british army aluminium dog tag/ identity disc for identification

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Tommy4, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Tommy4

    Tommy4 Junior Member

    Hi guys

    I recently obtained this dog tag, found in Northern-France.
    It is marked:

    C F N
    W PUNT
    3539
    C E

    I do know that "CE" means church of england.
    What could the other markings mean?
    W Punt could be his name?
    What is the number "3539"?

    This dogtag is made from aluminium. Is it ww1 era , pre 1940 or liberation?

    all information could be useful

    Many thanx
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Wondering if the CFN is for Canadian Forces?/ - I'm no expert - Ancestry doesnt show a W Punt with that service number for WW1

    TD
     
  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Think CE is Church of England,
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    CFN = Craftsman.
    A private in the REME.
     
    Chris C likes this.
  5. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I was thinking Craftsman but you don't normally see rank on tags - its an odd one - you also don't see metal tags used by British (or Canadian) forces in WW2 although saying that if he was REME he may have the opportunity to knock up an unofficial tag

    Early WW1 they used metal tags but they had the hole on a little bit that stood out from the circle plus at that point they included the unit
     
  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Army Order (AO) 9 of 1907 specified a single metal tag but on 21 August 1914 this was changed to a single red compressed vulcanised rubber one however soldiers already with a metal tag probably kept it. On 24 Sept 1916 General Routine Order (GRO) 1922 added a second octagonal green one which should remain with the body whilst the red one was returned. The difference in shape was probably so the distinction could be made in the dark. However because the vulcanised tag deteriorated quite quickly soldiers often had it replaced privately with a metal one and this continued into WW2. Because these were made unofficially they were often non standard
     
  7. Tommy4

    Tommy4 Junior Member

    The shape of the tag isn't 100% circular. So I think it could be an unofficial identity disc.
    My biggest question is from which era this tag could be...
     
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The 2 identity tags for my great uncle who saw service throughout WW1 both in NW Europe and after injury in NE Italy

    Dscn0037.jpg Dscn0038.jpg

    Neither are metal they are both resin or possibly vulcanised rubber

    TD
     
    AB64 likes this.
  9. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    A four figure number is too short for a WW2 British Army service number which would rule out it being R.E.M.E.
     
  10. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    see my previous post on the subject. The round one was to be taken from a body and passed on for recording the casualty whilst the hexagonal remained with a body. Most likely made of a form of vulcanised rubber formed under heat and pressure which in its black form is called ebonite and still used for the black keys on a piano. However just like tyres black is not its natural colour and is made by the addition of carbon black to the rubber mix. It can be ,made almost any colour one wants. It is very hard once set
     
  11. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I wouldn't say 4 digits is too short, when they moved over to Army Numbers in about 1920 the RASC were allotted 1 to 294,000 so someone in there must have had 3539, not necessarily saying this is him
     
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Sorry - but why would I need to see your previous post on the subject - I have 2 x tags in my hands - I can see and feel what they are like I dont need someone to tell me that especially as I am a fully qualified Mechanical Engineer and so fully understand materials and also an Associate Member of the Institute of Production Engineers

    TD
     
  13. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Well the less a
    Well the less arrogant who read your posts might find it useful
     
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Generally if you quote a post as you have done then it is assumed you are directly responding to that persons post (or part thereof), if your post did not include a 'quote' then it can be construed as being much more general in its audience

    TD
     
  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Correction, a four figure number is generally too short for a WW2 British Army service number except for those members of the RASC issued four figure Army Numbers.
     
    AB64 likes this.
  16. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I know what you mean though, small numbers just don't feel right for WW2 and are just a tiny proportion
     
  17. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It was quite common for troops when marking personal objects to only use the last few digits of their service numbers, especially if it was mainly to avoid confusion with another of the same surname. I wonder if this disc was stamped up for attaching to a kit-bag or similar ?

    Troops during the second world war were issued with three identity discs. Two were tied round the neck in a prescribed manner and the third was attached to the outside of the respirator haversack. The discs are usually noted as made from 'vulcanised asbestos'....The troops were told that red were fire-proof and the green resistant to rot but I'm not sure there is any specific evidence for this, especially as there are reports from exhumations which state that particularly if a body is lain on its front, the identification was frequently lost.
     
  18. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Don't think you can vulcanise asbestos - you can rubber. From 1979 -1981 I was the Computer Adviser to the Dunlop Group which meant I had to oversee and sign off all major new computer projects. One of these was the computerisation of the mixing plants at the Dunlop General Rubber factory in Manchester which had been the original Macintosh factory and where vulcanisation on an industrial scale was developed. They were still making the ebonite material from which ID discs were once made. Whether its red, green black or any other colour ir largely irrelevant as far as its properties are concerned. It will burn but only at high temperatures and it will rot but needs some relatively severe circumstance and a lot of time.

    Its possible I suppose that at some time the red disc was made of asbestos and the green from vulcanised rubber and this has got mixed up in memories
     
  19. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Over on the Great War Forum the late Joe Sweeney referred to "The Red Vulcanized Asbestos Fibre tag was approved 21 Aug 1914 with a pattern number of 8111/1914" his reference to the green tag doesn't mention the material- from what I've seen Joe was very well researched on tags (as well as Pay books and Soldiers small books) and wrote at least one article for the Militaria magazine on them.

    I would add though that all the discussion of the manufacturing process and materials of the red/green tags is unnecessary on this thread when the tag shown clearly isn't one of these
     
    Tony56 likes this.
  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately the NA document referring to all the relevant documents refers to the original tag as compressed vulcanised rubber. I can find no contemporary documents specifying vulcanised asbestos only relatively recent stuff that all seems to cross reference each other. Moreover vulcanised asbestos does not appear to exist. Asbestos fibre discs do as do rubber seals etc covered with asbestos material.
     

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