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Royal West Kent regiment symbols on a jeep


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I am nearing completion on my 42 GPW rebuild. She is actually a 1945/46 British Army rebuild and I am marking her up as from that period. She is painted in Deep Bronze Green. I am now about to get her stencils done and want to mark her as being attached to the 2bn Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment from 1946 when that battalion was attacked to the 5th Infantry Division in the BOAR. 
 

Does anyone have any information or photos of what logos/stencils she would have relating to RWK? 
 

As it stands at the moment she will have her hood number (M1595360), the 5th Division white Y on yellow background on the windshield and rear bumperette, some sort of Invicta as the logo for RWK (possible one attached) and nothing else  

Any advice is greatly welcome! 
 

Thanks

Graham 

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I have to say I have never seen a Queens Own badge or picture saying RWK.  They all say ROYAL WEST KENT.  But I have no knowledge of what sign their vehicles carried in 1946 (nor whether they had any regimental sign at all).  2RWK moved to Germany in Feb 1946, to an area some 100 miles south of Brunswick, but in June  they moved north to Brunswick where they stayed until Nov 1947, give or take three months in Berlin and various training periods at Soltau.   Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of the signs painted on the vehicles, though the description of 5 Infantry Division sign as a white Y on a yellow square surprises me; I thought it was on a black square. I would have expected them to carry an AoS square (on the opposite side to the Divisional sign) which would be red, green or brown with a 2 figure number  in the 50s or 60s range, but I cannot be more specific, without knowing the order of battle of 5 Div at the time.  By 1948 2RWK were back in UK at Ross Barracks, Shorncliffe where they became the Home Counties Training Battalion..

Chris

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Thanks. The jeep was sold off from the British Army in 1946. We have stripped her right back and the body has not had any paint on it a parts from Deep Bronze Green. BJAR have said that that would be the right paint for that year. The Y is on a brown/mustard background, provided but the company making my stencils and is in line with what I have seen online. My mistake to say it was yellow as I have seen different shades of it. Some are quite dark but not black. 
 

can you give me more information about AoS square and the number please? 
 

thanks. 
 

graham

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Dear Graham,

Going back to basics I am certain that in 1946 the British Army still employed WW2 style markings, so apart from a vehicle number beginning with M, the Jeep would have carried the Divisional Marking, so a Y for the 5th Infantry Division but in 1946 the Div sign was changed to a white Y on a black circle, according to Howard Cole's book on British & Commonwealth Formation Badges. This replaced the Y on a Khaki Square marking.

Next is the arm of service marking (assuming the WW2 / NW Europe rules continued). An Inf Div in NW Europe would have had Red Square for the Senior Brigade, Green for the next Bde and Brown for the Junior Bde.

With three Battalions per Brigade the senior Bde used 81 for HQ, then 55, 56 and 57 for each Battalion in seniority, on a Red Square, the next Bde used 87 for HQ, then 60, 61 and 62 on a Green Square and the Junior Bde used 94 for HQ then 67,68 and 69 on a Brown Square.

It was only in 1948 that there was a reduction in regular Regiments and Brigades, so I assume in 1946 the make up was the same as WW2 more or less.

I could not locate the Bde that 2RWK were in during 1946, as this will determine the AoS marking and colour of the Square, either red, Green or Brown.

Further study is to see in DBG colour was in use in 1946 especially for Jeep rebuilds.

Also in post war period the British Army changed the vehicle registrations, so you Jeep may have ended up with a registration like Ashley's Jeep; 46 YJ 36 in place of the M number.

Someone on here will know about DBG and new registration introduction dates.

 

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Thank you very much. Do you have a date for the change in 1946 from the Y on khaki square to the Y on black circle? The 2RWK embarked for Germany on 13/12/45 so I guess either design is correct for 1946. They return to the UK on 15/11/1947. 
 

I will try to find out more about with brigade is was with in 1946.

We have done a lot of research into the registration plate and have not found any evidence that it had a xx yy xx configuration. 


graham

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Sorry one further question. When you say seniority in each Brigade do you mean seniority of being attached to the Brigade or do you mean seniority of the regiment in the line? 

