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Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

Article about: I'm trying to piece together a BD jacket, I'm doing a repro for a mannequin, and looking for authentic for a shadow box. Looking at pictures online, I see alot of red shoulder patches, and t

  1. #1

    Default Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    I'm trying to piece together a BD jacket, I'm doing a repro for a mannequin, and looking for authentic for a shadow box. Looking at pictures online, I see alot of red shoulder patches, and then different colored ones. Are both of these ww2 and just different time periods?

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    I've also noticed on cap badges, there are 2 different ways to attach it to the cap, were they both used, just depending on the style of cap? or just time period?

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    Thank you
    Paul

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help with flashes and badges

    Quote by Stinkpotpete View Post
    Looking at pictures online, I see alot of red shoulder patches, and then different colored ones. Are both of these ww2 and just different time periods?
    For British infantry, all regiments officially wore white on red 'shoulder designations' (known as titles by normal people). However, many regiments took it upon themselves to aquire unofficial patterns in regimental colours. Some regiments never wore their red/white titles, while others wore both (in different battalions) or changed over, and some never wore them at all. It all depends on individual regimental practice. I will see what I can find about Somerset LI, if you are concentrting on that particular unit.

    Quote by Stinkpotpete View Post
    I've also noticed on cap badges, there are 2 different ways to attach it to the cap, were they both used, just depending on the style of cap? or just time period?
    This depends on manufacturer and time period. Lugs were more common pre-WWI than later, but there is no hard and fast rule. It certainly has no relationship with type of headgear.

    Rob

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help with flashes and badges

    Thank you very much Rob, any help would be greatly appreciated, no help turned down. I picked Somerset LI at first for the name, I have a lot of family from a town near me by the same name, then I found out they were attached to XXX corps and were in on MarketGarden. My uncle tried to get airborne qualified to go on that, but he washed out, so it still has some family connection, even seperated by a few degrees. And I've never been accused of being normal thanks again Paul

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    I did find out that the brown and gold title was sometime after 1958. Google keeps giving me American uniforms, but the few British ones I've found all look to have the red and white titles. I just have to collect them all now and get them sewn on the blouse.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    I did look up information on the curved titles. There were three types used by the SLI:

    SOMERSET L.I. (White on red)
    SOMERSET L.I. (Yellow on green)
    SOMERSET L.I. over XIII (White on green)

    I also have some reference to some other unit patches, all having yellow 'XIII' on green, one on a green square, one on a green square with blue border, and the last one on a green diamond with blue border. Unfortunately i don't know which battalions used which or when. 9th Bn used a blue over green square with yellow centre stripe. I don't have any more info on these patches though.

    The SLI had ten battalions during WW2, which fought in Europe, N Africa, Italy and Burma. If you are interested in a battalion that was part of XXX Corps in Operation Garden, that would be either the 4th or 7th Battalion, SLI. Both were part of 43rd (Wessex) Division, the 4th Bn in 129 Infantry Brigade, and 7th in 214 Infantry Brigade. Therefore both bns would have the curved title at the top of the sleeve, with the sign for 43rd Div beneath. Under that would be either one (4 Bn) or two (7th Bn) red arm-of-service strips.

    Rob

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    So each sleeve would look something like this? but only 1 on each side.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    and the red arm title at the top, it won't let me drag my older saved photos into the box for some reason.

    Would you happen to know how they are sewn on? From the photos I've seen, it looks like the title is about 1/2 inch below the seam, the arm of service are 5 inches below the seam?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Paul

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    Did all cap badges have a makers mark? This one is advertized as original ww2, but I don't see any marks on the back, it's the one in the top picture, this is the front of it

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    Yes, that would be correct for 7th Bn, Somerset LI.

    If you're planning to make him a corporal, the lowest point of the chevron should officially be 9.5 inches from the shoulder seam. The curved titles were worn very close to the top of the sleeve, with the others arranged in between. I don't know of any official 'distances' for the other badges.

    Rob

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help with British flashes and badges: Somerset Light Infantry

    cool, Thank you Rob, very much appreciated. I'm just used to how we had to put our uniforms together, everything had to be a certain distance from an edge of something. Now I just have to get all the patches and find someone to sew them for me hehe

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