BEF Vehicle Arm of Service Markings (GHQ and others)

Discussion in '1940' started by Rich Payne, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Rich

    Thanks for the information about the Cherbourg picture. I will try to look into the location.

    Re the bikes: I never saw that 7 on the one bike. A good spot. It took me a while to find the 58 you and Jan have also spotted. I can see the 8 but ... my eyes are watering.

    Andrew
     
  2. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Bodston

    This is another intriguing one. I agree it should be, and looks like it is, an RASC AoS but ...

    ... the RASC split was in one direction during the days of the BEF:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40610&d=1289806202

    and another direction later:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40611&d=1289806202

    To me the split in your picture looks like the later version but how can that be? Maybe the angle of the mudguard is creating the illusion of a split?

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40612&d=1289806202

    I have seen one other possible 170 with bar below also with what appears to be the RASC split in the wrong direction. Do you agree that is what it is?

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40613&d=1289806548

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Something I have just read in a diary. Could 1662, 1262 and or 1162 be a unit number?
     
  4. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    If you are thinking of Arm of Service markings, the highest we have found so far on this thread is 241. There may be some much higher numbers later in the war but not for this period I think.

    Andrew
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers Andrew.

    I was reading a RASC file today and it referred to its Unit No. being one of the above numbers and some possible confusion as the other two were quoted in some correspondence.
     
  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I can't imagine that BEF GHQ markings ever got so high, not least because the markings were less specific at that time. 21st Army Group did include those sort of figures but it was of course composed of two armies with far more support services and a greater need to confuse the opposition.
     
  7. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Bodston

    This is another intriguing one. I agree it should be, and looks like it is, an RASC AoS but ...

    ... the RASC split was in one direction during the days of the BEF:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40610&d=1289806202

    and another direction later:

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40611&d=1289806202

    To me the split in your picture looks like the later version but how can that be? Maybe the angle of the mudguard is creating the illusion of a split?

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40612&d=1289806202

    I have seen one other possible 170 with bar below also with what appears to be the RASC split in the wrong direction. Do you agree that is what it is?

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40613&d=1289806548

    Andrew

    I would agree that both of the RASC 170 vehicles look as though the diagonal goes bottom left to top right. That red/green AoS is very hard to spot in B/W photography but I too have read that the BEF RASC AoS was split the other way, I have yet to see much in the way of hard evidence. The only other RASC vehicle pictures on this thread do not convince me. Of the two 160 marked trucks in post#55 the one on the rear could be split top left/bottom right. The 160 on the front and the 176 on the Foden in post#57 I cannot tell either way. The jury is still out. Once again more pictures are needed.

    Bod
     
  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The 1st Corps booklet that Andy turned up is fairly unequivocal. Top Left to bottom right, red higher than green at Div and Corps levels :-

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/1940/8586-bef-1940-vehicle-markings-7.html

    That still leaves the option that RASC at GHQ level were marked differently.

    Generally matt signal red seems indistinguishable from Khaki green No.3in B/W photos but the green used is usually visible as a darker colour, based on Inf div markings.
     
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    What about this one though ?

    Red above green running bottom left to top right... Have they overpainted a white bar under as it's being used to lift Divisional troops up to the Dyle ?

    [​IMG]

    More questions than answers...
     
  10. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  11. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Bod

    As Rich mentions, the early diagonal is shown in the booklet Drew found in 1 Corps files at Kew. "Top Left to bottom right, red higher than green at Div and Corps levels." The relevant examples, for respectively a Division and the Corps, are attached here.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40702&stc=1&d=1289910852

    I also have a b/w picture here which seems to support this configuration.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40704&d=1289911216

    Re AoS 160 in post #55

    You also mention the 160. This seems to be another type of marking again as it has a double white bar on the top. I agree it doesn't appear to have a split colour and so does the author Yves Buffetaut. His Armes Militaria No. 21 La Bataille d'Abbeville depicts this AoS as being white on a red background (see attached) but I don't know upon what basis he selects this colour.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40708&stc=1&d=1289911721

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  12. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Rich

    I have peered at this picture before. Yes, I agree the diagonal is in the later form - top right to bottom left. This later form still has red higher than green I understand, so this black and white photo may be showing the red as a lighter tone than the green. (I think that may be possible as different types of film show the same colour very differently.)

