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Badge identification - help needed  XML
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Noel Rabouhans
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Joined: 06/06/2015 16:22:04
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I would appreciate any help in identifying the badge worn on the left sleeve of the Free French commandos in the attached picture (on upper arm, below the "France" and "Commando" badges).

The photo was taken on 14th July 1942. The same badge is worn in the Pathe News footage taken at Criccieth in October 1942, and also there is a photo of commando Marcel Joho taken at the FNFL hospital in Beaconsfield (date unknown), where he wears the same badge. Unfortunately I have not found a close-up so the best one can get is a rather fuzzy image.

Later photos taken in 1943 show that this badge has been replaced by the "Combined Operations" badge.

I would appreciate any information (is the badge French or British?)

Many thanks

Noel Rabouhans
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NIC
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Hi Noel,
My first instinct is that it is the Croix de Lorraine which was certainly worn by FNFL - as confirmed by this photo of your father...

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/10IA/French/Raymond+Rabouhans.JPG.html

However the design is slightly different and I wonder if it was changed from the one worn by your father to a diamond shaped one at a later date. I think the diamond shape was at some time worn on the breast?


I'll have to have a more thorough search...

Nick

Nick Collins

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Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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Noel Rabouhans
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Joined: 06/06/2015 16:22:04
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Thanks Nic,

I thought it would be the Croix de Lorraine - of course there are photos like the close-up of my dad taken on the same occasion, which clearly show this worn on the right arm.

But the badge on the left arm looks different to me. I attach a second picture, which is a bit sharper (taken again I think on 14th July 1942 - my dad is on the left). If you look at the image on the far left - a little blurred but quite large - the shape looks quite different to the Croix de Lorraine.

I have consulted a book "Les Francais Libres et leurs Emblemes", but it doesn't show anything like this.

Let me know your thoughts

Regards

Noel

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Peter Cooper
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Joined: 24/01/2009 20:21:02
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It looks rather like a grenadiers's badge. The grenade with the flame above.

Son of Dennis Cooper, 1 troop 4 Commando.
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Noel,

As Peter says it looks like the badge worn by British Fusilier Regiments.

I have seen a photo of Phillipe Kieffer wearing one on his left arm and a photo of a member of 1er Régiment de Fusiliers Marins - (not to be confused with 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos) so maybe some of them wore that badge?

Nick

Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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Belly
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Joined: 27/12/2010 20:58:21
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The badge is a French Fusiliers 'Seconds Maitres' badge, you'll notice some are also wearing the FNFL anchor (as worn on the ORs bachie), I'm not sure why some wear them, but not all do, and it only seemed to be practiced early in the war (Pre combined ops). Please see original examples attached from my collection.

Noel, would it be possible to provide higher resolution scans of those excellent photographs please?

Regards
Paul

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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 30/08/2016 18:56:31


Army Commando: Setting Europe ablaze since 1940

Collector of Army Commando Insignia & Memorabilia - desperately looking for printed shoulder titles
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Noel Rabouhans
Forum Lance Corporal

Joined: 06/06/2015 16:22:04
Messages: 24
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Paul,

Thank you so much for your identification and explanation of these badges. I thought one looked like an anchor, and you have confirmed this for me.

Incidentally, I have a WW2 bachi with FNFL ribbon, but the anchor badge is missing. I have searched high and low for one - any ideas?

I am afraid that these photos are the best I have.

Kind regards

Noel
Belly
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Noel

My badges came from here:
http://www.leberetvert.com

They're not expensive, about 12 euros. Be careful though as not everything they describe as WWII is WWII, I'm no expert though on French badges and have to rely on others for advice on the continent. Depending on how fussy you want to be, I do have a post war version, which to be honest is so similar would look fine. I'll happily send you this free of charge if you wish, but understand if you wish to source a correct WWII type. See attached image.

Regards
Paul
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Army Commando: Setting Europe ablaze since 1940

Collector of Army Commando Insignia & Memorabilia - desperately looking for printed shoulder titles
[WWW]
 
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