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  #31  
Old 18-05-22, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by High Wood View Post
Agreed, I too think that he is wearing his Silver War Badge, but he shouldn't be as it was not issued for wear on uniform.

The photograph looks as if he has perhaps re-enlisted and is wearing everything that he is entitled to wear in a one off studio portrait.
Hi

Just wondering if he may have been working in some marshalling function. The Corps of Commissionaires would sometimes do the duty of doormen in upper class hotels.

I have a newspaper photo (sadly of terrible quality) of a member of the Corps wearing his full size MC, DCM and trio (where's that gone I wonder?), white gloves and a uniform very similar to this one. He was photographed outside a well-known hotel in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wearing the SWB (with a safety chain, I think) would have told anyone that he "done his bit".

A local body politician in the 1930's used to use a photo of him wearing his SWB so that he might get the vote of ex-servicemen!
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  #32  
Old 18-05-22, 11:11 AM
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Hi

Just wondering if he may have been working in some marshalling function. The Corps of Commissionaires would sometimes do the duty of doormen in upper class hotels.

I have a newspaper photo (sadly of terrible quality) of a member of the Corps wearing his full size MC, DCM and trio (where's that gone I wonder?), white gloves and a uniform very similar to this one. He was photographed outside a well-known hotel in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wearing the SWB (with a safety chain, I think) would have told anyone that he "done his bit".

A local body politician in the 1930's used to use a photo of him wearing his SWB so that he might get the vote of ex-servicemen!
I’ve only seen the actual “Corps of Commissionaires” in a dark blue uniform since their inception, but I know that the idea spread to the Dominions with offshoots set up. Are you saying that the New Zealand equivalent wore khaki? I will be very interested and surprised if they did. The earlier suggestion of Canadian Legion seems a good one.

Last edited by Toby Purcell; 18-05-22 at 11:18 AM.
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  #33  
Old 18-05-22, 11:07 PM
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Hi

No, I was only suggesting that he may have been performing a similar duty to the Corps. I do accept that the "C L" was for the Canadian Legion.

Yes, you are correct in that even though the photo is pretty poor the uniform he is wearing is a dark colour so most likely blue.

My interest was sparked by a friend showing me a Corps hat badge and this led to seeking out info on the Corps.

I was also struck by the gentleman wearing his full size medals!
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  #34  
Old 19-05-22, 09:06 AM
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Hi

No, I was only suggesting that he may have been performing a similar duty to the Corps. I do accept that the "C L" was for the Canadian Legion.

Yes, you are correct in that even though the photo is pretty poor the uniform he is wearing is a dark colour so most likely blue.

My interest was sparked by a friend showing me a Corps hat badge and this led to seeking out info on the Corps.

I was also struck by the gentleman wearing his full size medals!
It’s interesting what you said and set me off looking to see if I could find any NZ Corps of Commissionaires, but I had no luck. Perhaps they were called something else, as it does seem likely that there was an equivalent.
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  #35  
Old 19-05-22, 10:48 AM
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The second photo might then relate to a commissionaire type employment in the early days of the Canadian Legion when it was set up in 1925 as an adjunct of the British Empire Overseas League of ex Servicemen.
An interesting paragraph from "The Commissionaires: An Organization with a Proud History" edited by John Gardam.
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  #36  
Old 19-05-22, 10:57 AM
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It’s interesting what you said and set me off looking to see if I could find any NZ Corps of Commissionaires, but I had no luck. Perhaps they were called something else, as it does seem likely that there was an equivalent.
Hi Toby

I think that they were called the NZ Corps of Commissionaires. They had a great big silver plated cap badge, much like the traffic officers of my youth. They (the traffic guys!) rode motorbikes and wore jodhpurs......

Look, given that you are as interested as I am, I'll post that photo when I find it. The guy's name was, again going from memory, Captain Howden or Houston.

I think he got his decorations with the Royal Scots.
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  #37  
Old 19-05-22, 11:06 AM
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Default Captain B Houston

Hi Toby

Here we go! Possibly THE worst photo you'll ever see but you can make out the badge and the medals...just.

He was Captain Benjamin HOUSTON and he served with the Royal Highlanders. While looking for info on him, I found a post on a family history website from someone claiming to be a relative and wondering where his medals had gone to...

Oh and the hotel was in Auckland. Article is from 14 February, 1934.
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  #38  
Old 19-05-22, 12:17 PM
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Hi Toby

I think that they were called the NZ Corps of Commissionaires. They had a great big silver plated cap badge, much like the traffic officers of my youth. They (the traffic guys!) rode motorbikes and wore jodhpurs......

Look, given that you are as interested as I am, I'll post that photo when I find it. The guy's name was, again going from memory, Captain Howden or Houston.

I think he got his decorations with the Royal Scots.
Photo of badge :

.
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  #39  
Old 19-05-22, 12:37 PM
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From : SUN (AUCKLAND), VOLUME IV, ISSUE 1033, 25 JULY 1930

.
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  #40  
Old 19-05-22, 10:42 PM
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If you are interested in CoC uniform and medals etc, have a look in my album. Some fairly rare images there. It seems fairly common for them to wear full sized medals.
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  #41  
Old 20-05-22, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
Hi Toby

Here we go! Possibly THE worst photo you'll ever see but you can make out the badge and the medals...just.

He was Captain Benjamin HOUSTON and he served with the Royal Highlanders. While looking for info on him, I found a post on a family history website from someone claiming to be a relative and wondering where his medals had gone to...

Oh and the hotel was in Auckland. Article is from 14 February, 1934.
Thank you, I must admit I was surprised that I couldn’t find anything online. It just goes to show that not everything can easily be tracked down.
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  #42  
Old 20-05-22, 07:54 AM
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Photo of badge :

.
Thank you Mike, it’s very interesting to see the insignia in full. Also the newspaper/documentary articles. It seems a shame that the NZ Commissionaires don’t appear to exist anymore.
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  #43  
Old 20-05-22, 08:49 AM
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Thank you Mike, it’s very interesting to see the insignia in full. Also the newspaper/documentary articles. It seems a shame that the NZ Commissionaires don’t appear to exist anymore.
I'd love to see the Canadian newspaper photo of the "three Legionnaires in uniform" but I don't have the time (or patience) to go through the 322 issues of the 1926 Evening Telegram that are available on line.

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  #44  
Old 20-05-22, 10:34 AM
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From : SUN (AUCKLAND), VOLUME IV, ISSUE 1033, 25 JULY 1930

.
Hi Mike

Well done! I think I'd missed that bit from the papers and, yes, that is the badge that I saw.

The article mentions Major General George Richardson. He is buried in a large local soldier's cemetery amongst other ex-servicemen with no special memorial.

The name "Inder" features in that same article and he was the lawyer for the Auckland Returned Soldier's Association. A friend recognised his service number on a small association badge and bought that off an online auction.
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