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  #1  
Old 23-03-19, 11:14 PM
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Default QARNNS Officers Waistbelt Clasp QC

The above clasp has been eluding me for many years. I know it exists as I have seen pictures of it, but have not seen one come up for sale.

Does anyone have one in their collection?

I have the Victorian Crown version and the Kingís Crown one and both the white metal and chrome plated ward dress clasps.
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  #2  
Old 24-03-19, 08:17 AM
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hi
sorry i dont have one but there were a few several years ago on ebay uk.
the seller had about 20 different buckles.
i bought all the aussie ones.
are you saying you have the Victorian Crown version which was worn by the QARNNS?
bc
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  #3  
Old 24-03-19, 02:42 PM
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Hi!

The Victorian QARNNS belt clasp you have is not in fact for QARNNS at all as they didn't come into existence until 1902. The first belt clasp worn was the King's Crown version you show.

The Victorian clasp is actually the sword belt clasp of the Naval Forces of the colony of Victoria in Australia. Their belt clasps and buttons were all in silver. I have both the Victorian Naval Forces sword belt clasp and the dirk belt clasp (slightly smaller) in my collection.

Following the King's Crown version came the Queen's Crown version - that is the one you appear to be missing.

Until 1962 all members of QARNNS were officers. It was in that year that a QARNNS Ratings Branch was established and it was in that year that the training of QARNNS ratings as State Registered Nurses and State Enrolled Nurses commenced. These wore the third of the belt clasps you show.

I have examples of all the belt clasps. Until a few years ago they were fairly easy to find but like all QARNNS badges and insignia they are now much more scarce. But they do turn up so keep looking!

Pete
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  #4  
Old 24-03-19, 06:17 PM
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Hi Pete,
You are partially correct in your information regarding the QARNNS been formed in 1902. The 1902 date is when they were renamed Queen Alexandra's Royal Navy Nursing service when Queen Alexandra became president of the nursing staff. They were actually formed in 1884 as the Navy Nursing Service and photographic evidence does show the silver QVC belt buckle been worn.

They also wore the Geneva red cross on white circle, all on a black silk rosette armband as badge. I have one of these in my collection.

Regards
Steven
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  #5  
Old 24-03-19, 07:29 PM
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Default QARNNS WBC

I should have stated that the Victorian one was not QARNNS, but from the Naval Nursing Service.

As stated the QARNNS were not formed until 1902, apologies for any confusion.

Itís good to know there are some of the QC versions out there, I will continue to search.
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  #6  
Old 24-03-19, 10:45 PM
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The Naval Nursing Service reached it's largest size in 1900 - at which point there were only 29 Sisters in the service. Yes, it is true that from 1889 onwards all qualified Sisters were on the Navy List (i.e., recognised as officers) but I can find no record of them wearing waistbelt clasps similar to those we are discussing. Don't get me wrong - I would love to find out they did!

The uniform is listed as being a navy-blue serge dress, white apron, small navy-blue serge shoulder capes and white frilled caps with strings. They wore a badge with a white 'Geneva' cross on a white background on their right arm (on an armband as described by Milmed). From the 1890s they also had a summer uniform consisting of a white blouse and blue skirt. The uniform was changed when the service became QARNNS.

I love the fact that the Sisters were addressed as 'Madam' by both staff and patients!

If anyone has any pictures of members of the Naval Nursing Service I would really appreciate seeing them. Anything to help boost the limited information I have on the Naval Nursing Service!

One point does bother me - if they did wear a silver waistbelt clasp, how would you differentiate between the ones they wore and the ones worn by the Victorian Naval Forces? This was a proportionately much larger service with more officers than the Naval Nursing Service and a significant amount of their insignia does turn up in the UK. In other words, can you be sure that what you have is actually a Naval Nursing Service waistbelt clasp?

Pete
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  #7  
Old 24-03-19, 11:16 PM
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I have just had a good look at the one image of Naval Nursing Service personnel I have. This shows them in their pre-QARNNS uniform and was taken at RNH Haslar. Several nurses are shown in the photograph - some seated and some standing. Several are wearing waistbelt clasps but none appear to be similar to the Victorian waistbelt clasp shown. In fact they appear to be in several shapes and sizes and most appear to be rectangular in shape rather than round. They seem to resemble the ornate waistbelt clasps worn by all female UK nurses until comparatively recently.

The image I have is quite small and I will try and enlarge it tomorrow and post it.

If anyone has any images of the pre-QARNNS Naval Nursing Service then please post them as hopefully they may be clearer than the image I have!

Pete
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  #8  
Old 25-03-19, 02:57 AM
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Thanks for the extra info Pete. I remember seen a picture many years ago of the group of NNS sisters at Haslar and may have got confused with the belt buckle. I do remember them wearing belt buckles and i suspect you are correct in pointing out that the buckles may be the ornate silver nurse buckles of the time and not a silver RN type with Victorian crown.

Regards
Steven
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  #9  
Old 25-03-19, 07:28 AM
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Morning all!

