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Old Photo Circa WW2 time


medic1
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I need help identifying the number 55 on this helmet: Any ideas!? thanksIMG_0124.JPG

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Well it's a well known number, this.

It is higher than 54 but lower than 56. Other than that, not a clue, sorry mate! :saint::huh:

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well i know its a Graham rather than a grey

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I also think it is 55 Sqn RAF. Why not send a copy to RAF Cranwell, where 55 (Reserve) Sdn RAF is now responsible for the training of WSO's

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I also think it is 55 Sqn RAF. Why not send a copy to RAF Cranwell, where 55 (Reserve) Sdn RAF is now responsible for the training of WSO's

I might just do that, thanks guys.

I know he was awarded the burma star as well so that gives me a bit more to work on

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Is that circa-WW2? It looks earlier, and I didn't think British troops wore Pith helmets during WW2.

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Is that circa-WW2? It looks earlier, and I didn't think British troops wore Pith helmets during WW2.

The standard pattern 'Wolseley' helmet was not produced after 1942. British troops were not issued the standard pattern tropical helmet after 1941 except for service in India and Indian Army operation areas, including the Middle East. Throughout WW2 tropical helmets can be seen being worn by British Indian Army units). e.g 20th Indian Division in Iraq.

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Officers East of suez often wore the helmets in the early part of WW2 but this fell out of fashion from 1941 onwards as it was seen to be 'naff' and officers did not want to be confused with civilian administrators who wore the pith helmet as part of their 'uniform'. It was still issued as part of standard officers dress uniform until late in 1942. South African officers and men wore the standard pith helmet throughout WW2

Another line of enquiry might be to identify the collar badges in the original picture. They appear to be 3 stars in a circle. The RAF Museum may be able to help

Edited by Killicksparker
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There's a former WW2 RAF officer that drinks in my local. If he is there tonight, I will ask for you. :D

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Is it an RAF uniform though? I don't claim any kind of knowledge her but to me it really doesn't look like an RAF uniform of any age. At its inception it was the RFC in any event, itself born from the RN.

It looks more like a pith helmet of a British army uniform of an Indian regiment. I'd imagine the insignia on his collar can be a big if not bigger clue than the helmet.

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It looks WW1 to me and the 55 badge is on the side of the helmet so most probably denotes a division or brigade. 55Sqdn the RFC did serve in Egypt during WW1 but I can find no trace that they were issued with the wolseley helmet, so I'm angling more toward army than RFC.

I'm still searching and digging but can you give us any and I mean ANY more info?

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The 55th Division spent the whole of WW1 fighting in France, and didnt get back to England until 1920. So I dont think that can be the source of that '55'.The 55th Infantry Brigade surrendered to the Japanese in Singapore in 1942. It comprised of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, Bedfordshire and Hertforshiree Regiment and the Sherwood Foresters, but the insignia looks pre WW2 to me.

The 55th Indian Infantry Brigade was an Infantry formation of the Indian Army during World War II. It was formed in April 1942, in India. and assigned to the 7th Indian Infantry Division. In July to September 1942, it was attached to the North Western Army. Afterwards the brigade was assigned to the 14th Indian Infantry Division and took part in the Burma Campaign. Apart from a short period in May 1943, the brigade remained with the 14th Division until the end of the war so that could be a possiblilty. The Indian Army were quite often issued with obsolete (or even re-issued in the case of troopers) uniforms

Edited by Killicksparker
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Is it an RAF uniform though?

David is right and my old vetran RAF friend confirmed it. This is not an RAF uniform.

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