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  #1  
Old 12-06-12, 11:12 AM
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Default IBC Title confusion. Letís get consensus

Hi Members,
I have been trying to make sense of the title IBC and tying up known insignia to the correct establishments.

Known establishments using title IBC:
1. Imperial Bushman Corps - Boer War(Australian)
2. Imperial Bearer Corps - Boer War
3. Indian (Stretcher) Bearer Corps - Bambatha Rebellion 1906, Natal
4. Indian Bearer Companies - WWI East Africa Campaign, under control South African Medical Corps

There are to my knowledge 4 basic variations of the title and with the help of the forum members, maybe we could match these to the above units.

Refer to attached numbered pictures.
1. Brass sheet metal title, no punctuation and letters joined by a horizontal bar on top and bottom of title.
I have attributed this to the Australian "Imperial Bushman Corps" based on the Bob Gray collection posted recently by slick_mick on this forum.
Clarity is needed as to whether these were worn as shoulder titles or slouch/smasher hat badges.

2. Brass sheet metal title, no punctuation and letters joined by a single centrally placed horizontal bar. Wire loop attachment rings.
I have attributed this to the "Imperial Bearer Corps" boer war period. This corps was raised in Natal in 1900 replacing the short lived (2-3 Months) Natal Volunteer Ambulance corps and Indian Volunteer Ambulance Corps(of Gandhi fame).
This title is very typical of Natal Volunteer titles of the period and as this was a Natal formed unit, construction seems to tie up.
Again not sure as to use - shoulder title or slouch hat badge.

3. Brass sheet metal title, no punctuation and letters joined by a single centrally placed horizontal bar. The horizontal bar is bent over at ends to form an attachment.
I have attributed this to the "Indian Bearer Companies" WWI period as this title is very typical of known WWI South African titles used in East Africa campaign.
I would say these were used as shoulder titles again based on known information of similar shoulder titles.

4. Brass cast title, no punctuation and letters joined by a horizontal bar on top and bottom of title. Similar in style to Australian bushman title, but larger and cast.
I have not been able to tie this up to any unit and assistance/thoughts would be appreciated.
Based on a recent thread on the ILH showing similar cast titles, this may well be a boer war period "Imperial Bearer Corps" title,
or it may also be a WWI "Indian Bearer Company" title as there are similar East African units with cast brass titles. Curson (1954 pg 50) ascribes this to the IBC in WWI German East Africa
The answer may lie in the method of attachment but as I do not have pictures of the reverse I cannot tell.

In many instances I have seen recorded that the IBC titles in all its forms been associated with Gandhi's unit in Boer War and Natal Rebellion of 1906.
I would like to dispute this based on the known pictures of these units and the naming of the units.
The original unit Gandhi was involved in during Boer war was very short lived (2-3 months) and was named Indian Volunteer Ambulance Corps. If they did produce a title I would have thought it would read IVAC or NIVAC.
From period photographs the uniform worn was khaki drill jacket and trousers and a slouch hat. The tunic did not have shoulder straps so no place to put a shoulder title.
Except in a few cases the slouch hats do not have an upturned brim, so also no place for a title to be displayed. Only insignia appear to be a white armband with a red cross.
During the Bambatha rebellion in 1906, the unit was named Indian Stretcher Bearer Corps. Tunics now have shoulder tabs, but do not appear to have shoulder titles. Slouch hats have a turned up brim, but I am unable to see whether a title is worn or not.
Again only distinctive insignia been the red cross armband.

Any Help appreciated
Steven
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Imperial Bushman Corps.JPG (17.1 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg Imperial Bearer Corps.jpg (51.1 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg Indian Bearer Company.JPG (42.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg IBC unknown title.jpg (25.4 KB, 26 views)

Last edited by Milmed; 14-07-15 at 06:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 13-06-12, 05:42 PM
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No one out there with an opinion or something to add
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  #3  
Old 13-06-12, 06:42 PM
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Default IBC title

Steven,
I would love to be able to add something constructive to this thread, but I've never even heard of these units before, let alone considered who wore them!

Best of luck in identifying theem, I know how frustrating this sought of research can be.

Stephen.
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  #4  
Old 13-06-12, 07:02 PM
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Thanks Stephen,
Seems my interest in the medical, dental, nursing insignia is not everyones cup of tea. Makes research interesting but difficult when getting other collectors feedback or opinions.

Steven
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  #5  
Old 14-06-12, 07:44 AM
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Default IBC Title

Steven,

Until recently I hadn't realised how many changes in Dress & Embellishments the various British Army Medical Services had undertaken since 1908, especially QAIMNS who never seemed satisfied with their uniforms. I can see it being a fascinating area to research, so best of luck.

