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 Post subject: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 19:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 165
Location: Suffolk
Real Name: Georgie
I have a lovely red cross indoor uniform (dress) for a section leader. It is in immaculate condition, but is missing the epaulettes. I have tried in vain to find what these should look like but can't find anything. No photos. Nothing. The Red Cross is an organisation which seemed to have a miriad of uniform styles and insignia and I really don't know where to look. Now, I would try the Red Cross museum themselves but my sister did this a couple of years ago when making a query about uniform buttons so that she could display a uniform for educational purposes at an event. To be honest, not only were they rude and unhelpful to her but they also got their solicitor to send a quite threatening e-mail that she could be prosecuted if she displayed the item and that the Red Cross did not support such things as it might bring depict them in a disreputable light!!. I found this quite surprising and alarming as my Sister, as a middle aged respectable lady, is not likely to use Red Cross material to such an end and her intention was merely to highlight the role of women in the organisation during the war years. It scared her to death.
So, to cut a long story eventually short, I am reluctant to contact the Red Cross themselves as I don't relish being branded a potential criminal, but I would dearly like to find out more about this uniform. Anyone got any insights?

P.S. I wonder if the Red Cross are aware of the millions of their items sold on eBay and worn at anything from 1940s events to hangar dances??


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
Posts: 714
Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
Hi. Sorry, I can't help with your query directly but wanted to reply anyway. So sorry to hear about your sister's horrific experience - what about all the re-enactors bringing the army/air force/police etc etc "into disrepute"!

I myself have recently started portraying a St John Ambulance officer and have found information about uniform hard to come by - even though I went to their museum in Clerkenwell. This JWO group (Joint War Organisation of the RC and StJA) have been very helpful, and may be able to help you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/35260638705/

I see you are in Suffolk - I will have my display of the JWO Prisoners of War Department at the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway 1940s in 10 days time (I will be there on the Sunday but cannot make it on the Monday) if you fancy coming along. See: http://www.middyatwar.co.uk/

As I originally said, I don't know much about the Red Cross, but have used this book for research for my display: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Red-Cross-Whi ... 9118360/bd

Also, I find this Red Cross website useful: http://www.caringonthehomefront.org.uk/

Good luck, Owen.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 13:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 17:00 pm
Posts: 14401
Group: That's so 2011...
Do you have a photo? I have to say that I haven't experienced this whilst researching the BRC/VAD for many years, they've always been incredibly helpful.
Epaulettes on an indoor/ward dress for WW2 doesn't ring a bell for me, but I do have a contact who worked at East Grinstead with the BRC during WW2.

Some organisations can be initially wary, I work with the Quakers and Salvation Army and the Salvos were initially sceptical.

K

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memorial ... 1996034455
https://www.facebook.com/edwardsshed

Be very careful about loaning original items...also, please keep an eye out for :
*Still missing* Because some folks are devoid of an ounce of honesty or integrity.
Women's Navy Great Coat
Green floor length 1930s evening dress with sleeves set on net.
Blue and white rayon dress with peplum
Black velvet halter necked dress with silver shot thread skirt (may still have Harrods label in it) I have photos of all of these items and I know where they are in Scunthorpe, but would appreciate a nod if they come up for sale. [/color]


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 19:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 165
Location: Suffolk
Real Name: Georgie
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Hi Katie and Owen. Thank you both so much for your replies. Hopefully I have posted a reasonable photo on here. The dress has holes for epaulettes to be attached. They are stitched holes, not just forced openings in the fabric. I don't believe this is a ward dress, but a 'walking out' dress possibly as it is similar to my Sister's post war one, as in it made from the same lightweight wool. I suppose having the holes doesn't necessarily mean epaulettes were worn, but it seems strange to have them if not.

Owen, I would love to come to MSLR, and usually do as last year I did a display also. Sadly this year I am away as it is my Mum's 75th birthday and I'm taking her to Jersey for a short break. Thank you for the links though and I will peruse these to see what I can find.

Maybe my Sis was just unlucky with her e-mail reply from the Red Cross, but I have to say it has rather put me off contacting them

Thanks again
Georgie


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 19:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 165
Location: Suffolk
Real Name: Georgie
Front view of dress if it helps

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 19:25 pm 
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I find this attitude odd. I've never had any trouble in my St John uniform either.
What about those doing police, surely they're impersonating an officer? :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 19:27 pm 
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I have an identical dress for St John and it's dated (Lillywhites) 1949, mine also has epaulettes.

I would drop them a message, or give them a call. I think she just got unlucky, I'm sure that the JWO group don't have any problem as they are all active members of the St John Ambulance. I have to say that if you wear VAD or QA or any of the branches of nursing service, it's a good idea to be first aid trained. We were and even at Pickering a copper grabbed us to help with a gent who had collapsed. He just assumed that we were actually nurses. I'll try and find the name of the lady I spoke to last time who went out of her way to be helpful.

Kate

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memorial ... 1996034455
https://www.facebook.com/edwardsshed

Be very careful about loaning original items...also, please keep an eye out for :
*Still missing* Because some folks are devoid of an ounce of honesty or integrity.
Women's Navy Great Coat
Green floor length 1930s evening dress with sleeves set on net.
Blue and white rayon dress with peplum
Black velvet halter necked dress with silver shot thread skirt (may still have Harrods label in it) I have photos of all of these items and I know where they are in Scunthorpe, but would appreciate a nod if they come up for sale. [/color]


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 19:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 165
Location: Suffolk
Real Name: Georgie
Thanks Kate.

I have just bitten the bullet and sent them an e-mail (very carefully worded) so watch this space.

