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  #1  
Old 22-02-21, 01:46 PM
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Post Royal Arillery date help

My cousin in Australia has just sent me this postcard showing my grandad (standing 2nd from the right) and mates, presumably his Battery, but there is no information on the back of the card to say when and where taken. The back simply has grandad’s name and address and the order details for the photography company (Lattis Manufacturing Co.). I’ve never seen the photo before, thrilling to receive it.

I wondered if there may be some clues from the badges, and the truck, which could perhaps pinpoint when this photo is most likely to have been taken? Impossible, I think, to see how the location can be ascertained, of course, but, as his service records for both terms show, every year he attended annual summer training camps, so it could possibly have been taken at one of those.

He served two spells with the Territorial Royal Artillery, the first from 1923 - 1927, re-enlisting in 1934, which later events, of course, effectively then saw him through to 1945. I first thought the photo was taken during his 1920s service, mainly because, to my untrained eye, the uniforms just seemed nearer to WW1 era in appearance. I think the puttees influenced me with that. In the 1920s he served with, or rather enlisted into, 364 Bty, 91st (4th London) Brigade, RFA.

However, I now think, but am not certain, that the photo may more likely be from his second spell in the 1930s, when he was in 368 Battery, 92 Field Regt, although I am thinking pre-war? The main reason I think this is the number plate. I read, albeit on Wiki so it could be inaccurate, that three-letter prefixes on U.K. number plates were not introduced until 1932. I believe I can read “Morris Commercial” on the front of the truck but I don’t know what model this one is.

Some of the badges can be made out, clearly one man wears the Gun Layer badge and I think, but am not sure, that the soldier sat down on the right may have the 1st Prize badge for driving on his sleeve? I also think, but am again not sure as a tad blurry, that the men are wearing a brass T above RA on their shoulders? Would this also indicate a specific time frame?

One more thing, probably a stupid question,but I note that grandad and many of the others have a leather strap running from right shoulder to left waist and the same, or another, leather strap that hangs vertically under the left epaulette - any idea what these straps were for? Just for a water bottle or other basic equipment, or is it simply because it looks smart?

I also simply hope that you may find the photo of some interest.

Thanks
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Old 22-02-21, 02:01 PM
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The uniform dates form 1920s or 30s as battledress did not start to be issued until 1938 and the pre war uniform was still around in 1940.

The only strap I can think of is a gas mask case - this would date it to 1938-39.
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Old 22-02-21, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
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The uniform dates form 1920s or 30s as battledress did not start to be issued until 1938 and the pre war uniform was still around in 1940.

The only strap I can think of is a gas mask case - this would date it to 1938-39.
Thank very much Alan.

Derek Barton, whose excellent Royal Artillery website you may be aware of, is also of the opinion that the photo is most likely from 1938/39. He agrees with what you say here about the uniform, and also advises that it would be most unlikely for a Territorial unit to have use of a military vehicle prior to 1938.

Great stuff, thank you.
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Old 22-02-21, 06:55 PM
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Oh, almost forgot, hopefully these are better images of the two badges I mentioned in my first post, should they be of interest.

My Grandad was appointed Driver IC in 1934, but I can’t see any badge on his sleeve.
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Old 22-02-21, 07:17 PM
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Thank very much Alan.

Derek Barton, whose excellent Royal Artillery website you may be aware of, is also of the opinion that the photo is most likely from 1938/39. He agrees with what you say here about the uniform, and also advises that it would be most unlikely for a Territorial unit to have use of a military vehicle prior to 1938.

Great stuff, thank you.
Well the s/t shows they at least of of them is TA so perhaps they are on summer camp and it belongs to another unit or they have just been mobilised.
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Old 22-02-21, 07:52 PM
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Just researched the vehicle, looks like it could be a Morris Commercial CS8 Mk1, prototype made in 1934 used until about 1942 when the cab was revised to be fully enclosed.
http://morriscommercialclub.co.uk/mi...icles/the-cs8/
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Old 22-02-21, 08:12 PM
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This is my Dad who joined the Royal Artillery TA in mid 1939. Khaki Service Dress with collar badges, white lanyard and leather waist belt. Your photo looks like TA at camp in the mid to late 1930s. Most Morris Commercial CS8 trucks were lost at Dunkirk!

Tim
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Old 22-02-21, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deejayuu View Post
Just researched the vehicle, looks like it could be a Morris Commercial CS8 Mk1, prototype made in 1934 used until about 1942 when the cab was revised to be fully enclosed.
http://morriscommercialclub.co.uk/mi...icles/the-cs8/
I think you’re right, thanks for that link.
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Old 22-02-21, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
This is my Dad who joined the Royal Artillery TA in mid 1939. Khaki Service Dress with collar badges, white lanyard and leather waist belt. Your photo looks like TA at camp in the mid to late 1930s. Most Morris Commercial CS8 trucks were lost at Dunkirk!

Tim
Cheers Tim, great photo, thanks for sharing it.

I think too that it’s at one of their training camps and the information I’ve received today from so many of you sways me very much towards 1938/39.
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Last edited by Wobbler; 22-02-21 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 22-02-21, 11:48 PM
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My Grandad was appointed Driver IC in 1934, but I can’t see any badge on his sleeve.
Apparently there’s a very good reason he wouldn’t have worn this badge pre-war - it didn’t exist until 1942, d’oh.
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