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The Jewel in the Crown

Article about: Interestly, I have the earlier 9th Anti Aircraft Division insignia which was originally worn on this uniform. Formed October 1940, but disbanded by September 1942. These were div flashes wer

  1. #1

    Default The Jewel in the Crown

    Hiya, this is a very special and unique uniform group in my collection. To coin a phrase, it is truly "The Jewel in the Crown" .

    Every item you are about to see belonged to one woman. I am lucky enough to own all her caps and uniforms.

    Her name was Marjorie Minna Jenkins Pratt, the Countess of Brecknock.

    She began her military career in 1938 when she joined the FANY.

    She then transfered in the ATS, serving as a Senior Commander. (Major) The Countess was the senior British Woman Officer at SHAEF.

    She continued in the Army after WW2, as the ATS evolved into the WRAC.

    You can read more about her here:

    http://www.wherwell.net/lady-brecknock.htm

    Cheers, Lez.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    I will start off and show the large leather trunk which contained all her items.

    As you can see it bears her initials and Coronet.

    It has some great paper labels stuck on the sides which bear witness to some of her travels.

    This is my treasure chest!
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  4. #3

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    As you will have read, she came from a wealthy background and like many young "well to do" women, she volunteered for service in the FANY.

    This is her first tunic.

    The quality, as you will see with other items that I will show, is first class.

    Note the unique rank badges to the shoulder straps.

    Note also how the tunic fastens up on the female side.
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  5. #4
    ?

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    Without a doubt I have always enjoyed British ladies FANY's.
    The uniform is great also.

  6. #5

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    She quickly began to rise through the ranks.

    Rather than add a second new rank insignia to the tunic, which was still in very nice condition, she had a new tunic made!

    You can see the date of 1938 and how she later added a new label to show her new later assignment to the ATS.

    Note the lining. She was fond of this style which changed colour depending on how the light hit it.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    Congratulations on owning this, presumably, one of a kind collection of one persons uniforms Lez!
    I truly wish circumstances were different, and that I could own all of the items that belonged to my father.
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  8. #7

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    Here is her FANY cap. The ATS modelled their cap on these.

    The makers details are faded from wear, but it was made by Scotts of London. A top quality maker much favoured by the FANY's.

    All uniform had to be bought at their own expence.

    Once again she has added a small label with her name and ATS unit. "No1 M/T Coy ATS". Note her low 4 digit service number, W/1793.

    As the prongs of the bronze cap badge can wear through, there is a little velvet patch sewn to the lining.
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  9. #8

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    Very nice uniform and history Lez.

    I have only one Army WAC uniform with the hat and original GI issue Purse. I have not had time to research more about her yet. She was a nurse stationed at Pearl Harbor.
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    Burt

  10. #9

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    We now move to her service in the ATS proper. Most of the early members of the FANY transfered to the ATS.

    Even though I have owned this group for many years now, it still amazes me on account that even though there was a war on, she could afford to buy multiple items. How the other half live!

    Here are her ATS Officers service dress caps. This is number one. Same maker as her FANY cap.
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  11. #10

    Default Re: The Jewel in the Crown

    Hi Ralph, owning your Dad's items very is special. I have looked at his Pz badge and Iron Cross.

    Hi Burt, that is a lovely looking uniform. I love researched items too.

    Cheers, Lez.

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