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WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

Article about: Gday all, First I must apologise for the mixed up order of the images,I can't seem to get the in order.Sorry This badge belt and sundries is one of the few known surviving possessions of Bom

  1. #1

    Default WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Gday all,
    First I must apologise for the mixed up order of the images,I can't seem to get the in order.Sorry
    This badge belt and sundries is one of the few known surviving possessions of Bombardier Eric Freguson TX2201 1905-1951
    16th Field Battery, 2/8th Field Regiment, 2rd A.I.F. June 1940-July 1945.
    After Eric went missing in 1951 this collection remained in with Eric's wife Ivy and was eventually passed down to Eric's grandson Mel.Mel had little knowledge of his grandfather as his mother seldom spoke of him.I have a working relationship with Mel and over banter one day he mentioned Eric's collection and I asked if it was possible to see it.It was presented the next day.
    Mel has been in possesion of it for the last 20 years after the passing of Ivy and as he stated "it just sat under the bed and had not been opened in 15 odd years".As Mel's mother spoke little of Eric the Freguson's had no real knowledge of Eric's war time service.After a visit to the Australian War Memorial's site I had located a summery of Eric's WW2 service and was able to research the 2/8th deployments over this period.
    Here's a link to the AWM showing the 2/8th WW2 service.

    http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_103..._world_war.asp


    The grouping I feel is quite extensive and is typical of North African campaigning with the 2rd A.I.F in this region with items from the following country's.
    Australia,Great Britian,New Zealand,South Africa,Italy,WW1 Turkey as well as others such as the British Salvation Army cap badge and Police buttons.Strangly though no German items I can identify.

    The US items would have been most likely picked up during the 2/8th stay post 1943 in the Atherton Ranges, Australia.
    The Turkish WW1 badges,awards and buttons I feel could possibly have been "scrounged" by Eric in his time in Syria opposing the Vichy regime as the two countries have a common border.
    Some of the British items on the Stable belt as well as some of the Turkish awards I doubt.I feel they may be the creations of some enterprising local most likely in Egypt but add the the belts character as a "North Arfican/Middle East" grouping.

    The collection is certainly a credit to Eric and a fantastic legacy to the man and this service in the 2rd A.I.F. during the dark years of WW2.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    As you can see we Aussies are good scroungers hey

    I feel it was a great privilege to have been allowed take possession of Eric's collection for a short time and photograph/document it even though my effort is on the amateurish side as I lack any real computer/camera skills.
    I do hope it remain's in the Ferguson family for many more generations as a fitting legacy to their fine descendant, Bombardier Eric Ferguson and the hindsite he displayed in putting together his fine collection 70 odd years ago.
    I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
    All the best
    Dave
    Last edited by Thanatos; 11-17-2012 at 12:46 PM. Reason: text

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  3. #2

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Nice large and varied lot of insignia and buttons. The screw-back
    aluminum stars are Italian.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  4. #3

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Cheers Steve,there's a few Italian pieces there.Regimental badges and buttons mainly.
    I picked up this set of Officer stars last week.Don't know about the German pips though as I don't have them in hand at the moment.But the stars look good.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Purchased them cheaply hoping they would help member Reneblacky with his magnificant Italian Officers tropical uniform.
    These Italian made screw back rank insignia are very well made things I feel.
    Cheers mate
    Dave

  5. #4

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Pretty sure they are EM - symbolic of the Italian army, ie: they all wear them.
    I have only 1 of them. It has the maker and 'Milano' on the thumbscrew.

    The pips are good.........!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  6. #5

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Thanks again Steve
    I guess their no good to Rene then But I'm quite happy keeping the set in my collection so all's well
    There's a few items in the collection which I have not identified or possibly miss interpreted.Thanks again for the clarification mate.

    Cheers
    Dave

  7. #6

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Did his unit follow the allies into Tunisia after Alamein and the Torch landings as he might have picked up his US items then? Great item and you can see where the Queens regiment badge has left a shadow on the belt between the titles and is I assume the loose one shown.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  8. #7

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Gday Jerry,
    No mate the 2/8th Field Regiment went back to Australia after the El Alamein battles.The Japanese threat was apon Australia and they were needed here.They were stationed in the Atherton Tablelands training area West of Cairns in north Queensland until deployment to Borneo in April 1945.I think Eric may have picked up the US items whilst back in Australia as the US Army also used this training area.
    It appeared a few of the badges had fallen off the stable belt over time and are with the loose items in the box.The box is Mels by the way, he put the items in it 15 odd years ago only to see light again a couple of months back.
    What a treasure he owns I feel.
    Cheers Jerry
    Dave

  9. #8
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    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Wow, what a great collection Dave thanks to you and Mel for showing it

    regards Paul

  10. #9

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Thanks Paul,how could I keep it to myself mate
    All the best
    Dave
    Last edited by Thanatos; 11-18-2012 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Grammar correction

  11. #10

    Default Re: WW2 North African/Middle East campaign badge belt and others.

    Would anyone have any idea's on the Turkish items?
    The stars are WW1 'Ottoman War Medals" issued from 1915 to 1918.They were the Turkish eq. of the Iron Cross Klasse 2 and mistakenly called "Gallipoli Stars" in the West.
    These were also issued to Turkish allies namely Germany and the Austro-Hungarians.German recipients commonly had reproductions made by private jewllers as the Turkish originals varied in quality from good to very poor.
    Any idea's on any of the other Ottoman pieces fella's as I am having a bit trouble identifying them.
    Thank you and cheers for looking
    Dave

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