WW2 uniform query

Discussion in 'History' started by 2badge_mango, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. Any Countdown watchers will have seen the fella on yesterday (Thurs) who showed a framed certificate from Guinness Book of Records which authenticated his father and eight brothers as the record holders for the most siblings simultaneously serving in the armed forces during WW2. I was quite intrigued by the story and followed it up by googling till I found it. The Cambridge local paper ran an article in December, the Sun and the Mail ran articles later, "Windsor brothers WW2" will find any of these (I don't know how to do links). There are photos of all nine brothers, who incidentally all survived the war, in uniform, four each army and RAF, one RN. The eldest (our man's dad) is shown wearing the uniform of a lance bombardier, Royal Artillery, full Nos 1s with peaked cap. Several inches above the L/Bdr.stripe on his left arm is a Pusser's hook, almost at shoulder flash level, colour indeterminate as the photo is in sepia.
    My first thoughts were "DEMS gunner" but having googled same could find no clues, and the only badge I could find was horizontal gun barrel with non sub qual below and DEMS below that. Evidently the RA had a large Maritime Regiment which also manned guns on merchantmen but I've so far had no luck there.
    Any of our uniform boffins, or refugee members from the khaki empire, got any ideas?


    2BM
     
  2. Thanks Wrecks, but I had already found it. Not guaranteed to be gospel since it was only a "chat" page but gleaned the following info:-
    From Rootschat.com, Royal (Maritime) Artillery, quote.

    "The uniform was the usual khaki army issue with the normal RA shoulder flash, the only distinction was on the upper sleeve a square patch of black silk with a crimson fouled anchor in it." Which answers my question to my satisfaction, but in addition I thought the following might be of interest, (regarding DEMS gunners)

    "Numbers varied from up to 30 on larger vessels to 2 men in a small coaster, average in a liberty ship was 7. Gun crews could be a mix of R(M)A, Royal Navy, or Royal Marines personnel but the Bofors guns were always a solely R(M)A responsibility. Many R(M)A NCOs proudly wore the Naval gun layer's badge which qualified them to take charge of a detachment at sea, along with all Naval stores onboard. When embarked they came under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act as well as the Army Act. For gallantry and service at sea personnel were awarded Naval decorations and the R(M)A earned a good share of these, many of course losing their lives at sea. Service in the R(M)A was popular even though they were paid less than their RN counterparts, who in turn were paid considerably less than the Merchant seamen."

    Well I thought it was interesting anyway! As Stirling says - every day's a school day - even at 78!

    2BM
     
  3. My Mum's cousin (now deceased) was a DEMs gunner. He told me a few dits about his time. Two things hacked him off, after the war DEMS part of the RA was disbanded and as a Regular he got drafted to the Military Police, he wasn't happy.

    But what annoyed him the most was he wanted to join his local RNA and they said no as he was Army. As he put it "I'd done more seatime than most of them in there put together"
     
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  4. Seems to be a very short sighted stance taken by his local RNA considering the content of the Gallantry and service at sea quote in my previous post.

    2BM
     
  5. To say he bore a grudge against them (but not the RN) would be an understatement. He was DEMS from start to finish of WW2.
     

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