I know what you mean about being taken for the real thing. I used to be a radiographer so I do have a good level of first aid knowledge (luckily). However, I was rather dismayed when whilst wearing my ATS uniform an old chap asked me what it was like serving in AckAck command! At first I thought he was just getting into the role, but it appeared he really thought I did. Fortunately his daughter pointed out to me that he got a little confused these days. Quite sad really, but on the other hand he was a grand old chap who told me quite a few interesting stories. I got the impression he had been a bit of a lad with the ladies!

G


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 23:16 pm 
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Group: That's so 2011...
:D He sounds fun! It's when I do our school workshops and kids ask 'What did you do during the war?'

I guess I'm looking old!!

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Memorial ... 1996034455
https://www.facebook.com/edwardsshed

Be very careful about loaning original items...also, please keep an eye out for :
*Still missing* Because some folks are devoid of an ounce of honesty or integrity.
Women's Navy Great Coat
Green floor length 1930s evening dress with sleeves set on net.
Blue and white rayon dress with peplum
Black velvet halter necked dress with silver shot thread skirt (may still have Harrods label in it) I have photos of all of these items and I know where they are in Scunthorpe, but would appreciate a nod if they come up for sale. [/color]


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 18:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 165
Location: Suffolk
Real Name: Georgie
LOL! I know the feeling. But then to kids anyone over 30 is simply ancient


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
Posts: 714
Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
Georgie - I remember your display of uniforms last year - very impressive. I am usually Home Guard, as part of the Civil Defenders group, but, as I said, this year I am doing a JWO Prisoners of War Dept display in St John Ambulance uniform. Enjoy Jersey. Owen.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 14:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
Posts: 714
Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
Georgie - I have spent a lot of time this afternoon looking at images of nurses uniforms (!) as it's rather quiet at work, and can't find anything similar to yours. In particular the open neck looks different from most I see. Also the grey colour suggests it might be Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service - could it be? Have you seen: http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Allied-Nu ... 1841761850


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 13:47 pm 
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My partner has a post war red cross VAD dress and that has an open collar. We're still trying to find a war pattern one as we don't really want to convert/damage a slightly post war one.

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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 19:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 165
Location: Suffolk
Real Name: Georgie
hi Owen,
No, defintitely not QAIMNS. I know what they look like and it's not like this. My Sister has a uniform very similar to mine but post war. The BRC stated is was a best, walking out dress, so I'm presuming this is something similar. The buttons are all BRC along with the insgina and I know these could have been added, but it all looks too authentic to me. I haven't heard anything back from my query, so I'm beginning to think no one at BRC really wants to be helpful, which is a shame.
One thing I have found out though is that the BRC seemed to have a plethora of uniforms that changed frequently throughout the war. There were summer ones, winter ones, best dress, working dress, the equivalent of an SD, ward dress for nurses, a completely different uniform for welfare officers etc., another type for those overseas. So, I may never get to the bottom of my question! C'est la vie!


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 20:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:24 pm
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Real Name: Owen Thompson
Group: Civil Defenders
Hi. Sorry I couldn't help, and it seems like you are finding out a lot about it. Will post if I come across anything useful. Good luck, Owen.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Cross Uniforms
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 19:39 pm 
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blueknighttbk wrote:
I find this attitude odd. I've never had any trouble in my St John uniform either.
What about those doing police, surely they're impersonating an officer? :roll:


It's actually very illegal (not just against UK law, but also the Geneva Convention) to display the Red Cross, or use the name, or something that can be mistaken for the emblum or name, outside of certain well defined parameters (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/5-6/52) - those being denoting facilities for the care of injured and sick armed forces members; armed forces medical personnel and equipment; military chaplains; and members of the Red Cross (and even the latter are subject to particular restrictions). There are no exceptions for stage, screen, theatrical productions, etc. (which is the case regarding military uniforms) and it does not matter if it was a deliberate breach of the law or done out of ignorance, or whether it was done to deceive or not (as is the case with police uniforms). There is no such legal restriction regarding St John's Ambulance, excepting perhaps the usual intellectual property issues.

It is also worth noting that one of the primary organisations charged with monitoring it's unauthorised use in the UK is...the British Red Cross.

Now, I have never heard of a prosecution, though the Red Cross does warn people about the unauthorised use of the symbol and request removal (I suppose there has never been the need to escalate), and there have been instances where this has happened - for example this story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-12135540 or this http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=388d6b05-1e55-4fc6-8f73-6e822e3db23f.

Incidentally, yes...this does mean that pretty much every re-enactor portraying a medic or medical orderly, or a VAD, is not quite obeying the law.

Same goes for Saving Private Ryan, and nurse minidresses worn by young ladies on their hen night

_________________
BRITISH OFFICER: Hey man, what's shakin'. What's the story with this valley? This a good place to live, you think?
NATIVE: It is very fertile. My family has lived here for many generations.
BRITISH OFFICER: Awesome. I'll put my mansion right here sorta where you're standing. Hey, what's with the triangle things?
NATIVE: Those are the sacred pyramids where my ancestors are buried.
BRITISH OFFICER: Cool. There any kinda zombie curse or anything we should know about? I mean, I want to pillage'em, but I don't want to cause no problems.
NATIVE: Our people lie merely asleep in their graves, waiting to shriek forth and bring agonising death to any who would dare disturb their peace.
BRITISH OFFICER: Be serious.
NATIVE: ...in truth the curse is probably apocryphal.
BRITISH OFFICER: Wicked. Carter, bust out the Gatling guns! I want to be revered as a God by teatime.

True story


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