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Flashman
01-08-2009, 10:25 AM
Don't know if this is the right place to post this...?

I got an RAF greatcoat in late November. Been wearing it all this while, cold weather and all. Monday an older gentleman stopped me in the street and said "You've got to change your buttons". I looked at them thinking they were falling off, and he said it was because they had the Queen's crown on them.

Anyone know more about this? I should have asked him if he meant it was against the law, or if it offended him, me a non RAF member wearing the coat, but I was a bit stunned. He said he was ex-RAF, he didn't look old enough to have flown during WW2, but even if he were RAF 50's - 60's I imagine the greatcoats looked the same.

Anyway ; thoughts? I'd especially like to hear from any RAF. Should I remove the buttons and replace them? Are you offended if you see some young fellow like me who patently isn't RAF wearing a 40's greatcoat? Or is it just the buttons?

Thanks in advance.

Schuultz
01-08-2009, 10:44 AM
Welll, I think if he was offended by you, he'd probably have made a point of it. Check old manuals or parade books or something, maybe you have them aligned in a wrong order, or some minor flaw like that.

Knowing British correct-ness, maybe the Crowns weren't all facing the right way :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Is it possible that the Insignia has changed?

Of course it's possible that the Queen's buttons are reserved for a certain group of people, but if they were illegal, I doubt you would have been allowed to buy the coat with them attached?

Of course those are just guesses - I could help you with a Luftwaffe uniform, though. :D

Flashman
01-08-2009, 10:51 AM
Ha! Well, I'm afraid I don't have a Luftwaffer coat.

Perhaps it's something only someone of his generation would appreciate. My generation knows little and cares even less about royalty. Because that's what he was talking about ; the fact that the buttons have 'the Queen's crown' on them. Which presumably means I'm not allowed to wear them.

Schuultz
01-08-2009, 11:04 AM
Well, I guess if I was you I'd just change them to be sure...

A button with a Union Jack would probably be a good replacement...:mrgreen:

pdf27
01-08-2009, 12:09 PM
There are no rules about wearing military uniform in the UK, although IIRC you can get done if you simultaneously claim to be a member of the armed forces (I'm not aware of anyone actually having been prosecuted for this however).

I do regard those who dress up in military clothing and have no connection to the military as complete numpties in general (mainly those who go the whole hog - wearing just one item is pretty harmless) - a personal opinion, but one I suspect the gentleman in question shared!

Flashman
01-08-2009, 12:50 PM
Well as I say, his words were "you need to change your buttons", so if it was the coat itself he didn't like he certainly didn't say so.

To me it's just a spiffy blue coat, 60 years old, no large insignia on it. Not really the same as walking down the street in an Army jacket Rodney Trotter style, or cammo trousers.

pdf27
01-08-2009, 01:08 PM
Are you sure it isn't because they didn't have the Queen's crown on them? If it's 60 years old then George VI would have been King and it would have the King's crown on it, which would therefore need changing to be current...

Cuts
01-08-2009, 03:40 PM
King's Crown RAF buttons:

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/2953/rafgl4.jpg



Queen's Crown RAF button (Mess Dress):

http://www.andythornton.com/images/MdProd/ATVMBRA2775D.jpg

Cuts
01-08-2009, 07:05 PM
There are no rules about wearing military uniform in the UK, although IIRC you can get done if you simultaneously claim to be a member of the armed forces (I'm not aware of anyone actually having been prosecuted for this however).

I do regard those who dress up in military clothing and have no connection to the military as complete numpties in general (mainly those who go the whole hog - wearing just one item is pretty harmless) - a personal opinion, but one I suspect the gentleman in question shared!

As PDF says, there is no actual law regarding the wearing of parts of military uniform but if someone attempts to pass themself off as a soldier for personal gain the fraud laws kick in.
There is however the Uniforms Act of 1894, (specifically Sect 2,) but I know of no occassion when this has been used.

Those masquerading as sldrs are referred to as 'walts' - from the short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber.

Even these laws aren't used as often as they could or even should be.
Take James Shortt, big cheese behind the IBA, (International Bodyguard Association,) and the most successful walt to date.
He claims to have been in the Parachute Regiment, the Special Air Service, the Royal Marines and various other military organisations purely in order to earn money but has never even passed a Recruit Cardre !
He also bought a false barony, (it is not possible to purchase a real Barony,) and has been pulling the wool over very many peoples eyes for a long time and earning all the while, but has yet to be nicked for it !

