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  #1  
Old 09-11-21, 09:59 AM
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Default OWS, but what company?

Hi

Attached are scans of two OWS badges that share a similarity in design but attempts to identify them have so far proved fruitless. Badges are a little bigger than the standard 1914 Admiralty pattern badge.

I was wondering if the wings and the star above might indicate companies working on contracts for a particular country (e.g. Belgium or France), as it may feature a stylised version of their pilot's wings.

So any clues as to who these companies may be?
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File Type: jpg owsair.JPG (12.8 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg owsair1.JPG (13.3 KB, 42 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-11-21, 10:05 AM
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Continuing the aircraft theme, but no prizes for identifying the company!

A very plain looking badge, I feel.
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File Type: jpg owsair3.JPG (15.6 KB, 37 views)
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  #3  
Old 09-11-21, 11:00 AM
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First thought about the 'wings' was an aviation related company but it is possibly just a decorative design to enhance a basic badge. A lot of the "generic" and railways badges have small symbols/markings on them and also have stars/dots/crosses or basic 'punctuation' marks on the outer ring.

Do the badges have any makers marks as this could narrow down the city/region where the factory/manufacturers were based.

.
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Old 09-11-21, 05:32 PM
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The white enamel badge does have strong hints of the ‘Gloucester Aircraft Company Ltd’ founded in 1917 The Company later merged with Armstrong’s. This would fit into the lettering GCCoLTD in respect of it being a WW1 badge since I believe that the merger took place after ww1. This can only be speculation on my part of course.
Cheers
James
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Old 10-11-21, 04:52 AM
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Hi Mike and James

Many thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated!

James, that identification works for me so that's one I can cross off the list.

Mike, I'll check the reverses of the badges and see what this search yields. Probably good old Fattorini....
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  #6  
Old 10-11-21, 05:43 AM
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Here is the reverse of one of the badges from my previous post (both the same, so more than likely made by the same maker). No maker's mark but a fairly distinctive "button" fitting that I've often found on earlier badges.

They sometimes feature a single, stout round post putting one in mind of a mushroom!

A variation is a more solid, oval post with the same button top.
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File Type: jpg owsreverse.JPG (12.5 KB, 5 views)
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  #7  
Old 10-11-21, 05:56 AM
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Default Another one to work on?

While I'm about it, would anyone like to hazard a guess at this, please? I did post this way back but you never know who's joined the Forum since then.....

It has a pin back to it suggesting wear by a woman and I would think that it has some nursing or maybe VAD significance .

Thoughts as always appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 10-11-21, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliedog012012 View Post
The white enamel badge does have strong hints of the ‘Gloucester Aircraft Company Ltd’ founded in 1917 The Company later merged with Armstrong’s. This would fit into the lettering GCCoLTD in respect of it being a WW1 badge since I believe that the merger took place after ww1. This can only be speculation on my part of course.
Cheers
James
G.C.Co.Ltd : What would the C represent ?

Possibly the badges are for smaller/parts companies that were subcontracted by a main manufacturer. They appear to be a 'standard' design and the 'economy' type fitting was probably cheaper than a pin/brooch type.

Quote:
1917 June. The Gloucestershire Aircraft Company was formed by A. W. Martyn and Hugh Burroughes of Airco.

As orders for aircraft increased, other companies in the Gloucester and Cheltenham district were contracted with work.

1926 The name of the company was abbreviated to the Gloster Aircraft Company because customers outside of the United Kingdom found the original name too difficult to pronounce.

