Please help identifying insignia

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by youngdoug, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. youngdoug

    youngdoug New Member


    I'm trying to find out my mother's WWII service and have had no luck with the official records. We have her noted as resigning from the FANY in September 1939 (she would have been about 23) but we have a photograph of her in uniform in 1943, and we have her actual uniform as a Captain with General Service buttons. We also have a side cap with an ATS badge.

    She definitely served in the war. She died when I was young and never really spoke of her service. She spoke fluent French and German, and had spent time in those countries pre-war and this along with he knowing some people in MI9 led to a suspicion she might have been recruited for SOE support, but all the records have drawn a blank.

    I would really appreciate any leads as to the formations for the arm badge. I can't trace the dagger anywhere - mind you I'm new to the game. Many thanks for any help

    Picture of uniform and badge attached. For some reason (my clumsiness?) the image is posted upside down - the dagger is point upwards on the sleeve)

  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    I am not an expert in this particular field but I think that the original officers for the ATS came from the FANY so that makes sense. Three pips indicate a junior commander ATS which is the equivalent of Captain.

    Are there any collar badges on the tunic? Where ATS were part of the RA, signals or RASC they wore the badges of those arms or services on the collar. I think I have seen the arm badge before and also think it belongs to an anti aircraft formation RA. About 25% of ATS were in AA units.

    Of course it is possible that an officer in SOE etc would wear the uniform of an ATS officer in AA Command.

  3. youngdoug

    youngdoug New Member

    Thanks for the reply, Mike

    Yes, I did see these badges:


    taken from

    But they are not quite the same - though that's not to say there isn't another formation with the right badge.

    We are pretty sure the SOE is a dead end - the AA might be better.

    Attached Files:

  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The sword is the same and the site on your link says it is the arms of the City of London. So the connection is possibly the City of London rather than the AA. Interesting.

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Red sword is emblem of London so Googled ''london ats''

    Photo of an ATS lady with same badge here.

  6. youngdoug

    youngdoug New Member

    Thank you, Owen - you seem to have got it.

    Brilliant - this seems to give us a real solid base to find more info - though it's my brother in law who has the military knowledge and skills.

    Can't say how much I appreciate your's and Mike's help. It's family.
  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    A piece of negative information. ATS were not permitted to serve in SOE. They were strictly non combatant and could not carry arms. When called on for guard duty they used pick axe handles. Much more lady like. Female SOE operatives were given commissions in the FANY which predating the ATS did not have the same restrictions.

    Interestingly FANY were formed as a volunteer body in the Boer War. It was intended that they would ride horses behind the troops and be ready to give first aid. In 1938/39 when the ATS was formed FANY became a part of it and most ATS officers at that time came from FANY.


    PS. The field cap is not often seen. This is the standard pattern for ATS, having green piping.
  8. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Mike's description of the ATS rank is correct - Junior Commander - but the rest is not quite right. ATS personnel wore ATS collar badges. ATS personnel attached to other units wore a collar badge of that unit above the left breast pocket only.

    The cloth badge on the uniform is nothing to do with Anti Aircraft Command - it is Wat Tyler's Sword, a symbol of the City of London - and was worn by ATS personnel attached to Headquarters London District. ATS personnel serving in AA units, wherever they were in the country, wore AA Command badges as shown in the photograph.

    The side hat - a shame it is so far gone, as they are sought after items (as much as you would not dispose of it) - is actually an Other Ranks' one, and may have been hers prior to commissioning.

    FANY did not 'supply' personnel for SOE; SOE female agents were frequently commissioned into it for cover and to bring them under military discipline.
  9. badjez

    badjez Junior Member

    ATS Distinguishing Marks. Please note paragraph (d) below regarding the 'sword' badge.

    18.10.41. ACI 2028:
    1. The following distinguishing marks have been approved for wear on uniform by all ranks of the ATS during the period of the war.
    ATS not allowed to wear more than a total of two of the Distinguishing Marks listed, except in the case of those entitled to wear the Lord Mayor of London’s badge, who may wear two marks in addition to the latter badge.
    The Command, etc., sign will be one of those worn in all cases where it is authorised.
    (a) Command, Corps & Divisional signs. Provisions of ACI 1118 of 1940, as amended, apply.
    ( b ) Regimental badge, buttons or flash. ATS attached to units may, with the written authority of the OC and the ATS Group commander, wear not more than one of the regimental badge, regimental button or regimental flash of the unit concerned. Badges or buttons will be worn at the upper edge of the flap of the upper left hand pocket. The flash is one referred to in ACI 1118 of 1940 and is worn on the sleeve. It is in regimental colours and not a worsted designation of the unit.
    ATS will NOT wear the Arm-of-Service strip authorised for battledress.
    (c) Diamond Flash. Members borne on Establishment of ATS Signal Coy may wear, at their OC discretion, and in lieu of the R. Signals flash, a flash to indicate their special employment. The flash will be worn on both sleeves 1” below the point of the shoulder, or below a Command HQ or Divisional Sign if worn. The flash will be diamond shaped, consisting of two isosceles triangles on a 1 ¼” base. The upper half will be in white, the lower half in blue, and the number of the Company may be worn thereon in black (in case of signal Coy serving with AA Command, the letters ‘AA’ will be used instead of a number). The flash will not be worn by members of general duty platoons employed with the R. Signals.
    (d) Lord Mayor of London’s Badge. ATS enrolled in City of London Coy before the outbreak of war are entitled to wear the badge of the City of London (the sword of St. Paul) presented by the Lord Mayor of London. With the exception of such personnel the device is only worn by personnel while serving with City of London Platoons.
    2. Steel Helmets- ATS Flashes may be stencilled on the left side of steel helmets. The flash consists of a diamond 2” wide by 1 ½” deep. The lower half is dark brown, the upper half Beech brown, and the two colours are separated by a leaf green horizontal band ¼” wide.

    This flash continued to be worn throughout the war by those so entitled.
    Owen likes this.
  10. Bala

    Bala Member

    ATS Breast badge
    I have seen breast badges for RASC, Artillery and Royal Signals etc
    But what does a small Kings Crown denote?

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