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WWII Iraq Levies inc para unit

Article about: I picked this pair of badges up the other day, local to me, yet to pay for them, the seller is a mate and I'll pay him next time I see him. He did not know what they were and they were very

  1. #1

    Default WWII Iraq Levies inc para unit

    I picked this pair of badges up the other day, local to me, yet to pay for them, the seller is a mate and I'll pay him next time I see him.

    He did not know what they were and they were very cheap, but obviously he will have made a profit on them.

    I had a vague recollection of what they were and looked them up on the brit badge forum and found out a lot about the unit

    They were formed during WWI when the y were the Iraq Levies, later they became more Assyrian in nature and recruitment and became unofficially know as the Assyrian Levies and after WWII they became the RAF Levies until disbandment in 1955.

    A good page with lots of the history and pics of members including the badges in use, they were commanded by British officers but junior officers were all natives.

    The two badges are locally produced cast silver, one pin back of the beret and the other on a long pin for the slouch hat.

    Assyrian RAF Levies - Home

    The period photographs were borrowed with thanks from the linked page.

    During WWII they formed a parachute unit;

    1942- The force consisted of; H.Q, Depot, Specialist Assyrian companies, 40 service companies and a new parachute company, which consisted of 75% Assyrian and 25% Kurd. A disciplinary code was drawn up based largely on the Indian Army act. A ruling was also received from the embassy that under the existing treaty arrangements and Ordinances, it was lawful for all members of the British Forces to be subject to British, Indian or other Military Law.
    13-2-1942 Major Guy Hudson 52034 [Army/TARO] posted to Parachute Company.


    18-12-1942 First Levy parachute jump in Habbaniya took place-Captain J.M. Barnes and Sgt Fritchley jumping.

    19-12-1942 First Assyrian parachutist, RAB Emma Lazar Adam makes his first jump followed by three Assyrian Levies.

    16-7-1943 Lt GC Boe 251515 [Army/EC] posted to Parachute Company and on the 26-7-1943 Lt DF Reeves 153183 [Army/EC] also posted to Para company.


    3-8-1943 Lieutenant D.N. Peterson (235930) qualified as a parachutists, he was later killed in action in Greece.
    1943- Force strength stood at; 166 British officers, 22 Assyrian companies, 5 Assyrian/Yizidi companies, 10 Kurdish companies, 4 Gulf Arab companies and 3 Baluchi companies. In addition, 11 Assyrian companies were serving in Palestine and 4 in Cyprus. The Parachute Company was embodied in the Royal Marine Commando and later were used in operations in Albania and Greece. 400 Assyrian joined from Syria, they were used in the specialistís communication companies. Ex-officer Malik Yacou Ismail also joined as a RAB 200. The name of the force was changed to Royal Air Force Levies.


    November- an Assyrian mobile battalion was formed out of the existing companies and stationed at Habbaniya as a striking force, the parachute company being absorbed in this battalion.

    13th-5-1944 Demonstration of parachute drop on Baghdad airport by Parachute Company; attended by King Faisal.


    28-10-1944 F/O Joe T OíSullivan 48834 [N/A Regt] posted to Para Company.

    27-12-1944 The AOC, AVM,SC, Strafford with Col CJ Luce DSO inspected the Parachute Squadron under the command of S/Leader H Sullivan, prior to disbandment.

    10-1-1945 F/O CHJ Mead 48833 [N/A Regt] posted to Para Company.

    5-4-1945 Parachute Company arrives at Habbaniya and come under 1st Battalion.
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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  2. #2
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    Good grab Jerry .

  3. #3

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    Quote by RH1941 View Post
    Good grab Jerry .
    Indeed mate, an uncommon & very interesting item and a very good price I believe, though I don't actually know what the going rate is for these two. the cloth patch was also with them, from the same lot, Persia & Iraq Force/Command.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  4. #4
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    Very nice Jerry, love the patch, always a good sign if you don't know the going rate is and you're happy with what you pay.

  5. #5

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    I always find it odd that so many members view a thread but do not like r comment upon it.

    These are rare items but still little response, even from at least one member on here who often comments about the TR collectors not responding to British stuff, seems a bit pot and kettle to me.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  6. #6
    CBH
    CBH is offline
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    I always enjoy seeing these rare British Empire items, don't usually comment, but I still love seeing the stuff.

  7. #7

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    Quote by CBH View Post
    I always enjoy seeing these rare British Empire items, don't usually comment, but I still love seeing the stuff.
    Thanks Chris.

    I don't always like or comment what everyone posts these days, but it is nice when someone notices what we post, especially in the last popular sections
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  8. #8
    CBH
    CBH is offline
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    I manage to collect a little bit of everything, so my tastes are rather broad.
    Your posts are always very informative with detailed background information.
    So keep up the great work, I might be temped to find a Slouch Hat and or a Beret for those badges.

  9. #9
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    Jerry I feel your pain I've posted lots of great rare items that don't get a second look . Gary

  10. #10

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    Rare seldom seen items. Well done!

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

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