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King George VI odd RAF Uniform

Article about: I am 100% sure it's an army Field Marshal's badge. If it were an Air Marshal's badge I would expect to see the wingtips of the albatross (some say eagle) overlaying the wreath. The uniform i

  1. #1

    Default King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Hello everybody,
    I'm a newcomer. Here's my question. I recently saw in a British book a b/w picture of King George VI in a reportedly RAF Uniform, but with some oddities I'be been unable to clarify. He wore a cloth, plain peak Service Cap with Air Rank badge, RAF Pilot Wings, ribbon only decorations, Sam Browne Belt (?), collar General type gorgets (?), cloth shoulder boards with Air Marshall insignia. Photo pobably take in early WW2 years. Can anyone help me? Thanks and regards

  2. #2

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Quote by Gaetano View Post
    Hello everybody,
    I'm a newcomer. Here's my question. I recently saw in a British book a b/w picture of King George VI in a reportedly RAF Uniform, but with some oddities I'be been unable to clarify. He wore a cloth, plain peak Service Cap with Air Rank badge, RAF Pilot Wings, ribbon only decorations, Sam Browne Belt (?), collar General type gorgets (?), cloth shoulder boards with Air Marshall insignia. Photo pobably take in early WW2 years. Can anyone help me? Thanks and regards
    Can you photo/scan a copy of the picture? I suspect it's a mistake on the part of the book. King George qualified for, and was entitled to wear RAF pilots wings and often wore them with his Army uniform as well as when he was dressed as RAF. This was not entirely a dress irregularity, as any army officer was entitled to wear them under certain service conditions. Is the picture actually him in Field Marshal's uniform with wings maybe?

    He was also a qualified Bren Gun Marksman, and apparently kept a Bren and ammo at Buck House, with the intention that if the Germans invaded, they could come get him!

    I like King George VI, one of my heroes (in the real sense of the word)... a very courageous man and example to all.

    Rob

  3. #3

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Here's an example of what I was saying:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This pic was taken in Holland in October 1944

    Rob

  4. #4

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Thank you, Rob, for both messages. I know that it's a very odd question. I know also that RAF Pilot Wings can be worn by Army Officers, if entitled. But my question was not triggered by this detail. There's the problem of Sam Browne Belt, and of Gorgets PLUS the cap badge, which is RAF without any doubt. The pic you kindly sent shows King George in Army battle dress, and his Service Cap bears unmistakenly the Field Marshall badge. The book from which I took the photograph is "Savile Row. The Masters of British Bespoke" 2010 Thames and Hudson Ltd, London. The uniform is reported as having been tailored by Gieves Ltd, a respectable tailoring firm. More than an error, it should be a fake, which I'm not bound to believe. I'll try to get the pic scanned - I'm not equipped for that. Hope to revert asap. Regards.

  5. #5

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    I included the picture because it's in colour and there's no doubt it's army. I would still doubt the picture being some weird RAF/Army hybrid. The whole description given (gorget patches, the shoulder rank insignia, sam browne) all suggest the army uniform of a Field Marshal. I suppose the only way forward is to find the photo and have a look at it. Anything's possible I suppose.

    By the way, Gieves is more than respectable, it is the ultimate Royal Naval tailor. I think 'legendary' would sum them up better in the dressmaking world

    Rob

    PS. I can't help this so do forgive me... and not trying to be a smart ass, but the double 'l' spelling of 'Field Marshall' and "Air Marshall" is one of my pet hates. The spelling is Marshal with one 'l'. The German spelling has two 'l's - Generalfeldmarschall - but the English does not.

  6. #6

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Thank you again, Rob, for your attention, which I greatly appreciate.As I said, I'll try to scan the photograph, but I do not own the necessary equipment, so I'm looking for help from my friends. I thank you particularly for drawing to my attention the misspelling of "Marshal". English is a very slippery ground for non-native speakers. Don't hesitate, please, to correct me anytime you spot something sour. It would be a great help for me. I know Gieves ltd and, when I was in London, I frequently called in on them,in their Old Bond Street premises, before they were destroyed. Regards. Gaetano

  7. #7

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Well, your English is good enough that I really had no idea you weren't a native speaker. I found the book online but couldn't find the picture you are talking about anywhere. I guess we should just wait until you can get a picture

    The Marshal spelling thing is very common amongst native speakers. It ranks as one of my greatest hates, along with the phrases "could of" and "would of" instead of "could've" and would've

    Rob

  8. #8

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Thanks for your further reply, Rob, and for what I accept as an encouraging appreciation for my English. While I'm in search of a scanner, I'm going to reconsider the whole question, starting from your observation that the picture could show the King in his FM uniform. As matter of fact, my being puzzled rests only on the Cap Badge, which I seemed to identify as a RAF Air Rank Badge;particularly, a Marshal of the Air Force badge, since I seemed to spot an eagle with outstreched wings in the centre, similar to the RAF's. Now, the photo having a poor resolution, there could be two crossed batons in stead, as n the FM's badge. In this case I'd only have to apologize for wasting your time. This I'll do as soon as I come to an acceptable result. All the best. Gaetano

  9. #9

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    I try to attach the King's photo. Regards. Gaetano
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

    Default Re: King George VI odd RAF Uniform

    Is the photo OK? If so, I would point out the all my question seems to rest on the cap badge, which, at first sight, I seemed to identify as a RAF Air Rank Badge. Hence my puzzlement. Now, on a closer examination, I'm no more so sure, It could be an Army Field Marshal badge, in which case I must only apologize for the waste of time. Look to hearing from you, Regards.

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