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World War One ID Bracelet
The history of the identity bracelet of WWI with a photograph example of that worn by Sister Williams of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
During the 1914 - 1918 Great War soldiers and those at the frontline were issued with fibrous identity discs which were worn around the neck, often with a good luck charm like a cross, and usually tied by a piece of string.
This example above is on display in the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle.
Sadly the damp conditions of the trenches often rotted them. Many corpses were difficult to identify, especially those who were shipwrecked. They were nicknamed cold meat tickets. They were stamped with the serviceman's regimental number, initials and surname and religion.
Oddly from 1907 to August 1914 ID discs were made from aluminium with the soldiers' name, rank, serial number, unit details and religion stamped on it. Perhaps the cost to issue these to the vast number of men mobilised necessitated the cheaper ID discs. Prior to 1907 soldiers would carry an identity card in their uniform pocket.
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My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.
Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.
I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.
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This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.
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The 1909 Field Service Regulations instructed that the disc be removed from bodies, which made later identification even more difficult. For this reason two discs were introduced in August 1916, though The Quick and the Dead by van Emden, Richard describe this implementation as being from the Army Council Instruction of September 1916. They were of two different shapes and colours. A green octagonal one would stay with the body whilst the red round one would be removed from the body for administration purposes (cited from What Tommy Took to War, 1914-1918 which also has a photo of the red and green ID discs).
These are on display at Eden Camp in Yorkshire.
Unknown Warriors: The Letters of Kate Luard, RRC and Bar, Nursing Sister in France 1914-1918 describes these dog tags as being 35mm and of vulcanised asbestos fibre.
Because of their fragile state many soldiers and indeed members of the QAs had their own, often using local coins such as a Franc at the Western Front, made out of metals like silver or copper and worn on their wrists as a bracelet. Some would also add their issued fibrous identity discs. There is an example of this in the lower section of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps page.
The fine example of an engraved silver World War One ID Bracelet above belonged to Nursing Sister Williams of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. It was given to a reader in the 1970s when he was at Durban, South Africa. He thinks the reverse coin is Islamic. It reads
S. Williams QAIMNSR C of E
If you can help with further information please contact me.
Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.
Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?
The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.
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The Quick and the Dead by van Emden, Richard describes the distress such a silver identification caused a mother when her soldier son asked her to forward one to France:
I knew what it stood for as I looked at it. It stood first and foremost for the fact that the boy who in himself was all earth and all heaven to me was in the army only one among many thousands, perhaps among many hundreds of thousands. It stood for a fearful confusion in which masses of men might get inextricably mixed up so that none could know who this fellow was; and it stood for a field on which there were many dead lying, and for grim figures walking about among those dead and depending for their identifications on some token worn by the still shapes whose lips would speak no more. All this passed through my mind while I packed up the little disc and chain.
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
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This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.
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