Identifying Grandfathers Regimental Uniforms

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by majones79, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. majones79

    majones79 Junior Member


    Not sure if i'm in the right forum or not but I'm trying to identify the regimental uniforms that my grandad is wearing in these photos. He is from County Londonderry, N.Ireland. I know that from his attestation sheet he enlisted in the Highland light infantry in July 1936. I also have a certificate to say that he was serving with the Royal Irish Fusilliers when they were presented with new colours at St James Palace in Nov 1937. From his own stories, i also know that he was a Tank driver during the war....possible with the Royal Armoured Corps. I think that the 1st photo, taken with his brother, is of them in the Royal Irish Fusilliers together in July 1939 India (going by the badges). Is the second photo (dark uniform) a Royal Armoured Corps uniform and can anyone tell me anything else about these photos. Also, was it normal to be in as many regiments???

    Many thanks for anyone who can help.

  2. FschJgBtl 261 Lebach

    FschJgBtl 261 Lebach Sch├╝tze

    dont ask me. dont know that much about the topic. just wanted to express that I always have to admit that british dress uniforms are simply "good looking"
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    In the first picture, the collar dogs certainly look like fusiliers.

    The second photo shows the pre-war dress blues and the SD cap patterning and possible colours look like Royal Artillery to me. The shoulder treatment though does indeed suggest some sort of cavalry unit.

    Are you able to scan tighter on the collar badges ?
  4. majones79

    majones79 Junior Member

    I've blown up the shoulder pin from the 1st photo of my Grandads left shoulder pin and i think it says Inniskilling thus indicating the Royal Inniskilling Fusilliers. I've also blown up the lapels on the 2nd photo and part of the badge reads XXV. Is this the 25th Dragoons?
    I've attached both images...


    Attached Files:

  5. saintconor

    saintconor Senior Member

    The second picture is that of the 25th Dragoons. Here is the collar badge for comparison.

    Uploaded with

    And I agree that the first picture is the "Skins". The 1st Battalion was out in India at the time. It ties in with the fact that he was a Derry man too. The Skins were our local Regiment.

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Second Picture is 25th Dragoons.

    Apair of cross swords points uppermost. On the cross of the swords the Roman numerals XXV. Above the numerals and in the upper part of the swords the Imperial crown. Below the numerals a scroll inscribed 25th Dragoons. The swords in white-metal, remainder in gilding-metal.

    Sealed 9th August 1941.

    Vol.2 Head Dress Badges of the British Army.
  7. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member

    I agree that the 2nd photo is of the uniform of the XXV Dragoons.

    I am also inclined to agree - although with less certainty - that the first says Inniskilling.

  8. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    25th Dragoons was raised in 1941 in India and in 1947 it was disbanded, again in India. So this photo was probably taken while he was in India.
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    It's interesting to see dress blues marked up for 25th Dragoons, a unit formed in wartime, after the issue of blues was discontinued. Presumably he had obtained them pre-war and transferred insignia for the studio photographs.

    25th Dragoons with their Grants in Burma seems to be a story worth reading up on.
  10. majones79

    majones79 Junior Member

    Thanks everyone for their replies. My mother is waiting on the service record from the M.O.D. which can apparently take months.

    SaintConor...Is it likely to say, that he was serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusilliers 1st Bat in India/Burma when the 25th Dragoons were raised, which, he then became part of? Do you have anymore information about the R.I.F 1st Bat?

    I also have his attestation sheet when he joined up in 1936. It says he joined the Highland Light Infantry in Glasgow. I'm led to believe that they went to Scotland to join as his brother, who he joined up with, was under age. Was this possible to join without proof of age? How would they then have become part of the R.I.F.?

    And the last the original grandfather(man seated) has an inverted stripe on his left arm (RIF) and two inverted stripes on his left arm (RAC). Are these service awards? I think he may have had long service and good conduct awards but without the service record i'm not sure.

  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  12. majones79

    majones79 Junior Member

    Thanks Owen....Just checked it....331....Highland Light Infantry 3299001 - 3377000.

    Would this of been normal to move across regiments?
  13. saintconor

    saintconor Senior Member

    Mark these are good conduct stripes. The one stripe in the first picture indicates 2 years good conduct. The two stripes in the second picture indicates 6 years good conduct.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The chevrons are good conduct badges. They could only be worn by soldiers below the rank of Corporal. One chevron was for two years good conduct and two chevrons for five years good conduct.

    British Army Uniforms and Insignia of World War Two - Brian L. Davis
  15. saintconor

    saintconor Senior Member

    I'm now 100% certain that the first photo is that of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and not the Royal Irish Fusiliers. The grenade collar dogs have no crown on top like those of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

    After WW1 the the 2 Regiments joined together to form one Corps (As the junior Regiment the Irish Fusiliers were going to be disbanded but the Skins offered to sacrfice their 2nd Battalion in order to save them). This resulted in them having one depot and the soldiers from both regiments could be easily cross posted. He probably went to India as a replacement for the Skins.

    The question now is how he got from the HLI in 1936 to the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1937
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  17. majones79

    majones79 Junior Member

    Thanks Owen. I've been looking for pictures of the grant tanks but to have a shot of the 25th Dragoons in action is excellent. Do you know of any threads that have more information on the 25th Dragoons in India/Burma?
  18. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    I never find on the net, on any forum or site, some detailed account of 25th Dragoons in Burma, but I can highly recommended to you a book "Tell Them of Us: The Forgotten Army - Burma" by John Leyin. (look here for his story)
  19. norn iron

    norn iron Junior Member

    Thanks Owen....Just checked it....331....Highland Light Infantry 3299001 - 3377000.

    Would this of been normal to move across regiments?

    Sorry to Hijack your thread

    I have also just started the process. I have his number 2 dress uniform. I will post pictures later. is his army number 6 digits or 7? if its 6 he is probably like my grandfather Cavalry of the Line 309001 - 721000. He joined the Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards but moved on to the 1st Lothian & Border yeomanry in 1939 which was a unit in the 30th Armoured Brigade. Part of the 79th Armoured Division

    If he was in the inniskilling fusiliers you should pay a visit to the The Inniskillings Museum

    Good luck in you research
  20. majones79

    majones79 Junior Member

    His service number was 7 digits starting 331. He definately joined up with the highland light infantry (from Attestation sheet) but somehow ended up in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and 25th Dragoons subsequently.

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