OpsMajor, on 23 February 2012 - 06:17 PM, said:
On a quick search I cannot find the answer but there must be a thread somewhere a Pal could signpost me to.
When were dog tags first introduced into the British Army. Did they start as 'cardboard' and evolve into metal during WW1?
Bodsworth's Uniforms & Equipment Book has much information on I/D discs - pages 303/304.
" During the Boer War, soldiers carried a glazed card in their jackets. This description card ( Army Form B2067 ) listed their details, and gave instructions if the soldier was killed or wounded.
In January 1907 ( Army Order 9 ) changed to a single aluminium disc, to be worn around the neck on a 42 inch cord.
Originally, the disc showed the soldiers number, name, rank, regiment and religious denomination.
In May 1907, marking ranks was discontinued ( Army Order 102 ).
On 21st August, 1914, a new disc was introduced, as stocks of aluminium became exhausted. The new I/D disc was red vulcanized asbestos fibre.
The Field Regulations Part 11, 1909, with amendments of October 1914, stated that - Anyone concerned with burying a soldier, or finding a body after an action, will remove the identity disc and pay book, and will note the number of his equipment and rifle, or anything else likely to assist in identification. Such person is responsible that this information is sent, with the least possible delay, to the nearest commander for transmission to the AG's office.
This practice continued until August 1916, when a 2nd I/D disc was issued. The new disc was octagonal, and green and was worn around the neck, and attached to the original red disc by a cord 6 inches long.
Army Order 267 - 1916, states " in the case of the death of an officer or soldier in the field, the lower disc, known as - Disc, Identity, No.2 red - will be removed, and handed in as required. The upper green disc, will not be removed, but will be buried with the body. Consequently, in cases where the body can be reached, and identified, but cannot be brought back for burial, the lower disc will be removed, to ensure proper notification of death, while the upper disc will remain with the body as a safeguard against loss of identification when it becomes possible to bury -
Army Order 324, October 1916.
Unofficial I/Ds were also used, often in the form of private purchase bracelets or wristlets.
Codes for Religious Denominations :-
BAP - Baptist. CE - Church of England. CI - Church of Ireland. JEW - Jewish. METH - Methodist. P - Presbyterian.
PM - Primitive Methodist. RC - Roman Catholic. SPIRI - Spiritualist. WES - Wesleyian. "