Dispatch riders - What cap badge?

#1
My late father had a pal who was a bit of a rogue during the Second World War and always had a tale of wheeling and dealing in post war Germany.

Initially, he was a gunner but ended up as a dispatch rider. Anyone know what cap badge these folk wore? RASC, R Sigs, RE?
 
#6
Sixty said:
Eh?

RASC or RE.
Not in WW2. Wiki (link) says RE Signal Service in WW1, but Royal Signals in WW2. That said I'd guess that units provided their own DRs, with Royal Signals serving Bde HQs and higher formations.

Don
 

Sixty

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#7
#8
My understanding is, that only Royal Signals had Dispatch-Riders as a job.

Other arms like RA RMP and RASC had Motor-Cyclists as a trade, for example, the RASC ones were used for convoy control and RMP motor-cyclists were used in Movement Control.

I've not heard of RA, RMP, RASC motor-cyclists officially referred to as Dispatch Riders but I'm happy to be corrected on that.
 
#9
I think its probably a case of many soldiers were given a motorbike to carry out their duties, but not all would necessarily be R Signals dispatch riders.

From my previous linky

Our thinking was that as we had motor bikes we would join the Royal Signals as despatch riders which we did.


This was 1939.

I know younguns joining RCT always passed a bike test before going straight to HGV III
 
#10
#11
Rsigs until 82 then transfered to RE(postal) then RLC would have been known ss RRC (rapid response courier) would have either been a bike or 2 man in and rover
 
#12
DR was a Royal Signals trade when I joined in '56, although I do remember the RMP with bikes as well.

They appeared to be a law unto themselves, wearing leather jerkins, lace up riding boots, crash helmets and generally covered in shoite, with the odd beer bottle generally in evidence. For some reason, this appealed to me and I aspired to join their ranks. The PSO had other ideas alas and promptly fecked me off at the high port.
 
#13
basso said:
DR was a Royal Signals trade when I joined in '56, although I do remember the RMP with bikes as well.

They appeared to be a law unto themselves, wearing leather jerkins, lace up riding boots, crash helmets and generally covered in shoite, with the odd beer bottle generally in evidence. For some reason, this appealed to me and I aspired to join their ranks. The PSO had other ideas alas and promptly fecked me off at the high port.
Shame, sounds rather stylish, definitely the sort of job where one could develop a piratical attitude. ARRRR! (I've been sniffing around 'Ural' 'sidecar' motorbikes lately, and little imagination is needed to see oneself 'urtling hither and yon as one pleases)
 
#14
My Dad was a scaley dispatch rider. It sounded like a fantastic job to me when I was young. So much so that I transfered to the signals to be one, only to find that the job had been moved to the engineer's postal and courier folks. I transfered in 1981. Arte et Marte---> Certa Cito.

edit to add: My Dad would have been serving in the 19 fifties.
 
#15
ISTR an illustration from some Vanguard/Osprey type publication which featured a Tcherman WW2 DR dismounted, covered with countryside and lighting a smoke after having done some job. Apparently they issued a special weatherproof suit to their DR's which was cut for fit and function when in the saddle, but not elegance when standing...this bloke looked about six months pregnant!

Somehow ally, yet un-ally simultaneously...
 
#16
I remember the Queen despatch riders in London still being RSigs in the mid 80s - there was an article in soldier on them. There were only two though and I don't know what their duties really entailed.
 
#18
Regiments had their own Don Rs. And yes they do seem to get up to spectacular antics. I'll dig out one from 22nd Dragoons and post it here.
 
#19
22nd Dragoons
The Christmas Champagne Saga or Who Nicked The Officers Mess Champagne?

You may recall that the winter of 1944-45 in Holland was a bitterly cold one. Practically everything seemed to freeze. Vehicle radiators and engine blocks were a source of worry and oil I recall at HD10 grade was thick and treacly. We of HQ Squadron 22nd Dragoons had moved to a small village at the end of Eindhoven called Oerle and were spread about it. However as was their independent nature the Don R. troop of three permanent men managed to secure a billet as far as possible from the rest of the Squadron and its interfering NCOs and Transport Sergeant.

