Does your photo show one or more small chevrons, pointing up towards the elbow, on the man’s right sleeve? You are looking at an “overseas service chevron”.
The stripe was first authorised under Army Order 4 of 1918, which was published on 20 December 1917:
“His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas undertaken since 4th August 1914.”
Who was eligible?
The Army Order listed eligible categories of servicemen and women, who would wear the chevrons subjects to conditions shown below. The eligible categories were:
How did a man or woman qualify?
The Army Order specified the conditions for qualification:
The Army Order stated “Chevrons of two colours -red and blue – have been approved. The first chevron, if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red; if earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue; and all additional chevrons after the first will be blue”.
“The chevrons may be worn in plain clothes by retired officers, ex-officers, pensioners, ex-soldiers and others who would, had they remained in the service or continued in any of the employments detailed above, have been entitled to wear them on uniform clothing, should they wish to do so, but no issue shall be made from government stores”.
“It is an offence under the Defence of the Realm Regulations for any unauthorised person to wear a chevrons or chevrons”.
“There will be no posthumous award to deceased officers or soldiers”.
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