Hello all. Im new here. Just picked up this belt at a militaria show, was wondering if someone could identify it for me. It's the same weight and thickness as a service dress belt, with the attachments on the rear to fasten it to a service dress tunic.
The buckle is a one piece gilt and frosted silver rig hallmarked William Scully Montreal.
What is it?
I think you have passed the photos around as Ive had a couple of friends ask me for my thoughts. Heres the reply I gave them...
It appears to be RAF or at least British because of the Kings Crown. However a few things seem to stand out. The buckle isnt the usual RAF Full Dress one, although its basically the same as the RNAS dress belt buckle, albeit with the eagle facing the wrong way. I'm not sure if the RNAS buckle was silver and gilt which this appears to be, or just gilt, but otherwise it seems the same. I'd like to see the reverse to see how its constructed.
As for the belt itself, its made of barathea, which isnt right for RAF Full Dress, and wasnt in use by the RNAS. Also the gold parts seem to be rayon rather than gilt, whilst strangely the left side seems to be missing the silver trim. I'd say the belt was pretty modern as I'd expect bullion gold trim if 30 plus years old, and a darker colour. As for the buckle, the left facing eagle is a puzzle but otherwise I'd think it was RNAS. Conclusion, I think the belt and buckle are not original to each other. Id suggest possibly a recent prototype of some sort but the KC buckle and modern looking belt throw that out. I think possibly some sort of modern belt (foreign or prototype) with an old, possibly RNAS buckle??
An additional note Mike is that the belt seems to be too small for the buckle, the buckle not being a good fit.
Thanks for your reply Alex. You are right about the silver on the belt being rayon.....Did seem a bit more modern. I wa thinking maybe RAF Band? The belt probably isn't original to the buckle even though it's the second one I've seen like thishttp://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/9292691. Although this one says "Air Marshall" it's clearly a flight lieutennant's tunic....but same belt and buckle! RNAS theory is interesting.....maybe one day I'll find it's meaning. I must admit it's kind of out of my league, I normally collect wings!
The RAF bandsmen dont wear belts as a rule (although there might be exceptions. I have seen a recent photo of the band marching and only the conductor is wearing one on that occasion, but it is the standard full dress belt with sword.
The link above didnt work. Any other info as I'd be interested to see it?
I assume you are the same Mike as on the British Military Badge Forum?
Thats a very interesting lot, I wonder if it sold?
Although it appears to be a standrad RAF Full Dress tunic, I have to say for several reasons I dont like it. To begin with, the rank on the sleeve is not an Air Officer, but Flight Lieutenant. However the shoulders have epaullettes with rank too, and what appears to be (by the description) the rank of Squadron Leader, the next rank up. Around the button on the epaulette is a bullion wreath, which is normally seen on rank epaulettes of officers with Air Rank. So effectively we have three indications of rank here.
The full dress tunic did not carry epaulettes. There is a bullion oakleaf cluster on the collar, which did feature on the full dress. However, the pattern is incorrect for the RAF as is the bullion trim. The material, going by the photo seems too light in colour. The rear has two buttons which would be correct for Full dress.
The belt is interesting. As mentioned before, buckle looks a little like the RNAS Full Dress version, although we cant see if the eagle faces left or right.
I think it is one of three things. It is clearly based on an RAF Full Dress tunic, but has so many oddities, clearly isnt one. It may be a prototype, although if the name is genuine I doubt it. It could be a very early RAF Full Dress (circa 1918 - 19) when the force went through several changes of uniform, derived from the RNAS/RFC amalgamation. Or its possibly a film prop, based on an RAF full dress. With the two lots of rank, both different, I'm inclined to think the latter.
I have some Scully made RAF buttons on a tunic, and also a Scully made RAF ORs cap badge.
I was originally sent images of the belt by two other people, although neither showed the reverse of the buckle or mentioned Scully. But aside from a possible Canadian rather than British connection my thoughts are the same.