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  #1  
Old 21-12-20, 02:28 PM
londonclanger londonclanger is offline
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Default Identify Nurse's Uniform & Insignia

Can anyone identify the uniform of the group these nurses belong to? Interested in knowing more about the rank chevrons being worn. Photo was claimed to be early second world war circa. 1940.
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  #2  
Old 21-12-20, 04:23 PM
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It's hard to see detail in the photo, but I would say they are VADs with the BRCS due to the light color of their dress.

Several things indicate this. The main one is the style of head covering. That was a very unique style worn only by the VAD at that time. It was sort of wrapped around the head and tied in the back. They often had a red cross on the front of their apron, but I have seen pictures of them with and without that.

The light color of the dress, might be light blue which was the color dress worn by BRCS VADs. The St John Ambulance VADs wore a gray dress.

Here are some pictures that show the VAD headdress.







Terry

Last edited by Home Guard; 21-12-20 at 04:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 21-12-20, 04:29 PM
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Terry,

The BRCS and VADs didnt have a Chevrons rank system.

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Old 21-12-20, 09:30 PM
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Manchesters, I am not able to see any rank chevrons in the original picture posted, so can't comment on them.

The handkerchief cap still smacks of a VAD.

"Initially it was difficult to distinguish trained military nurses from VADs and in consequence the Joint War committee introduced a new type of cap in late 1915. This was of the handkerchief type and was tied at the nape of the neck. This style of headgear became strongly associated with the Great War VAD."

They did wear stripes, but I don't believe they were chevrons. At least none of the pictures I've found show only horizontal stripes. Also, through both wars I understand all QA's were officer rank, so would not be wearing chevrons.

"In 1917 a series of white stripes, worn on the sleeve, was introduced for VADs to wear, indicating length of service. Later these were accompanied by stripes in red or blue, indicating that their Matron or Commanding Officer had certified them as ‘efficient’."

This is the information I have, and what makes me think they are VADs.

Terry

PS - I just enhanced the photo and can now see what do look like chevrons on the girl on the right, her left arm. Cannot explain it, as the headscarf would not be a style I would expect a QA to wear so as not to be confused with being a VAD.

Last edited by Home Guard; 21-12-20 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 21-12-20, 09:32 PM
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Have you read the original request in post 1?

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Old 21-12-20, 09:39 PM
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Hi Terry
In the original picture the nurse on the right as you look has chevrons on her left arm, what looks like 2 or 3 white on a dark ( red??) background??
Looks a post WW1 picture to me ?
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Old 21-12-20, 10:04 PM
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OK, may have found he answer to he chevrons. In looking back through my notes, I found this entry for an Australian VAD uniform in WW2.

"...on the right arm are two woven chevrons denoting the rank of corporal. "

Therefore, that seems to indicate they are Australian VAD nurses. I also accept that I am totally wrong on al points???

Terrry
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Old 21-12-20, 11:35 PM
londonclanger londonclanger is offline
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Definitely a WW2-period photo as the owner of the photo is the son of the nurse on the right.

As she has chevrons on her left arm the Aussie VAD ranks issue isn't correct.
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Old 22-12-20, 02:50 AM
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OK, then I am at a loss. But, I but will be very interested to find out for sure for my own education. Hopefully someone will have an answer.

Terry
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Old 22-12-20, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by londonclanger View Post
Can anyone identify the uniform of the group these nurses belong to? Interested in knowing more about the rank chevrons being worn. Photo was claimed to be early second world war circa. 1940.
Quote:
Originally Posted by londonclanger View Post
Definitely a WW2-period photo as the owner of the photo is the son of the nurse on the right.
Maybe dumb questions but was this definitely a British nursing unit and WW2 ?

Reason I ask is that the first non commissioned ranks were admitted to the QARANC in July 1950.


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  #11  
Old 22-12-20, 11:24 AM
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From the photo owner:

"Mother qualified at St Luke's, Lowestoft but she must have spent time at Dulwich Hospital given that her address was 90b Tulse Hill SW2

Service Number - 110302

Seniority Date - 27.6.41
"

Interesting a 'Service Number' is quoted - will dig further.
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Old 22-12-20, 12:38 PM
londonclanger londonclanger is offline
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The nurse in question married and had a child in 1941/2 and left nursing (not a nurse in the 1950s).

A second photo attached - taken between 1936 & 1941 but thought to be wartime.
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Old 22-12-20, 12:43 PM
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Really interesting thread . A name would be useful but understand if family don't want it posted.

Found a couple of sites that 'may' be helpful :

Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) Officers
1939-1945


Army Nurses

I don't know if TANS (Territorial Army Nursing Service ) had N.C.O's ?

Could the 'Service Number' actually be her Royal College of Nursing registration number ? A lot of nurses received an "emergency commission" during the war when they joined the army , so that could explain the 'seniority date' ?

"At the beginning of World War II, nurses held officer status with equivalent rank, but were not commissioned officers. In 1941, emergency commissions and a rank structure were created, conforming with the structure used in the rest of the British Army. Nurses were given rank badges and were now able to be promoted to ranks from Lieutenant through to Brigadier".

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Old 22-12-20, 01:23 PM
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Uniform does not appear to be RC VAD, so the obvious conclusion is that she is a civilian nurse and not associated with any military unit. Some private hospitals did have there own uniforms and the three stripes may simply indicate some sort of seniority.
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Old 22-12-20, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by londonclanger View Post
From the photo owner:

"[I]Mother qualified at St Luke's, Lowestoft but she must have spent time at Dulwich Hospital given that her address was 90b Tulse Hill SW2
Found a photo from a Mirror article about the NHS , described as :
"Nurses at Dulwich Hospital are given a preview of the uniforms they will wear in the future as soon as their present ones wear out."

NHS at 65

Looks later than initial post but there may have been an earlier association with rank/seniority.


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