Check his escapades here (http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/James_Shortt) ! :D

Flashman
01-09-2009, 06:38 AM
King's Crown RAF buttons:

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/2953/rafgl4.jpg



Queen's Crown RAF button (Mess Dress):

http://www.andythornton.com/images/MdProd/ATVMBRA2775D.jpg

I'm not sure, (at first glance I thought there was no difference between them), but I think you may be right. I think I've got the King's crown.

Wether I misheard him or wether he said something other than he meant to say, who knows. Maybe he assumed they were the Queen's crown because it was an RAF coat - he didn't actually take close inspection of them himself.

Thanks. I'll think on it and do some more research myself. If I can / have to I'll change the buttons, but I paid too much to just never wear it again - and it's the only winter coat I have.

pdf27
01-09-2009, 09:14 AM
You'd only need to change the buttons if you were going on parade in it with the RAF!

Edit: Come to think of it, I'd have more objections to you wearing the current buttons as then you might theoretically be pretending to be in the RAF. With the old-style buttons on this issue doesn't arise (unless you're pretending to be in the RAF of 60 years ago!

Schuultz
01-09-2009, 11:10 AM
Benjamin Button, anyone :D

Mk VII
01-09-2009, 12:54 PM
The Uniforms Act 1895 makes an offence of 'wearing Her Majesty's uniform, not being a member of Her Majesty's Forces' which includes the 'distinctive marks' i.e. buttons, badges and rank insignia. It's not often enforced, but occasionally it is, and convictions have resulted.

Schuultz
01-09-2009, 02:05 PM
So can he get in trouble for wearing the old buttons, or only the new buttons?

pdf27
01-09-2009, 03:24 PM
In reality it's only used when the accused has been doing something else very naughty as well. After all, when such notorious Walts as Alan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Mcilwraith) Mcilwraith (http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Alan_Mcilwraith) get off scot-free, then nobody is seriously going to take exception to wearing a greatcoat with old-style buttons on it.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f3/Alan.No2.jpg

eidlyn
09-13-2009, 03:04 PM
I was reading through another forum, looking for this sort of coat, and lots of people were also saying "change the buttons! change the buttons!"

Apparently, it offends people of a certain group, if a civilian wears a military coat with military buttons. They believe that you are undeserving to wear that coat, for whatever reason.

Personally, I have a few choice words for people of this flavour, not to be uttered in mixed company. My grandfather served in WWII, and if that means I do not "deserve" to wear his things, then sod all, I don't care what they think. Being a huge fan of military surplus, I can say with absolute confidence that if I own the coat, NOBODY should tell me how I should wear it, and it bothers me to no end when people do.

So right on, man. Don't change a thing.

Firefly
09-14-2009, 01:39 PM
I loved that McIlwraith story at the time and this bit brought back some funny memories. Its never ceased to amaze me what some people will do or try when it comes to the armed forces.

I remember a while back some guys gatecrashing the 'Summer Ball' all dressed up until it was decided that no one actually knew them. The civvy police were called but I dont think anything actually happened to them.

As for the Great Coat, then yes, if they are the Kings buttons, then if you were in the RAF then you would have to get them changed. Since your not, I wouldnt bother. They arent issue any more anyways unless its a ceremonial one.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 10:03 AM
Once upon a time they would cut the buttons and insignia off uniforms being sold as surplus, precisely because of the 1895 Act. But that hasn't been done for many, many years and the RAF sells off surplus uniform all the time with all buttons and insignia still attached... Something for which I am eternally grateful, as after RAF-issue raincoats were declared obsolete ten years ago, I would shiver in my No.1s every Remembrance Sunday until I was able to buy myself a nice surplus greatcoat, complete with buttons :)

gpwgyrene
10-26-2009, 11:51 AM
King's Crown RAF buttons:

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/2953/rafgl4.jpg



Queen's Crown RAF button (Mess Dress):

http://www.andythornton.com/images/MdProd/ATVMBRA2775D.jpg



Just wanted to know if 24 mm brass buttons would be ok (similar) to the photos posted for my RAF greatcoat. Also, anyone have an idea where I can secure the camapign ribbons for my Service Dress uniform?

Cheers!

Vince;)

Cuts
10-26-2009, 06:07 PM
Just wanted to know if 24 mm brass buttons would be ok (similar) to the photos posted for my RAF greatcoat. Also, anyone have an idea where I can secure the camapign ribbons for my Service Dress uniform?

Cheers!

Vince;)

This chap (http://www.militaria.co.uk/) will do them all.
He currently mounts gongs for many of the squaddies in Colchester Garrison.

gpwgyrene
10-27-2009, 07:49 AM
This chap (http://www.militaria.co.uk/) will do them all.
He currently mounts gongs for many of the squaddies in Colchester Garrison.

That's bloody considerate of you! Many thanks!

Cheers,

Vince;)