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Old 10-11-21, 07:25 PM
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Mike, I do not disagree with any statement you make and I think they are accurate and pertinent to the argument. You have raised some moot points. I did say I was speculating and , it is bugging me, I have seen that badge before……..dealer, museum, badge and militaria fair…….but it was clearly identified as Gloucester. Also , the winged shape I do not accept as being purely decoration and I have seen many variations. I would love to find that badge again….at one point I convinced myself I had owned it. A trawl of my badge photos twice disillusioned me…so I would now say just this…..I am sure Gloucester aircraft is in there somewhere. Ah well….you are a far better accomplishment researcher than I Sir.
Cheers
James
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Last edited by Charliedog012012; 10-11-21 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 10-11-21, 11:28 PM
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Mike,
You have certainly piqued my interest and it it appears far more complicated than one think…..your suggestion about subcontractors and cost savings really makes one stop and ponder. There were many mergers of aircraft manufacturers during both wars and tempting offers to brilliant designers.
I am absolutely fascinated to see what ideas come. When one persons comment kickstarts someone else into action, it could be absolutely fascinating. Would the National Archives have a database of Airplane manufactures?
Cheers
James
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Last edited by Charliedog012012; 11-11-21 at 12:32 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-11-21, 12:28 AM
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Hello gents

Great to read your thoughts and see this discussion. James, I know your frustration about "I've seen/ got that badge/ photo/ article somewhere".

A really good source of lifting the cloak of anonymity on some of these badges is Grace's Guide.

No, this is not some sort of rival to Tinder...... but a very good, comprehensive listing of firms engaged in engineering in the UK.

There are sections under "automotive", "ship building", "aircraft" and just about everything else you can and can't think of.

I've spent many an hour looking through it and have often found the company. It's easier of course if they name the firm on the badge itself, but even initials can lead to a solution.
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Old 11-11-21, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliedog012012 View Post
I have seen that badge before……..dealer, museum, badge and militaria fair…….but it was clearly identified as Gloucester.
Hi guys , you know I like to play the "devil's advocate" and post some theories that are easily shot down but occasionally some that are worth checking.

G.C.Co.Ltd : If it was the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company Ltd shouldn't it be G.A.Co.Ltd ?

The Gloucestershire Aircraft Company Ltd logo is very different to the badge in question and in 1926 , when Gloucestershire was changed to Gloster , the same design was used for their badges.

I also found a photo of a "visitor" badge that was 'tentatively' identified as "GLOSTER AEROPLANE COMPANY"


NB : Sometimes dealers get it wrong but their description is taken as 'fact' and then is used as identification on other sites/listing.

One of my favourites which is currently on two reputable dealer sites :
Quote:
Non-combatants who volunteered to drive ambulances during the First World War were designated ‘His Majesty’s New Zealand Transports’ (HMNZT).

.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gloucestershire logo.jpg (38.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Gloucestershire.jpg (72.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Gloster Badges.jpg (34.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg GAC.jpg (32.2 KB, 1 views)
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Last edited by mike_vee; 12-11-21 at 06:30 AM. Reason: forgot the 'shires'
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  #13  
Old 12-11-21, 12:18 AM
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Hi Mike

Thanks again for your posts. You certainly do know where to look!

Oh yes, the good old ambulances designated HMNZT. Our little collecting group have had a really good laugh about that....

I know the one site to which you are referring and that's fairly typical of the depth of their knowledge. Problem is when it is "writ large" in one source it gets repeated.

A friend contacted them offering to sell them a nice badge (he had others but thought that he would start with one and gauge the reaction) but was told "we are unable to help you".

By the way, a big museum did a lovely book on WW1 ephemera and they showed a badge that I knew had to be WW2 as the makers didn't set up until 1921. Contacted them with a copy of a 1941 advert selling these badges, including a picture of the badge. Embarrassed silence and then a "we were relying on information supplied" answer.

Never let a good story get in the way of truth!
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  #14  
Old 12-11-21, 09:53 AM
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Default OWS badge for ?????

Anyone care to try working out this monogram? Looks like W & S Co Ltd.

I entertained the possibility that it may be Webley & Scott so can anyone offer an alternative or confirm my hunch?
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  #15  
Old 12-11-21, 10:01 AM
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Default What is R.D.S.?

This one has had me wondering for a long time. Presumably WW1, but what does the R.D.S stand for?
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