The sartorial elegance of the British officer on campaign

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I feel it's time for one of those more light-hearted but still on topic threads where we post photos on a particular subject.
    I think it'd be interesting to see photos of what the well dressed British officer wore on campaign I'll start it off with a photo from ''A Roll of Honour'' by Maj-Gen JG Elliott of a British officer of an Indian regiment in Burma.
    Full beard & turban would help to confuse any Japanese sniper trying to pick off the officers & I'm sure looking like one of the men went down well with his chaps .
    That's a wicked pipe too.
    Looking forward to what you can find , I'm sure we'll have a few Western Desert pics.
     

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  2. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    I've always wondered how Monty could expect anyone to take him seriously when he was dressed like this :D : overgrown boy scout?
    montgomery-in-desert.jpg
     
  3. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    And heres a two types outfit:

    desertwear.jpg
     
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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    My own memories of how your average cavalry type officer dressed in the line is still fairly sharp.

    In the 4th QOH, it was hard at times to distinguish the officers from the ORs as most of them seemed to revel in the opportunity to dress as sloppily as possible no doubt influenced by the desire not to stand out too much to Jerry snipers.

    A first class example of how some of them used to dress is portrayed by my old favourite "Jon" with his Two Types
    Memorabilia

    More here on this forum:
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/books-films-tv-radio/12831-two-types-jon-original-booklet.html

    Ron
     
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Some further thoughts on the subject and yes……… I know that we are talking about officers in ww2, but any time someone mentions sartorial elegance I always go straight to this picture of “Loopy” Kennard’s father at Deauville that Loopy published in his autobiography.

    For those interested in a little bit of titillation you might also like to read how Loopy was first introduced to sex (facing page) J

    The late Loopy was always to me the epitome of the “privileged” classes and I gave his full aristocratic background on this thread, Comment #12
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/veteran-accounts/16716-while-i-remember-2.html

    Ron
     

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  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    I've always wondered how Monty could expect anyone to take him seriously when he was dressed like this :D : overgrown boy scout?

    View attachment 91684

    Horrocks looks a little more the part...but Pip Roberts almost outdoing Monty!.....'with genius comes eccentricity'?.....if 'sartorial elegance' could also be stretched to include the spoken word, I wonder if this photo was also taken at the same time as the famous 'Thirds' conversation which was, apparently, along the lines of "How's the War going?"...."Just the usual two Thirds fighting, Sir, Third Royal Tanks versus the Third Reich".

    On the latter point, does anyone know what was actually said at the time as I've seen lots of variations on the theme over the years and have probably just added another one :D
     
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Does anyone know anything about his horse? It seems kind of small.

    Too bad we can't see his Broom Handle Mauser.
     

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  9. PeterG

    PeterG Senior Member

    I think Alexander doing his celebrated grande dame impression takes some beating.
     

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  10. PeterG

    PeterG Senior Member

    'Flying Officer Kyte', and the embarrassing incident of the fancy dress ball mix-up. :)
     

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  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I think Alexander doing his celebrated grande dame impression takes some beating.
    It does indeed.

    Doing things correctly in the previous big one:
    [​IMG]

    Wingate - he may look slightly mental, but you know he's in charge (sadly, no Onion visible in this shot... is there photographic proof of the onion?):
    [​IMG]

    Stirling & c. proving the Duffle coat will never go out of style:
    [​IMG]

    I really like the contrast in this one. (The scruffy buggers won by the way):
    [​IMG]
    (Great site - BACK TO THE DESERT)

    And this chap, has nailed it. Beret, Woolly Pully, Grim visage, Senior Prisoners & Sten (?) - in so many ways the epitome of the warlike gentleman (Though the German on the left is also playing the game rather well, carrying off that 'Afrika Korps' look in the Austrian Mountains to the nth degree):
    [​IMG]

    Edit: Flag rather than Sten?
     
  12. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Always liked the casual attire of Brian Horrocks. As for 'Von Thoma'? oh dear.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    IWM collections really is getting better and better - mounds of new photos on there:

    An officer of the Royal Artillery chooses a new pair of shoes at the Officers' Shop in Raffles Place, Singapore. This shop catered for both male and female officers. For the men there was a tailors department and a barbers shop, whilst a hairdressing and manicure salon was available for the women. The women's clothing department sold ready made clothing, material for dressmaking, silk lingerie and stockings. The shop also had rest rooms where officers could socialize."
    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH REOCCUPATION OF SINGAPORE. © IWM (SE 5761)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    "Major-General Thomas Rennie, commanding 3rd Division, studying a map with other officers at Divisional HQ during an exercise, 1 May 1944."
    (in a very nice checked skirt... :unsure: )
    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1939-45. © IWM (H 38094)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Police and Army bomb disposal officers with a defused German 1000kg 'Luftmine' (parachute mine) in Glasgow, 18 March 1941.
    Pulling off 'tache, glare & sheepskin cut-off very well:
    [​IMG]


    An officer and men of a cavalry regiment adopt industrious poses around a Lanchester 6x4 armoured car, 1938
    One suspects those boots took more man-hours to shine than the entire 'industrious' care of the Lanchester:
    [​IMG]

    An officer and men of a cavalry regiment adopt industrious poses around a Lanchester 6x4 armoured car, 1938
    One suspects those boots took more man-hours to shine than the entire 'industrious' care of the Lanchester:
    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. © IWM (H 447)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Japanese officers provide British officers of the 5th Indian Division with information about their troop dispositions shortly after the arrival of the first British and Indian troops at Singapore.
    When dealing with surrenders, look as smart and warry as possible:
    [​IMG]
    BRITISH REOCCUPATION OF SINGAPORE, 1945. © IWM (SE 4638)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    No description avaliable
    [​IMG]
    THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. © IWM (SE 1416)IWM Non Commercial Licence
     
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Passing interesting (if you like that sort of thing), those US 'doughnut' crash helmets actually came supplied with the early M3s. Sometimes makes me wonder just what other kit was shipped over with the lend-lease stuff.
     
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I was reading the caption here yesterday saying how unpopular they were.
    The crew of a Sherman tank pose beside their vehicle, decorated with a cartoon figure, during a break in fighting in the Western Desert, 29 October 1942. Note that three of the men are wearing American tank helmets, which were generally unpopular with British crews.

    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH AFRICA 1942. © IWM (E 18696)IWM Non Commercial Licence
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Different lids, mate.
    First shot is the earlier 'Interwar' type with the mahoosive leather pad - second is what became the 'standard' WW2 pattern.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Not sure if this one counts? Its Brigadier Peter Young
    [​IMG]
     
  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Our CRE Colonel Tiger Urquhart RE. Looked as though he had just come from meeting the King. He glistened . Always with his cane. never looked any different. Not even in the thick of it.... And he did get into it with enthusiasm. Noted for conducting a private war with the enemy. Returning it is said sometimes shocking the forward infantry to see a RE Colonel coming back through the enemy lines. Eventually superceded by Colonel Evil RE...Equally as smart
     
  20. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This thread is sadly lacking in motorcycles.

    When it comes to 1930's inspired elegance and high jinks, there is little to compare with the officers of the Manx Regiment (photos courtey of Ivor Ramsden and The Museum of The Manx Regt.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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