If you are ever in the UK, the AMS museum at Mytchett is excellant. The curator is both knowledgable and approachable.
http://www.ams-museum.org.uk/museum/

Stephen.
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  #6  
Old 14-06-12, 08:45 AM
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hi steven,
i think you are probably correct with all you have said.
im not 100% sure regarding the australian version in pic 1, but if i had that title, it would be in my aussie boer war collection.
i dont think pic 4 is australian.
other than that, i agree. good job mate
bc
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  #7  
Old 14-06-12, 09:06 AM
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Steven,

I am not sure there was an Australian Imperial Bushman Corps per se. Checking Records of Australian Contingents to the War in South Africa 1899-1902 there were several "Imperial Bushman" contingents raised in some States and in South Africa, variously named The NSW Imperial Bushmen; 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen; 4th (Imperial Bushmen) Contingent -a Sth Aust unit; the 4th, 5th and 6th (Queensland Imperial Bushmen) Contingents.

Not sure if they wore an IBC shoulder title.

Regards
Chris
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  #8  
Old 14-06-12, 09:52 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Hi Steven
I can't add anything, but it's a nice collection.
Cheers,
Alex
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  #9  
Old 14-06-12, 11:16 AM
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Hi All,
Thanks for the responses.

Stephen, I have seen the AMS website and when next in UK will definately be visiting. I have family in Bromley, but last time I was in UK was in 1995 and did not know of the AMS museum. Did however visit a lot of regimental museums anf the IWM.

BC and Chris, thanks for the Aussie info. I based my reference for this title on what was displayed in precious threads showing Australian boer war titles.
Maybe it should read Imperial Bushman Contingent ?

Alex, yes nice collection but not mine. The only one of these I do have is the WWI East Africa s/t for Indian Bearer Company.

Regards
Steven
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  #10  
Old 17-06-12, 07:04 AM
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Brian Conyngham Brian Conyngham is offline
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Steven

Badge number 3 I would say is WW1, not too sure about the others however the "cast" title (4) might well have been made in East Africa? A number of badges were cast in that region during wartime.

I'm sure Natal01 recently picked one of these up variations......maybe he can post a picture of his one for comparison?

Brian

Last edited by Brian Conyngham; 17-06-12 at 07:09 AM.
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  #11  
Old 17-06-12, 07:58 AM
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The Bob Gray collection in the Army Museum of South Australia has an IBC title with the other Boer War titles - caption states Imperial Bushmen Corps.



It's a different title however.

Mick
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  #12  
Old 19-06-12, 05:42 PM
Madziro Madziro is offline
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The heavy cast titles such as the IBC one above is definately a locally produced title from the Boer War era. Have attached a few examples from my collection for interest. They are Imperial Bearer Corps, Natal Carbineers, Steinackers Horse, Border Mounted Rifles, Imperial Light Horse and the last one - The gungy looking ILH title was picked up on the battlefield at Elandslaagte in Natal.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Imperial Bearer Corps title cast brass ABW.jpg (27.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Natal Carbineers cast brass title.jpg (6.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Steinackers Horse ABW.jpg (27.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg BMR title ABW.jpg (28.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg ILH 4.jpg (29.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg ILH title.jpg (7.8 KB, 13 views)
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  #13  
Old 20-06-12, 03:26 PM
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Thanks Madziro,
So if we take info from all posts, we could make the following conclusion based on the 4 types I listed in the original post:

#1. Imperial Bushman Corps - Boer War(Australian)
#2. Imperial Bearer Corps - Boer War sheet brass
#3. Imperial Bearer Corps - Boer War cast brass
#4. Indian Bearer Companies - WWI East Africa Campaign, under control South African Medical Corps

Regards
Steven
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  #14  
Old 23-06-12, 12:28 PM
Madziro Madziro is offline
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This digresses from the original medic theme a little.

Thornicrofts Mounted Infantry (South African colonial unit) of Spionkop fame also wore a brass title on their slouch hats. I have two variations of the SA unit as per attached.

The Tasmania Mounted Infantry also wore a TMI brass title. The Queensland Imperial Bushmen wore a brass QIB title as attached.
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  #15  
Old 13-07-15, 06:26 PM
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That is correct, it is a generic slouch hat badge, but, made earlier rather than later, if you look at the original contingents, they started to arrive, in theatre, in 1899, they do normally have lugs made of rectangular copper wire and some, though, certainly not all, have a loop for the slouch hat ring, as shown in your photograph, an interesting feature of these badges is the applied detail between the letters on the "bars" both top and bottom.
Members of the various "state" bushmen soon had their own badges made, both, in South Africa and Great Britain during the Anglo Boer War and there were some really superb ones actually made before Vereeniging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_mick View Post
The Bob Gray collection in the Army Museum of South Australia has an IBC title with the other Boer War titles - caption states Imperial Bushmen Corps.



It's a different title however.

Mick

Last edited by Frank Kelley; 13-07-15 at 06:37 PM.
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