White stripes.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by sandmanfez, Jun 14, 2005.

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  1. Hi all, I need to pick peoples brains.

    My father is currently researching our family tree. He has found some photos of my great-grandfather, taken either during or just after WW1.
    On his right sleeve, about 4" above the cuff is a white vertical stripe about 3" long and 0.25" wide.
    We think it might denote "wounded" status, but does anyone out there have a definitive explanation of what it is.

    Thanks for your help

  2. I might be wrong but I think they are stripes denoting years of service - perhaps 5 years per stripe.
  3. Apparently it should be on the left sleeve. Have a look at the sergeant in the front rank:
  4. Thanks guys, I havent got the picture to hand but I'm pretty sure its on his right sleeve. I'm not sure of the photographic convention of the time, but the picture was taken with his wife who is sat in front of him slightly left of centre hence obscuring his left side. Also, arent stripes for length of service more like conventional chevrons and running horizontally rather than vertically? :?
    I cant quite make out the mick sgts stripe although it does appear to be vertical. However, he has his stripes on both arms, was that a Guards/Irish thing? My great-grandfather was Lincolnshire (foot & mouth) :wink: or similiar.
  5. Err, not sure of my ground, but service stripes are inverted chevrons on forearm 2½, 5, 10, 15 etc yrs.

    Wound stripes are at 45degrees, one for each hospitalised peiod. Vertical - this is the really dodgy bit - overseas service for those enlisted into TA as Home service.

    Takes pace to the rear and awaits incoming.
  6. I'm sure it is a wound stripe worn on the left arm and would be below any long service chevron. The long service chevron would be inverted. Overseas service chevrons were introduced in early 1918 and were small and inverted and worn on the right cuff.
  7. As armourer says it's more than likely a wound stripe, and it would be gold.
  8. I have just finnished reading a book called 'Soldier from the wars returning' by Charles Messenger. He goes into some detail about long service and wound chevrons. I will have to go and get it back from my dad (it was his book) to give you more info and this may take a few weeks, so wait out
  9. Equally interesting in Scalieback's photo from my point of view is why are regular army soldiers shown in 1918 with long Lee rifles rather than SMLEs? I'm not convinced that the partially concealed men in the middle and rear rank are actually holding weapons, but why do the long rifles appear at all?
  10. i always thought that white stripes denoted "good conduct" , but i may be wrong !
  11. The wound stripe was made of brass & issued (much like many brass arm badges of the time) with a brass back plate to go under the cloth. It was worn vertically & centrally on the lower left arm (below any other badges).

    Officers sometimes had gold embroidered ones privately made (although they were issued with the same pattern) this was again worn on the left sleeve slightly behind (and level with) the centre of the cuff rank flash.

    Each new wound attracted a new award. Wound stripes were worn side by side in the above positions.

    I believe that the Sgt in the pic above is wearing one of these wound stripes.

    In answer to your question, is it possible that he'd just polished this stripe for a photo to be taken & it just appears white on the pic?

    Hope this helps.
  12. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    Sounds like a wound stripe to me.
  13. It's a squad of recruits. Training units often used outdated or even foreign weapons. I'm sure I've heard of recruits training with the Arisaka (japanese rifle), and not being issued their SMLEs till they got to France.

    Here is a link about wound stripes and such, that you may find interesting:

  14. Being a complete and utter anorak, I would really really like to know whether the rifles are MLM, MLE, or CLLE, and which mark ;)