Is this a British Indian Police Uniform?

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by GeorgyB, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Could anyone confirm whether this is an Indian Police Uniform (circa 1940s) rather than military?

    Dave55 likes this.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Try looking for images from the 1984 ITV drama series 'Jewel in the Crown' of Tim Piggott-Smith who played an Indian Police (IPS) officer, a Capatain Merrick:
    From: The Jewel in the Crown (TV series) - Wikipedia

    Here is one image:

    The snag is that his role changed to being in the Indian Army!

    The photo above shows three stars and the IPS today use such badges. See:
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    In the photo in post #1 I can see stars rather than pips .
  4. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    David, what a great idea, I will have to track down Ep1 but the belt is definitely right isn't it. And Owen, yes, they are definitely stars. Thank you both.

    I guess this potentially is my grandfather then. I've never considered it to be him, as it was with my dad's army photos, and it doesn't look anything like the other two photos I have of him (as a young man circa 1927 and another from 1960), or the image I have of him in my head - although I only met him for the first time when he was an old man in the late 1970s.
    Chris C likes this.

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    I can definitely recommend 'The Jewel In The Crown' to anyone with an interest in the last days of the Raj, the Indian Police, the Indian Army and the war in India/Burma. It should be available on DVD. I watch it once a year and consider it to be the best drama series ever produced by British TV.
    TTH, davidbfpo and GeorgyB like this.
  6. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    I can't remember if I watched it in the 1980s, some of it does seem familiar, but I knew nothing of my grandfather's life then, so we're definitely going to sit down and watch it properly now.
  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    A word of caution on the belt - its a Sam Browne Sam Browne belt - Wikipedia and the basic layout/style has been used by military and police forces the world over since it was invented so in itself isn't really a great indicator of the wearer being police rather than military (although the shoulder stars do seem a good sign)
  8. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Noted. Thank you. As you can see I come from a position of no military knowledge at all, so all the help is much appreciated.
    AB64 likes this.

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    Just be aware that Merrick - the District Superintendent of Police - is the villain of the piece. Well, an anti-hero, at least.
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  10. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Thank you so much for recommending it, I must have watched it in the 80s but it was fantastic to watch it again - so relevant to my current research, and so well-made. We really enjoyed it.
  11. WiltsHistory

    WiltsHistory Member

    A bit late here, but if you have the new BritBox it is on there.
    I quite enjoyed it, but tired after a while. Piggot-Smith OBE is fantastic!

    The image you posted must be IPS (Indian Police) as they wore stars, rather than pips like other Commonwealth Police. I imagine (not sure) it was so you could distinguish between Army & Police in India. Nevertheless, they dress very similarly, with things like swagger sticks, Sam Browne belts and peaked caps.

    This link may be of interest too.
    GeorgyB likes this.
  12. WiltsHistory

    WiltsHistory Member

    I found it hard to understand him - he had such an important role and could have had it all, he was clever and ambitious enough to promote surely and then he just became this bitter-twisted fellow. I suppose the last episode ( I think ) explains that!
  13. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Turn the page

    There is one other difference that I note: he is wearing puttees. This may or may not be an indication that he is Police rather than Army.
    Attached is a photo of Deolali Boys RA (Junior Soldiers) taken in 1943. They all wear socks. The Adult NCO's wear boots and socks with gaiters.
    The Officers brown shoes and socks and look far more formal.
    As an Army Officer he would have had a batman to press and maintain his kit.
    Photo from a neighbour whose father is in the photo.

    Attached Files:

    Rothy and GeorgyB like this.
  14. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Active Member

    Great photo.

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