Help Identify Uniform

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BONNACON, Jul 6, 2012.

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  1. Anyone help me with this picture. It is my wife's grandfather who was killed in the Belfast shipyards in 1920.
    We think he worked there before WW1 so doubt he served then but are not sure.
    Think the cap badge is RIR but we are uncertain. Also there appears to be something hanging from his left tunic pocket as well. Is the uniform standard for 14-18 or earlier?
    His son was Ulster rifles from 1929 and was awarded the MM for services at Caen in 1944.
    Any help would be appreciated thanks. mccann2.jpg
  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I suspect that he served if that is him in the photo. There wasnt a home gd in WW1 and thats not a WW2 uniform although that kit was still used by IJLB up until the late 1960s.
  3. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    If you have his full name & date of birth I may be able to find his medal card & if your really lucky his service record but most of those were damaged or destroyed in the blitz.
  4. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    The RIR capbadge was a crowned harp. That badge looks more like a Gunner capbadge to me.

    If you were able to get a higher definition we would be able to give you a better answer.
  5. I do agree with Mr F, that looks to be a Gunner capbadge. Just on its dimensions It is wider than the RIR badge, and if you look dead centre there is the wheel
  6. I concur with the Artillery badge.
  7. _Chimurenga_

    _Chimurenga_ LE Gallery Guru

    He appears to be wearing a gunner's lanyard.
  8. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    Must be my eyesight, but I can't see the mighty white lanyard.
  9. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    That is certainly a 1914-1918 period uniform and the pose is a typical pose of the period, photographer's studios had domestic furniture and artificial building features in them to create these sets little classical scenes for photographs.

    The original photograph may have a studio stamp on the back as well.

    In territorial units of the time it was not uncommon for the Commanding Officer or another local dignitory to fund competitions with prizes for the winners so the medal hanging down from the posket could well be a battalion shooting badge or similar.
  10. _Chimurenga_

    _Chimurenga_ LE Gallery Guru

    There seems to be one attached to the button of the top right-hand side (subject's right hand) tunic pocket, and you can see the curve of it on the edge of the pocket flap.

  11. I cleaned the photo up a bit. Not sure that is a Gunner badge.

  12. Hope this helps and if you already know this please ignore.

    There is a very real possibility that if he was a shipyard worker pre WW1 he served in the 36th Ulster Division, which was part of the New Army and was essentially based on the pre war UVF; if you know the family's politics and he was an Irish nationalist then he wouldn't have been but may have been serving instead with either the 10th or 16th Irish Divisions. If you know anything about which theatres he served in then similarly you can back calculate to his formation; for example do you know if he was at Gallipoli? Obviously you mightn't know anything but just trying to suggest some pointers.

    The 3 divisions comprised a wide range of regiments and especially in the 36th some unusual cap badges.

    The Somme Association at Conlig Co Down, The Somme Association |
    may be able to help. I can't really get a good look at the capbadge so won't comment. The comment about local CO's providing medals is also a very fair one, but again if he was in a 36th Div unit there is a very fair chance that the Somme folks will be able to help.

    If it interests you there are a shed load of books about Belfast men in the Great War; one recent one is I think called Belfast boys although my copy has been 'redeployed' by a mate.

    Hope this helps.
  13. Wife sends her thanks and will scan the back of the picture to see if anything on the back can be of help.
    Unfortunately we don't have his DOB as yet.
    Family details are a bit sketchy as I said he died in a shipyard accident in 1920. His wife soon afterwards leaving six children who were adopted or farmed out to relatives.
    Two of the sons went on to serve with distinction in ww2. My wife's father as I have said won the MM. tragically dying not long after the war from complications relating to wounds.
    A brother of his was awarded the B.E.M. and D.S.M. serving in the RN in Malta.
    Not bad for orphans.
  14. Just a quick one, if you can get your Father in Law's service record it may show his Father's details at time of death which would maybe give you access to more details from the 1921 Census providing the family didn't just upsticks on bereavement. I'll have a look but my memory tells me that there was a fairly comprehensive RIR war history done - if I can find it I'll send you the details. Which to be fair will be of no use if he wasn't a rifleman!
  15. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    I don't think the 1921 census is public yet, 1911 certainly is.