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  #1  
Old 13-09-18, 12:43 AM
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MBrockway MBrockway is offline
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Default SOLVED: Woman 'dressing up' in hybrid RAF uniform 1918-1921

Can anyone help myself and Drew-1918 (from the Great War Forum) with a cap badge and uniform puzzler?

This photo dates from approx 1918-1921. We are not certain whether it was taken in the UK or in France/Flanders, or even in the Rhineland.

It shows a woman in uniform, possibly a driver in one of the auxiliary forces, but it could also be one of those posed Sweetheart in uniform portraits one sometimes sees.

The puttees and boots counter the possibility of a civilian bus driver role or similar.

The jacket appears to be 'patrol' style with scalloped breast pockets and a sewn in cloth waist belt, but lacking epaulettes and shoulder patches. Difficult to be sure of the jacket's colour, but it does not seem to be khaki SD with a much finer surface finish.

The upper surface of the hat visor is glossy.

Other than the cap badge and possibly the buttons, there is no sign of any insignia, nor of brassards etc.

There is nothing useful written on the reverse nor in the section of the image I have cropped off.

I've done some close-ups of the head and the cap bage. The latter is also presented with the colour inverted - sometimes this helps with the badge shape.

Does anyone have any idea what this lady's role and unit might be?



All help welcome!

Mark
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Unidentified woman driver 02.jpg (32.7 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg Unidentified woman driver 03.jpg (28.4 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg Unidentified woman driver 04.jpg (6.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Unidentified woman driver 04b.jpg (8.4 KB, 12 views)

Last edited by MBrockway; 13-09-18 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Topic title updated
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  #2  
Old 13-09-18, 01:09 AM
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Maybe stating the obvious but the cap badge looks like an RAF one to me. So an RAF (WRAF) driver?
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File Type: jpg user4624_pic46813_1312111907.jpg (63.5 KB, 7 views)
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Last edited by Phil2M; 13-09-18 at 01:19 AM. Reason: Addition of brackets
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Old 13-09-18, 08:01 AM
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Looks like a lady wearing brother or boyfriend's uniform for the photo?
That was a common practise during WWI.
I note the tunic buttons up male style and the cap's too big, padded out with a scarf of similar underneath.
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Old 13-09-18, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil2M View Post
Maybe stating the obvious but the cap badge looks like an RAF one to me. So an RAF (WRAF) driver?
Thanks Phil - that certainly seems to be the badge.

I looked at RAF/WRAF, but t'Internet results were swamped with WW2 examples. My primary interest is the Army and these badges are not in K&K, which stops at the RFC!

Much appreciated.

Mark
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Old 13-09-18, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
Looks like a lady wearing brother or boyfriend's uniform for the photo?
That was a common practise during WWI.
I note the tunic buttons up male style and the cap's too big, padded out with a scarf of similar underneath.
That's a possibility we're considering too -it's what I meant by 'Sweetheart photo' etc.

The recipient of the photo was in the KRRC, ex RB. On the Western Front and then out in India till 1921 - hence my interest.

No obvious RAF connection on the recipient's side, but that does not exclude the dressing up angle.

If the photo is in Blighty, the puttees and boots seem a bit posed, or would this be the normal uniform for RAF/WRAF on Home duties?

Mark
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  #6  
Old 13-09-18, 09:07 AM
Hoot Hoot is offline
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The cap badge is that of a WO, the cap is RAF, not WRAF and the less said about those puttees the better. I would say it was just a bit of dressing up for the fun of it.
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Old 13-09-18, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBrockway View Post
That's a possibility we're considering too -it's what I meant by 'Sweetheart photo' etc.

The recipient of the photo was in the KRRC, ex RB. On the Western Front and then out in India till 1921 - hence my interest.

No obvious RAF connection on the recipient's side, but that does not exclude the dressing up angle.

If the photo is in Blighty, the puttees and boots seem a bit posed, or would this be the normal uniform for RAF/WRAF on Home duties?

Mark
Apologies, I didn't read the initial post properly, scanning "sweetheart" as a reference to the badge (small screen, fiddly key pad, stupidity)
I feel It's as you considered - dress up for the photo, man's uniform, RAF badge.
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Old 13-09-18, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
Apologies, I didn't read the initial post properly, scanning "sweetheart" as a reference to the badge (small screen, fiddly key pad, stupidity)
I feel It's as you considered - dress up for the photo, man's uniform, RAF badge.
No worries Leigh!

The RAF is terra incognita for me, but initial digging points to the jacket being entirely consistent with RAF.

One web source mentions the single pronged belt buckle was replaced by two after July 1918, which dates the jacket, though not the photo.

The hat appears to have been male issue only and never used by the WRAF. If that's correct, then the photo MUST be a posed 'Sweetheart' concoction.

Anyone disagree?


Mark
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  #9  
Old 13-09-18, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
The cap badge is that of a WO, the cap is RAF, not WRAF and the less said about those puttees the better. I would say it was just a bit of dressing up for the fun of it.
Sorry Hoot - I missed this post till just now!

Looks 100% conclusive then.

Thanks for all the inputs Folks!

Mark (and p.p. Drew-1918)
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  #10  
Old 13-09-18, 11:14 AM
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Many thanks to everyone for their help with this.

Chris
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