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On 5/3/2020 at 10:29 AM, Gpralph said:

Thanks. The jeep was sold off from the British Army in 1946. We have stripped her right back and the body has not had any paint on it a parts from Deep Bronze Green

your jeep must have started life painted in olive drab in the US factory and probably used by the British army for a while befour painting it bronze green

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Dear Graham,

Yes, the British Army would 'position' a Regiment as a Battalion in a Brigade by the Regiment's seniority typically based on its formation date in the Army.

By way of example in 1945, the 13th Bde (the senior Bde) of the 5th Div had 2nd Bn Cameron's as senior Bn, followed by 2nd Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, then 5th Bn Essex Regt as junior regiment. From this you can plot the AoS which would have been 57 in white on a red square for the 5th Bn Essex Regt.

Incidentally I have found that the 2nd Bn RWK were in 184th Infantry Brigade of 61st Infantry Div up to circa August 1945. This Brigade was the junior Brigade in the 61st Division but 2RWK was the senior Bn ahead of 2nd Bn east Surrey Regt and 1st Bn Foresters.

So that would have meant an AoS of a white 67 on a brown square.

However, 61st Division was broken up in Sept 1945 so did the 184th Brigade stay as it was or get broken up too, meaning a completely different AoS - especially if either 2RWK or the Brigade changed seniority in 1946 with the 5th Division.

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6 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

Someone on here will know about DBG and new registration introduction dates.

1949 for 2 numbers, followed by 2 letters, and another 2 numbers.

In the immediate post-war period British Army vehicles were painted in high gloss Deep Bronze Green. 

More information in Clive Elliott's "British Army Green Paint

BritishArmyGreenPaintsElliott2.pdf

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Thank you all very much. In 1946 the 5th Division consisted of the 15th and 17th Brigades but I don’t know which regiments were in them. I assume that the senior brigade would be the 15th? Nearly there.....

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Posted (edited)

Yes, the 15th Bde would be senior to 17th!

Keep up the good work as you are now down to the final two Brigades, and the position of 2RWK in one or other of them - so a red or green square for the AoS!

BTW - have you tried to get a full service history on your vehicle, as some re-built Jeeps last quite a while in the British Army

Edited by LarryH57
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Thanks. We have tried to track the jeep’s history but it was sold off by the army in 1946 almost as soon as it was rebuilt. 

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I think we are nearly there. 

If I am reading another source correctly as of 17th Feb 1946 the 17th Brigade consisted of three main battalions:

 

2nd Battalion Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

1st Battalion Border Regiment

 

Would the 2RWK have been the senior battalion in the Brigade (which was junior of the two Brigades after the 15th?)?

 

If so then the Arm of Service marking on my jeep would be a white 60 on a Green square? 
 

Would the Y on khaki still have been the Divisional mark on 17th February 1946? 
 

many thanks

 

graham

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can RLC archives carry out a chassis number search to see if it has details on a key card ? this was £10.00 or have you all ready tried.

cheers

Ashley

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I reckon the listing for the 17th Bde you obtained has the regiments in the correct seniority, so the RWK were top in the 17th Bde as they were originally the 97th Foot from much earlier times.

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According to the 1946 Army List the Royal West Kent was 47th in the order of precedence in the Infantry, below The Border Regiment and The Northamptonshire Regiment. So it looks like it’s a 62 on Green square. 

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Posted (edited)

Well there you are, with what I hope is the correct AoS marking.

One last check is to see if the 87, 60, 61 and 62 markings and all the others were not superseded or changed for security reasons in the immediate post war period.

Hopefully, there is another post war BAOR expert who may know. Have you tried searching for pictures of any vehicles in 5th Div at this time (or 15th and 17th Bdes) as if they correspond with the WW2 numbers for NWE, then it will be likely that 'Green 62' will be correct.

That's why this site is great.

Edited by LarryH57
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Thanks. Would there be any other markings (apart from Divisional and AoS) on the jeep relevant to what I am trying to achieve? Thanks. 

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DO not waste  your money the key cards only record vehicles that stayed in service after 1949 and you say yours was sold in 1946 so was sold still bearing the wartime census number

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I am about to stencil the hood numbers onto my jeep (based on a 1946 iteration). I am saying white emulsion for the paint, my son says blue paint. Which is the right one - white or blue? And if blue what shade?? Ta. 

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