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  #1  
Old 03-10-11, 06:53 AM
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Default BEF Slip on shoulder titles

I'm currently reading "Dunkirk to the Rhineland" "Diaries and Sketches of Sergeant C S Murrell, Welsh Guards" Edited by Nick Murrell.

And I spotted this

Whilst at barracks near Shrivenham after returning from Dunkirk.

"7 June 1940

Hawkers have been around the barracks and village flogging small worsted tabs that slide over the shoulder straps of a battledress blouse, and a number of men have bought them. They are lettered 'BEF'. There is something very distastful about such exhibitionism, or opportunism, in a defeated army, or in a victorious one for that matter. The badges are quite unofficial, though the authorities have not banned their use. I was glad to note that none of the guardsmen here sported one of these tabs."

So far its a very good read, my father obtained a copy because he used to live next door to the Murrells in Castle terrace, Pevensey after the war.

Rob.

Last edited by Rob Miller; 03-10-11 at 02:10 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 03-10-11, 08:54 PM
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Default BEF Title

Possibly this item?
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  #3  
Old 04-10-11, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
Possibly this item?
I guess so.

I wonder if there is any evidense that they were worn in France & Belgium prior to Dunkirk?

Rob
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  #4  
Old 22-06-16, 07:18 AM
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You're original post in this thread suggests to me that they were not.

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Originally Posted by Rob Miller View Post
I guess so.

I wonder if there is any evidense that they were worn in France & Belgium prior to Dunkirk?

Rob
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  #5  
Old 22-06-16, 07:25 AM
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Absolutely fascinating, I've often wondered about these, I was only looking at an example the other day and it appeared very much the same as other Infantry and Corps titles that were worn, in the way it had actually been made.
One wonders if some hawker or spiff simply went to one of the original manufacturer's who had a contract with the War Office and had some made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Miller View Post
I'm currently reading "Dunkirk to the Rhineland" "Diaries and Sketches of Sergeant C S Murrell, Welsh Guards" Edited by Nick Murrell.

And I spotted this

Whilst at barracks near Shrivenham after returning from Dunkirk.

"7 June 1940

Hawkers have been around the barracks and village flogging small worsted tabs that slide over the shoulder straps of a battledress blouse, and a number of men have bought them. They are lettered 'BEF'. There is something very distastful about such exhibitionism, or opportunism, in a defeated army, or in a victorious one for that matter. The badges are quite unofficial, though the authorities have not banned their use. I was glad to note that none of the guardsmen here sported one of these tabs."

So far its a very good read, my father obtained a copy because he used to live next door to the Murrells in Castle terrace, Pevensey after the war.

Rob.
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  #6  
Old 22-06-16, 07:52 AM
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There are also some embroidered red on blue versions floating around.

Maybe they were the ones mentioned and not the regular coloured black on green version?

Rob
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  #7  
Old 22-06-16, 09:01 AM
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Default BEF TITLES

1 ERY (East Riding Yeomanry) were issued Red on Khaki or Red on Green BEF slip on titles according to the Book, ''Forrard'', by Paul mace, possibly in the absence of ERY slip on titles as I hardly think deception would play a part as the ERY cap badge was being worn.

I assume therefore that some other units were also issued them, of course other than the Regimental rear echelon 1 ERY were lost in one of the rear-guard actions covering the withdrawal of the BEF to Dunkirk, the Regiment subsequently being reformed from 2 ERY.

I have only ever seen the Black on Khaki, red on Khaki and red on green, it is quite possibly some of which may have been acquired post Dunkirk.

Kind Regards,

FMT600
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  #8  
Old 22-06-16, 12:58 PM
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Hello Rob,
I don't think that I have ever seen any photographic evidence that they were ever worn by any member of the BEF, in fact the vast majority of photographs of the members of the BEF that I have seen, suggest that the slip on worsted type titles were not being worn by it's members.
Clearly, more research is needed, but, going back to you're original post, I'd certainly be very surprised to see any Guardsman wearing them.
Regards Frank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Miller View Post
There are also some embroidered red on blue versions floating around.

Maybe they were the ones mentioned and not the regular coloured black on green version?

Rob
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  #9  
Old 22-06-16, 01:01 PM
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Could there have been a version for overseas NAAFI or other support organisations to distinguish volunteering to serve outside the UK?

Rob
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  #10  
Old 22-06-16, 01:12 PM
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Rob,
I always keep an open mind on this sort of thing, but, again the quote from the book you were reading is a real eye opener for me, at least, it certainly suggests these things were around in 1940 and cannot be dismissed.
Kind regards Frank
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  #11  
Old 22-12-18, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Miller View Post
I'm currently reading "Dunkirk to the Rhineland" "Diaries and Sketches of Sergeant C S Murrell, Welsh Guards" Edited by Nick Murrell.........................
..................So far its a very good read, my father obtained a copy because he used to live next door to the Murrells in Castle terrace, Pevensey after the war.

Rob.
A very belated post and of no great relevance to the insignia in question........... I bought the book for my father a few years ago - he also knew Sgt Murrell, from their service in 1WG during the 1940's.
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  #12  
Old 31-08-19, 09:05 AM
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Rob,
I love information like this - thank you. A real gold nugget. I've seen (rarely) these BEF slip-on titles at fairs and on-line, etc, and wondered about them.
Clearly unofficial and made available by "hawkers", my guess is that these are quite scarce and should be picked up, even if only for their historical relevance by us collectors/historians?
Thank you again.
Ken
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  #13  
Old 31-08-19, 11:08 AM
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..some examples for you
All the best
Steve
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File Type: jpg 20190831_120454-1.jpg (67.4 KB, 4 views)
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