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Divisional markings

I understand Divisional markings were used and then not, but it all depended on each unit etc as rules were often broken.
I want to put some Divisional markings on my WM20 but not sure what to go for. Initial thoughts are the blue/white of signals. Would the same marking be used on both sides of the tank?
What other options are there? I don’t want to add markings that were never used.

Re: Divisional markings

I think you're right the markings on motorcycles were deleted for the invasion....But never say never and in our case, artistic license is allowed. Especially to depict a bike to commemorate a family member or particular unit of interest.

British markings are a sod to understand, so best pic a division/unit first as they would all have had signals attached, and then research from there.

I've done one of my Triumphs as signals attached to Anti Aircraft command, based on the fact that not all bikes were front line. Ron


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Re: Divisional markings

I'm having the same dilemma with my project.
So assuming my father rode with any divisional/unit markings, what on the earth would they be?

8th army,
13 corps,
4th Indian division,
1st. Royal Sussex.

Linesman, something to do with signals?

Greece, peace keeping force. Some kind of police?

Still waiting for information for Glasgow in the hope of finding out about what he go up to.

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Re: Divisional markings

Ah I'm sure Rik will be along soon. However I always get more confused the more he explains it:flushed:

But the formation sign for the Indian 4th inf div was No12 here (A Red Eagle)
8th Army is No 4 in the colour plate. Maybe it's a start to some research. Ron


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Re: Divisional markings

My understanding was that div. markings and unit markings were applied until late 1943 (officially) and randomely after that....Div. marking on the offside of the tank and unit marking on the nearside...At some point only the unit was marked on both sides and frequently (mostly) there were no markings at all....I'm confused just typing this so I stand to be corrected by anyone with more knowledge of the subject....

I tend to apply the 'artistic license' theory expounded by Ron...I applied 8th. Independent Armoured Brigade, 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards to one of my M20s although that wouldn't have been used for D Day...I had a relative in that unit who was KIA on D Day so I felt I wanted to recognise that fact....Ian

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Re: Divisional markings

Thanks Ron, that's the first time I've seen the Indian divisional makings shown.

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Re: Divisional markings

Mark here is some history on the 8th Army.

And the index for plate XV1 that I posted earlier. Ron


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Re: Divisional markings

Apologies for the late response. I've been away in Northern France with Nick.

In terms of marking vehicles, a distinction needs to be drawn between the 'Formation Sign' (Divisional, Corps or above) which was a symbol and the 'Arm of Service' marking which is a coloured background with a number indicating the part of that formation to which the vehicle belonged. In an infantry division, each brigade had a unique colour with each battalion showing a different number. The various corps had a unique colour too.

Royal Signals from 1941 onwards used white over blue with red serials.

There was a directive issued quite early on (The earliest Army Council Instruction that I have seen is "Vehicle Marking 1941" dated 8/1/1941) and it clearly states that formation signs were not to be applied to motorcycles. Quite why this should have been so is a puzzle to me as it must have been a nightmare for Traffic Control.


This effectively means that if you're portraying a motorcycle from 1941 onwards, it should not have the formation sign (As Ron mentioned, many restorers do and all other vehicles in the unit would have displayed the sign).

Correct procedure from 1941 was to display the arm of service marking on both forward edges of the fuel tank and on the rear mudguard.

It is difficult to say at what point in the Middle East, for instance any markings would have been overpainted...presumably at overhaul which wasn't that long with the combination of open inlets and large quantities of sand.

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