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WW2 Uniform Id help required

Bramble

Newbie
My Dad was in Burma during WW2 - and I have this photo but need help to id the Naval uniforms on parade. The staff car photo taken at the same time. Has anyone every seen a uniform like this before and tell me which Navy, as not convinced that they are British. Many thanks.
 

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Dusty70

War Hero
I think they are RN - front row a bit iffey but if you look at second row they are matelots - one of the front row SRs has a sword (MAA or were they called Commissioned Gunners in those day

Background is either Aussies or Chindits watching
 

Bramble

Newbie
Hello Dusty 70, thank you for your quick reply. I used to be RN myself, but never saw a British Navy officer wearing his hat at that tilt. (I think this might be the Rangoon victory celebration with Mountbatten present) , plus the matelots look very dark skinned. Do you think they are Brit officers and possibly Indian navy matelots? thanks Bramble
 

Dusty70

War Hero
aaand - don't pongo and RAF officers swords point backwards when held but RN forward (as they have to drag their swords as a sign of disgrace from donkeys years ago ??)

Royal Navy officers are not gentlemen (unlike the idiot in that American film!). There was a mutiny in Queen Victoria's time, not sure which ship. The officers were all thrown off the ship. Basically they said that although the crew had mutineed (hanging offence), all they wanted was the ship back. If they brought it back they would not be charged, and they gave their word as officers and gentlemen. Lo and behold the ship comes back and the mutineers were killed. Queen Victoria was disgusted, so stripped Naval Officers of their "gentlemen" title, hence the sword at the short trail. It means another gentleman would see you coming and know you were someone of ill repute.



Oddly enough, I think the Prime Minister has to ask the queen to re-instate the title of gentlemen each year. It was supposed to only last 200 years and that has since passed, but QE2 still says no when asked!
 

Dusty70

War Hero
Hello Dusty 70, thank you for your quick reply. I used to be RN myself, but never saw a British Navy officer wearing his hat at that tilt. (I think this might be the Rangoon victory celebration with Mountbatten present) , plus the matelots look very dark skinned. Do you think they are Brit officers and possibly Indian navy matelots? thanks Bramble
Dunno Bramble - Army had local personnel Brigades etc, but I have never heard of the Navy having locally entered personnel (apart from Tailors, laundrymen, stewards etc) - was it a Naval Brigade ? I am sure someone more knowledgable than me will be along soon
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
Doesn't look British to me, Officers caps are the wrong style, rifles are being carried with the magazine side against the shoulder.
 

Union Jack

Lantern Swinger
My Dad was in Burma during WW2 - and I have this photo but need help to id the Naval uniforms on parade. The staff car photo taken at the same time. Has anyone every seen a uniform like this before and tell me which Navy, as not convinced that they are British. Many thanks.
Fascinating stuff, Bramble, although I'm not persuaded by some of the subsequent comments, and believe that it's perfectly possible that the two officers are from the Royal Navy, perhaps with borrowed kit for the occasion, with British sailors marching behind, including the Senior Rating carrying a cutlass rather than a sword. I knew several officers who served in the gunboats on the Burmese rivers, and I'm pretty sure that they didn't have ice-cream, suits, caps, and swords readily to hand, but they did have locally entered men amongst their crews.

Having happily marched with my sword on many occasions, including before and after carrying the Queen's Colour on parade, I'd love to see an authentic source for Dusty70's interesting dit at Post #4.

If the top photo does indeed represent the victory parade specified, a view of http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/2764 would be most helpful in solving the mystery!

Lastly, Greek or Italian? They's have been going some to get there then....o_O

Jack
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
aaand - don't pongo and RAF officers swords point backwards when held but RN forward (as they have to drag their swords as a sign of disgrace from donkeys years ago ??)

Royal Navy officers are not gentlemen (unlike the idiot in that American film!). There was a mutiny in Queen Victoria's time, not sure which ship. The officers were all thrown off the ship. Basically they said that although the crew had mutineed (hanging offence), all they wanted was the ship back. If they brought it back they would not be charged, and they gave their word as officers and gentlemen. Lo and behold the ship comes back and the mutineers were killed. Queen Victoria was disgusted, so stripped Naval Officers of their "gentlemen" title, hence the sword at the short trail. It means another gentleman would see you coming and know you were someone of ill repute.



Oddly enough, I think the Prime Minister has to ask the queen to re-instate the title of gentlemen each year. It was supposed to only last 200 years and that has since passed, but QE2 still says no when asked!
Sorry Dusty, but the sword story is an urban myth. No mutineers were hanged after the Spithead mutiny as it was a peaceful one but the ringleaders of the Nore mutiny were, this was in 1797, Victoria didn't ascend to the throne until 1837.

The reason for Naval swords being carried the way they are is for practical reasons, carrying out a boarding or small boat work, is next to impossible with the sword fixed to the hip.

Post No 5 from Chieftiff explains the sword and gentleman part.

 

fishhead

War Hero
I would have expected RN personnel to have been wearing black caps at that time. Aussie matelots wore a similar rig to their British counterparts and those in the background could be Aussie soldiers.
Just a guess on my behalf as I have no specialist knowledge.
 

Union Jack

Lantern Swinger
I would have expected RN personnel to have been wearing black caps at that time. Aussie matelots wore a similar rig to their British counterparts and those in the background could be Aussie soldiers.
Just a guess on my behalf as I have no specialist knowledge.
No navy blue caps worn by the RN in. the Far Flung, not least as evidenced by the many other available photographs of the parade, working downwards from Mountbatten.

Some of the onlookers could indeed be Australian soldiers, but don't forget that the the standard 14th Army headgear was also the slouch hat, but not folded like the Australians.

Jack
 

Union Jack

Lantern Swinger
For added interest, I've tried to add a link to a video of the actual parade, but being from FaceAche it won't reproduce, so a wee shoogle with Google is needed, using "Rangoon Victory Parade" as the search term.

Whilst the video regrettably does not show the armed contingent, other than a possible glimpse at 47 secs (just after what looks like a less formal RN contingent at 44 secs) to the left of the mob in the middle at 47 secs who are almost certainly Free French Navy.

Also, looking at the national flags on show at the start of the parade, between about 25 and 30 secs, the only Empire (sic) flag I see is the Union Flag, which reinforces the case for the Royal Navy.

Jack
 

fishhead

War Hero
Also, looking at the national flags on show at the start of the parade, between about 25 and 30 secs, the only Empire (sic) flag I see is the Union Flag, which reinforces the case for the Royal Navy.

Jack
I'm not sure the Aussies were using a different flag to the RN at that time.
 

Union Jack

Lantern Swinger
I'm not sure the Aussies were using a different flag to the RN at that time.
An interesting thought since, although the Royal Australian Navy (with whom I had the great pleasure of serving with on Exchange Service) used the same White Ensign as us until March 1967, the design of the Australian National Flag dates from 1908.

Jack
 

ahoy!

Midshipman
I would have expected RN personnel to have been wearing black caps at that time. Aussie matelots wore a similar rig to their British counterparts and those in the background could be Aussie soldiers.
Just a guess on my behalf as I have no specialist knowledge.
1609363217228.png
The RAN introduced this tropical headgear in1990. Felt fur wide-brimmed hat
 
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