Uniform ID anyone

Discussion in 'British Army' started by Twiglet, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Twiglet

    Twiglet Member

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    This is the best picture I have. I have been told via the people on the Great War Forum that this uniform is known as 'Hospital Blues', (worn by convalescing soldiers during WW1), BUT I am not convinced. (Harry would have been 13-17 at the time/end of WW1, and he doesn't look it - chap on the right).

    I've also written to various people, London Transport, National Rail Museum, the Post Office, etc. No-one can identify it. The cap badge remains a mystery. And the photo, I appreciate, is quite rubbish!

    Can anyone help?! (Below link for comparison)

    Code:
    http://www.qaranc.co.uk/Army-Hospital-Blues-Uniform-WW1.php
     

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  2. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    Isn't that interesting. I've never come across 'Hospital Blues' but I was working on some Surrey asylums last night, some of which had been used as WW1 military hospitals and there is a good photo of numerous 'patients' wearing similar uniforms to those in your link.

    In your link there is a further link to the Colchester Military Hospital site where the 'official' Hospital Blues uniform is shown in several of the photos.

    If you go to this site
    Code:
    http://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/HospitalCluster.html
    and scroll down, you'll come across a photo of patients at Horton War hospital. Two or three of the men seem to be wearing the 'proper' Hospital Blues uniform but others seem to be wearing a uniform more like that in your photo.

    This may be wishful thinking of course, but there may be something in it.
     
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  3. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Are you quite sure that it is the one on the right to be your Harry? The young man on the left seems to be closer to that age.
     
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  4. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    @Flook , the uniforms look same as others I have seen, & named as Hospital Blues. Beautiful photos there Flook.

    @Archie's Mum, I always wonder how people refer to 'the one o the right/left'. Is it on the right/left in fact or as we look at the photo.?o_O

    p.s. the cap badge on the hat of the man standing on the seated man's right :) looks different to the other two cap badges.
     
  5. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    If Harry was so young then perhaps he was a drummer or bugler....not sure, just a wild stab.:rolleyes:
     
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  6. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    ..or fibbed about his age. I recently found a relly who was in & out of the Army before he could shake hands all around. Then a nice letter from his Dad to the Army apologising for his son joining up while under age & saying he would give his son his blessing in a few months time when son became of age.
     
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  7. Jellylegs

    Jellylegs Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the same.
     
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  8. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Family Search has a Henry Tallawen, birthplace London 1900 Event Years 1918-1921. United Kingdom Merchant Navy Seaman Records.
     
  9. Doug

    Doug Administrator. The Main Man. Staff Member

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    I have a book "Uniforms & Equipment of the British Army in WWI" which includes a photo of a group of men wearing Hospital Blues which appear identical to those in your photo. The men retained their own headdress.
     
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  10. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    There is an awful lot in the newspapers about 'Hospital Blues'. They appear to have been issued up until about 1960. They seem to have been almost universally disliked and I thought this letter from a soldier in WW2 probably summed up the feeling amongst those who had to wear them :rolleyes:

    Sunday Post 30th July 1944
    THOSE AWFUL HOSPITAL BLUES! I’ve got a blighty. I've got good grub, a reasonable M.O., really smashing nurse, bags of time for letter-writing and reading, but –
    Ay, there's the rub! I've also got a suit of clothes that would look out of place anywhere outside a pierrot show at Rothesay during holiday week. They fit where they touch, but they don't often touch. They smell like the final lesson in an Army gas school. You feel like an advertisement for somebody's starch. Of course, it's all scrupulously clean. Everything is stoved before you get it. Unfortunately, pants blue have only to be stoved about twice and they become football shorts. Now I'm not what you'd call proud. Given a flat iron I can generally make my old kit look presentable. But not these hospital blues. They're an army tradition. They go back to the first Boer War. Nobody knows who invented them. He must have died of shame. But why the red, white, and blue effect? "Patriotic colour," snorts the M.O. It seems it dates back to the days of pipeclay and scarlet. Most of us are allowed out twice a week on short passes. We walk about the streets trying to look normal. Would YOU feel normal in a shrunken sky blue suit and pink tie? Not on your life! Sometimes, of course, it has advantages. I was once in a blighty near a town in the South. There we got free cinemas, reduced prices in cafes, and bus conductors gave us a cheery nod instead of a ticket. But if the War Office insists that we should look different to everybody else - why not a blue armband or a small Cross of St John? Let them gives us blue hats if they must or even blue ties, but drop this pierrot business. What about it, Mister Grigg.—Trooper J.
     
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  11. Twiglet

    Twiglet Member

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    @Flook & @Doug - thank you - it does appear to be hospital blues after all. Just wasn't convinced because of his age. Would explain the different cap badges.

    @Archie's Mum & @Jellylegs - Yes, the chap on the right (as you look at the picture) is definitely Harry Tallowin, I've got other photos. He was my great nan's younger brother (black sheep).

    @Ma-dotcom that made me laugh, the story of your relative. "In and out before he could shake hands all round".

    @Archie's Mum again - that's a record that I've never seen/found before, so thank you very much - I reckon that's him - there various spellings of Tallowin/Tallawin/Tallwin/Tallywn, etc!

    @AnnB - fascinating!
     
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