Sneak Preview! – Upcoming Publication on “The Distinguishing Marks of The Somme 1916”

For several years now, I have had an increasing interest in the distinguishing marks adopted by the British Army during the Great War. These include the cloth badges worn on uniforms, those painted on helmets and vehicles’ signboards as well as the Divisional and other Formation Signs. The subject is absolutely fascinating, and up until recently, very little information was available in the public domain.

Over the last four or five years, I have been compiling my own research on the distinguishing marks worn in the Great War, from a vast array of sources, and am finally ready to start publication! Due to the huge amount of information, it would be unfeasible for this to all be contained within one volume. After much consideration, I have decided to first create a smaller booklet, to help build interest and to introduce myself as a newcomer.

With the launch of my blog (this website) today, 1st July 2020, what better day to announce that I am soon to publish a booklet of the distinguishing marks worn by the British Army during the Battle of the Somme 1916.

Markings adopted by 4th Division for the Somme Offensive

The booklet will cover the markings worn on helmets and uniforms adopted specifically for the battle, as well as those already in use by 1st July 1916. It will also include information on vehicle markings, special flags and ground markers used as well as a host of other information regarding distinguishing marks used during the Somme.

Please do keep an eye out on the website for further updates, and I hope to have the booklet ready for dispatch by November 2020. If all goes well, I will be looking to publish my first full book in 2021, on the distinguishing marks worn by the British Cavalry and Yeomanry during the Great War.

D Company, 1/4th Gloucestershire Regiment – Taken after coming out of the line on the Somme, end of July 1916

If you have any photos or even original examples of any of these distinguishing marks from the Great War period, I would be delighted to hear from you via the contact page.

For those who would like to know more on the subject, the best work so far was released relatively recently by David Bilton, titled “The Badges of Kitchener’s Army”, although limited only to the New Army Battalions. This is closely followed by the Military Historical Society Special Numbers covering the Machine Gun Corps and the Infantry Divisions of 1917.

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