Pierre,
Yes, I had wondered too if it was an 8th Bn lanyard. Previous unit eh? That might make it RAF perhaps? As regards the wonderful Lock book, I've found the lanyard section to contradict other photo and militaria evidence, and I can only conclude that there were a huge range of lanyard styles for each Battalion, some braided, some not, paracord, twisted cotton, etc. etc. - with only the colour being broadly consistent.

I've not found any corroboration for the comments in Joyce's book, but the more I learn about the ad-hoc adoption of lanyards, and how units used different colours over time, it rings true. Just wondered if anyone else had heard of airborne units initially adopting light blue lanyards.
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Old 29-04-17, 05:55 PM
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This would be the style of lanyard you're referring to. This group belonged to Pte Ralph Kerr. Obviously his best dress!

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File Type: jpg Kerr 1.jpg (36.9 KB, 54 views)
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  #7  
Old 29-04-17, 06:44 PM
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Yes indeed. And was it copied from an early generic British airborne (not 12th Bn) lanyard?
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Old 29-04-17, 07:11 PM
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Not sure but can only assume so, considering many branches of the military had similar style accoutrements before the Paras came along.
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Old 29-04-17, 07:18 PM
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Here is a pic of Kerr wearing this BD with lanyard.
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  #10  
Old 29-04-17, 07:47 PM
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Thanks! Very interesting.

I'd assumed my service dress was from between July 1943 (when the Africa star was awarded) and the end of the war when other medals were. I suppose it is possible that it dates to later 1943, about the time the Canadians were arriving and acquiring a generic light blue lanyard.
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Old 29-04-17, 08:50 PM
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I'm not so sure Para Bn lanyards were quite defined before 1945. As an example, take a look at the group photos of 1 PARA in Italy (1943) on ParaData.org and you will see quite a variety of lanyards within the same unit.
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  #12  
Old 29-04-17, 11:33 PM
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I see what you mean, and the majority seem to be quite dark, so probably not light blue anyway.
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  #13  
Old 30-04-17, 07:29 PM
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A good research topic for anyone interested. Too bad these photos are black and white!
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