I have managed to enlarge the photograph of the Naval Nursing Sisters at RNH Haslar and will be scanning it in later. There are nine Sisters in the photograph, including a Head Sister. Three appear to be wearing rectangular 'civilian' style ornate nurses buckles. One appears to be wearing what could possibly be a silvered naval officers buckle and five aren't wearing any obvious buckle at all - including the Head Sister. As this picture shows nine of the then twenty-nine sisters then serving it hardly suggests that a silvered VQC buckle was standard issue! Civilian nurses always traditionally bought their own buckles and as the Naval Nursing Service was established as a civilian one (its Sisters being recruited from civilian hospitals and not being required to "join the navy" in the sense of not being subject to the Naval Discipline Act) I feel that this was the case with the Naval Nursing Service.

The Sister who appears to be wearing a 'naval' buckle could well have purchased hers herself - either by having a standard officers buckle silvered or maybe even wearing one from the Naval Forces of Victoria as she may have thought it appropriate!

Further research I have undertaken suggests that naval waistbelt clasps were NOT worn on a regular basis by members of the Naval Nursing Service during the Victorian period.

Section VIII of the "Regulations for the female Nursing Staff in the Royal Naval Hospitals at Haslar and Plymouth" published in 1884, lists full details of the uniform to be issued to members of the Naval Nursing Service and how and when the uniform was to be worn. No mention is made of VQC naval waistbelt clasps.

And I have had to change my earlier comment that Sisters of the Naval Nursing Service were considered to be naval officers (and therefore entitled to wear a naval officers waistbelt clasp) by being placed on the Navy List. They were only considered "officers of the hospitals, taking a position immediately after the surgeons". Initially they were put on the Established List of the Civil Service and were only added to the Navy List out of courtesy! And from 1884 to 1889 only the names of the Head Sisters were included.

As I said, this now leads me to believe that VQC waistbelt clasps were not routinely worn by members of the Naval Nursing Service. They are not included in any lists of their uniform and the fact one nurse amongst several others appears to be wearing one does not constitute enough evidence to say that all members of the Naval Nursing Service wore such a clasp. I therefore feel that my original comment is correct. The Victorian clasp which featured in the original image at the beginning of this discussion is NOT a Naval Nursing Service clasp, but is in all probabilty a swordbelt clasp from the Naval Forces of Victoria.

I'll put the image up later and then I'll shut-up on this topic before I become even more boring!

Pete

Last edited by Guzzman; 25-03-19 at 07:30 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake!
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  #10  
Old 25-03-19, 10:05 AM
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hi guys
my point was i was unsure/doubted the nurses would have worn the QVC buckle even if they did and it was worn by the Naval Forces of the colony of Victoria in Australia, its still a bloody rare item.
bc
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  #11  
Old 25-03-19, 10:18 AM
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Here are the images I said I would post.

The large image shows a group photograph of all the Sisters of the Naval Nursing Service serving at RNH Haslar in 1900 - that is nearly one-third of all members of the Naval Nursing Service. Most don't seem to be wearing any type of ornate waistbelt clasp at all. Those that are are mainly wearing civilian style nurses buckles. Only one appears to be wearing what looks like a naval officers waistbelt clasp.

The second image is a close-up of one of the nurses buckles being worn. It is obviously not a naval officers style of waistbelt clasp.

The final image shows what does appear to be a naval officers style of waistbelt clasp. Such a clasp is not listed in any documentation relating to the uniform of the Naval Nursing Service. One would have expected that, if it were official issue, ALL the Sisters in the photograph would have been wearing one and they obviously aren't. This leads me to believe that this clasp has been privately purchased by the Sister wearing it. She has either had a standard RN waistbelt clasp silvered or is wearing one from the Naval Forces of Victoria because it is suitably naval and the right colour. The fact that this Sister is wearing one does not, in my opinion, enable us to say that such a waistbelt clasp is THE waistbelt clasp of the Naval Nursing Service.

And now I'll shut up!

Pete
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  #12  
Old 25-03-19, 10:23 AM
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Sorry Badge Collector, just spotted your last comment!

You are right - even as a waistbelt clasp from the Naval Forces of Victoria it is a rare item and a great piece to have in anyone's collection. I certainly didn't mean to infer otherwise. I'm certainly very pleased to have both the swordbelt and dirkbelt versions.

Pete
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  #13  
Old 25-03-19, 10:23 AM
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Hi Pete,
Thank you for your detailed summary of the early NNS and there uniforms.
I too retract my statement that the QVC buckle was worn by nursing sisters.

I have looked at some QARNNS images pre WWII and it appears that even these nurses are not wearing silver KC RN buckles, but wore ornate 'civilian' type buckles. WWII images of QARNNS show the KC RN buckle in silver been worn, so maybe it only became an issued item around WWII and prior to this may have been private purchase.

A positive point for me is that I no longer need to be on the lookout for a silver QVC RN buckle...

Steven
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