    I had not noticed before but looking at it closely I can clearly see a zero in the right hand segment. I can also see a bar underneath, albeit in a less than bright white. I therefore think it is possible that this is a third GHQ RASC lorry with 170 for its AoS.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40710&stc=1&d=1289913123

    It could just be that some units used the RASC background the wrong way round. The early form only has to be rotated 90 degrees left to become the later form.

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  13. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Nick

    Thanks for posting this. I have never seen the number 141 before.

    I think the vehicle is in France because it's an early Bedford MWD and it appears to be in a European setting. I am sure it can't be in Russia because it still has its British markings. Captured vehicles usually seem to acquire German markings very quickly from other photographic evidence.

    I too can see the Y1 marking which indicates it is an artillery vehicle. I also think the AoS plate could have the artillery's red above blue split horizontally, although the detail is very indistinct. So it is probably one of the GHQ artillery regiments.

    These thoughts are worth keeping in mind until more pictures of the same number or a list of some kind come to light.

    Any more pictures?

    Andrew
     
  14. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Well done Andrew, I had noticed the '0' last night but I was getting too tired to look at it. It's an IWM photo. Perhaps a look at an original would help ? Unfortunately, the current opening days of the photo archive don't fit well with my trips to England.

    The white used on vehicle markings was known as 'signwriter's white' and was quite an off-white colour compared with the 'brilliant' whites that we now find normal. When marking up my motorcycle, I had to add a touch of yellow and of grey in order to get near the correct shade.

    I suspect that this one has been smeared with dirt, much as was done with the white recognition squares simply because they were too obvious.

    I'm still wondering if the GHQ units used the colours reversed. It's the sort of odd thing they'd have done and could perhaps stem from pre-war days before the 'bar' was introduced ?

    I agree that Nick's photo is from Flanders somewhere. As a GHQ vehicle, the 'Y1' cannot be a company indication but the style is very much as per that seen on the Norton outfits of 4 Northumberland Fusiliers indicating 'X', 'Y' and 'Z' companies together with a vehicle number.

    Are you keeping the file updated ? :)
     
  15. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Rich

    I have updated the list and added the number of the post where the relevant picture first appeared. See attached.

    GHQ RASC marking

    I agree that GHQ's RASC units may have adopted the later form of this diagonal AoS plate background. Let's see if further pics confirm this.

    'Y1'

    This is an artillery tactical marking for a battery Command Post Officer. The system is explained by Derek Barton on his site and Y1 appears on the following page:
    RA 39-45 Markings

    You can see other examples of such markings on artillery vehicles of the period.

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Rich,

    This picture confirms the vertical colour split:

    [​IMG]

    Jan

    It adds nothing to this discussion but here's another view of the same scene, captioned by the eBay seller as Dunkirk.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Here is another picture of the Place du Minck, identified as such in the book 'Dunkirk' by Serge Blanckaert.

    There are several points of correspondence with the previous two pictures, including the Morris radiator under the 'O' of Kopierschutz and behind the uniformed subjects of the Blanckaert picture.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40835&stc=1&d=1290152757

    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  18. rewdco

    rewdco Senior Member

    Sorry chaps, apart from the census number there are no interesting markings on this Dunkirk Humber Snipe. But I think this is a lovely picture...

    [​IMG]

    Jan
     
  19. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    Jan

    I agree that is a lovely picture. (Thinking about it, however, I do wonder what parents would allow their children to play amongst the remains of a battle.) It is also interesting to see inside the back of one of these vehicles.

    I suppose you noticed the marking of the vehicle behind - through the windscreen, above the toddler's head?

    Here is a new number - 22 with a bar below and probably a red and blue background split horizontally. I think this is an AEC Marshall 6x4 with an office body. What type of unit would have had such a vehicle? 22 is not far from the 18 mentioned earlier so perhaps this is another GHQ medium artillery regiment.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40946&stc=1&d=1290268409

    Andrew
     
  20. May1940

    May1940 Senior Member

    I have found a higher resolution picture of the Foden in post #62. This lorry is next to a Mk VIB of 3 RTR which shows that it is at or near Calais.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=40978&stc=1&d=1290276947

    Looking at the GHQ AoS number it can be seen that it is 178, not 176 as first assumed. So now we have one Foden at les Grandes Moeres with a GHQ AoS number of 176 and one at Calais with 178.

    I have updated the list accordingly and attach it again.
     

    Attached Files:

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