The billet was a small cottage on the outskirts (adjoining the Presbytery of the village priest which had been commandeered for the Officers’ Mess) and was occupied by a mother, a father and their daughter aged about ten called Annie. Vissers I think was the family name and father a farm worker. We had a small upstairs room separate from the family although evenings we often sat around the stove in the downstairs living room and shared rations when we had them.

Our section ran quite smoothly and of the occupants of the officers’ Mess around the corner we saw very little. Except for the Officers’ Mess three ton wagon which used to trot to and fro. These were test runs we were told, just to make sure the wagon was OK at all times but we couldn’t help thinking it odd that so many test runs had to be after nightfall.

Come Christmastide and we learned from one of the Officers Mess cooks that the Mess wagon had just returned from a long run down into Belgium. This we thought odd and our observation when the back canvas was moved to one side as the cooks withdrew rations, revealed a couple of large wooden crates of champagne.

Christmas approached and the Squadron received each a bottle of some dreadful Belgian beeer. And that’s when the conspiracy was hatched.

The night the dastardly deed was done was incredibly cold – a hard frost and a bright full moon. It was very late and all was quiet when two troopers, plainly Don Rs by their boots and breeches, could be seen flat to the ground making their way across cottage gardens in the direction of the Officers’ Mess wagon. Every now and then they froze as a member of the Squadron prowler guard passed unsuspecting close by.

Next their problem was to unsheet the back of the lorry, and having removed the heavy crate, sheet up the back again. This was awkward enough but the really hard part was yet to come. That was getting a heavy white wood crate back to the billet in bright moonlight and past that prowler guard.

Not surprisingly that bit seemed to take an inordinately long time. Sufficient to say that at last they did it and silently took the crate upstairs.

Out of breath, all sat and surveyed the booty deciding what to do and in what order to do it. Certainly the champagne would be missed, certainly a hue and cry would be raised, search parties sent out, indeed, the lot.

So first things first; break open the case, remove the bottles and their straw jackets. This they did taking the bottles to an adjoining field where a tall hawthorn hedge had been recently trimmed. The trimmings lay at intervals in piles along its length awaiting burning and into the centres of each and out of sight we pushed a bottle. As they observed, with the below zero temperatures every day, what better way of keeping champagne. However there was a more immediate problem and it was this. The when the missing champers was brought to the attention of the Squadron Leader all hell was certain to break loose. Therefore all and every single shred of evidence had to be removed from our billet.

Have you ever realised how many wisps of straw can break off from a straw bottle jacket? Or how many splinters of wood can break off from a wood crate? Or how many nails go to each crate apart from labels, staples and anything else you can think of? I tell you we cleaned our billet meticulously and I mean meticulously.

Then, as they say, “came the dawn”.

HQ Squadron were paraded by Troops – One, Two, Three etc., Fitters and at the back Don Rs!

Quoth the Squadron Leader – “I know who the culprits are, but I’m prepared to go easy if they will step forward”.

Surprise, surprise – nobody moved.

We all remembered all too well the case of Suits Tank, troops for the use of. We stood fast. Finally we were ‘fell out’.

In the mean time our own ‘Gestoypu’ was getting busy. The Regimental Police, Provost Sergeant, SSM et al crawled over every billet and individual bit of kit. Finally and fortunately their searches proved fruitless.

And so it came to pass in weeks to come, that sometimes when a lone Don R. found himself on a deserted stretch of road, his left hand would disappear into the top of his mac and an empty champagne bottle would be produced, only to disappear in a flash over a nearby hedge.

And that as they say was that.


Since OC HQ Sqn was Major Hine of the Hine cognac family who had arranged for the high quality collection of drinks for the Officers mess he wasn't too chuffed.
 
#20
adouglasmhor said:
I remember the Queen despatch riders in London still being RSigs in the mid 80s - there was an article in soldier on them. There were only two though and I don't know what their duties really entailed.
I would imagine that they were used for urgent courier work day-to-day.

However, I believe one of the more unusual and fortunately rare tasks was the distribution of the State Funeral plans when the need arose.

Obviously all the plans are meticulously prepared in advance (Churchill's plan if I remember correctly was called Operation Hope-not ) but of course they cannot be held by units or distributed until the subject of the plan has actually expired. Then it's a race to get them out to all concerned as quickly as possible and dispatch riders come into their own then.
 

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