Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:04 AM
Read the excellent "Somme Mud" based on the writtings of a Digger E.P.F. Lynch but the photo's pages left me a bit confused. Pte Lynch sailed from Australia in Aug 1916 and left Britain July 1919.
In one photo there are 5 Diggers including Pte Lynch which states below it's from 1917, in it are pictured 2 x Cpl's, one with 4 and one with 3 overseas service stripes (all of uniform colour so no 1914 Red stripe), the relevent part of Pte Lynch's sleeve isn't visible, in another Pte Lynch is shown with 4 overseas service stripes.
Here's the confusion, anything I've read states the stripes weren't instituted till 1918, so how can the first photo be from 1917? In addition one of the Cpl's has 4 which he couldn't have in 1917 (even if they were instituted in 1917) as the maximum then without a red would be 3.
In the 2nd photo Pte Lynch is wearing 4 yet he didn't go overseas till 1916, again anything I've read states that the maximum overseas stripes was 1 x Red and 4 x Blue leading to the conclusion that there was no overseas service stripe awarded for 1919, so how can he have 4 unless one was awarded for 1919, in that case is the maximum of 4 Blue wrong and it should be 5? It seems strange a man who served from Jan 1915 would be awarded the same number of overseas stripes as a man who served from Dec 1916.
If 4 was the maximum, this could lead to a Soldier from a photo being identified as being a 1915 Veteran when he may actually have been a 1916 Veteran.
One last thing before anyone asks, after 4 years on the forum, I think I can identify the difference between an overseas stripe, service chevron and wound stripe.