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Old 05-10-09, 02:57 PM
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Default Medical (Sick Berth) branch

Pre 1950, the Medical branch was made up of Sick Berth Stewards (SBS) until approx WWI, then Sick Berth Attendants (SBA).

These ratings entered directly from civilian life & some might have had previous training in a medical field. Their rate badge was a red cross & it appeared in 1885.
In 1911 specialist letters made their appearance above the cross, these being:
L (Laboratory att’d), M (Masseur), O(Operating Rm att’d), & in 1933 X (X-Ray Ass’t).
These rates remained pretty constant until after WWII when the branch badges changed & the letters were moved to below the cross logo & more specialty letters were added.
If a Sick berth rating elected not to specialize he wore the plain red cross rate badge his entire career. No stars or crown was added below or above the cross until 1949.

Examples of Sick Berth rates circa WWI & between the wars period.
The smaller gold wire rate is a CPO lapel badge.

The rate badges with the letters above are very rare.

Bryan
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File Type: jpg SBA rates WWI.jpg (38.3 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg SBA rates.jpg (40.8 KB, 33 views)
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