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Old 09-02-12, 12:50 AM
Wyn vdSchee Wyn vdSchee is offline
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Location: Kingston, ON, Canada
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Default PPCLI Officer at Downton Abbey

In the penultimate episode of Downton Abbey, broadcast in North America on Sunday 5 February, a surprise character arrives at the officers' convalescent hospital that occupies most of the house from which the series takes its name. The character purports to be the disappeared heir to the estate and title, previously reported lost on the Titanic. His story is that he was rescued, suffered from amnesia and ended up in Canada. At the outbreak of the First World War, he joined the PPCLI, and was eventually wounded. The shock of the wounds caused his memory to return, which led to his request to be treated at the Downton Abbey convalescent hospital. All of this occurs some time in 1918.
On his uniform he is wearing collar badges of the same size and pattern as the Marguerite pattern cap badge. According to the local PPCLI expert, Major (ret'd) Lou Grimshaw, these were the collar badges worn up to nearly the end of 1917. However, by 1918 the officers were wearing the silver and gilt bugle horns collar badges, with which we are familiar to-day. Unless the officer was not serving with the battalion, he should have acquired and been wearing the new collar badges, which incidentally were designed by Princess Patricia herself. The other ranks continued to wear the general service maple leaf collar badges until after the end of the War.
The point to be made here is that the British producer of Downton Abbey appears to have done his research, and made an effort to be as historically accurate as he could. This is in contrast to the Canadian production, Bomb Girls, in which we have an RCAF AC2 claiming that he is going overseas to join his battalion at the front.
My rant for the day; my apologies for its length.
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Old 09-02-12, 01:10 AM
QSAMIKE's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Home of the New West, Canada
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Good Evening Wyn.....

Saw the same episode and the first thing that I looked at was the collar badges.... He was supposed to have been wounded in early to mid 1917 and then on to Downton Abbey..... Where were the PPCLI in mid 1917???? Still I like the series..... Bomb Girls I will not comment on......

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Old 09-02-12, 05:39 PM
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David Tremain David Tremain is offline
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There was an article that appeared, I think in the Daily Telegraph, about an ex-Army officer who is the military advisor on 'Downton Abbey'. On the Canadian Soldiers forum there has been some discussion about 'Bomb Girls', and someone called Dean who was an advisor. He implies that giving advice does not necessarily mean that the producers will take it.

The two programmes differ (I have not watched the second series of 'Downton Abbey' yet and gave up on 'Bomb Girls' after the first episode because it was so bad) in their attention to detail and getting it right.

In just about every war film and the like there are inaccuracies of some sort, and we could start a separate section on that. It's too bad the producers of these programmes don't take the time to research this aspect properly. After all, other aspects, such as domestic (for want of a better word) costumes seem well-researched. Why not the military? Perhaps it's because with the Army, at least, whether it be Canadian, British or whatever, there are so many variations and permutations of uniforms and badges that the producers end up going for something more generic because who's going to know? The average viewer isn't going to know - or care. However, we're all so finely tuned to this sort of thing that it rankles when they get it wrong.

OK, enough said.
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Old 08-08-20, 04:02 PM
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Phillip Herring Phillip Herring is offline
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A detail not related to Canadian badges, but in the second series there is a concert held for the wounded and convalescing officers. Imagine my horror (or perhaps glee) when I saw a member of the audience wearing Intelligence Corps collar badges on his service dress. A time continuum miracle.
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Old 08-08-20, 05:09 PM
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Bill A Bill A is offline
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Perhaps it was an cross-over episode... with the Tardis...
Res ipsa loquitur
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Old 08-08-20, 07:52 PM
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irish irish is offline
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As a Yank my wife and I loved all of the Downton Abbey episodes. Bomb Girls was a bit tough to sit through but done nonetheless. I try not to get too Hung up on the insignia with any of the shows we watch. However I will point out at times when they have done a good job.
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