Sergeant’s Rank Brassard

A brassard is a piece of cloth that goes over the shoulder and in military terms it is usually used to display rank and unit insignia. This allows more delicate embroidered badges to be separate from items of clothing that would frequently get dirty and need constant laundering, such as overalls. The brassard can be removed before washing and swapped from overall to overall. Tonight we have a fairly modern brassard for a sergeant:imageNote how dirty this brassard is, I removed it from a set of overalls and the oil is probably left over from the original owner’s work. Three white sergeants stripes are fitted to the front:imageInterestingly this was originally a corporal’s brassard that has been modified by adding an extra stripe. The original two stripes are sewn on, as seen on the reverse:imageThe extra stripe though has been glued onto the fabric, indicating that the original owner was promoted and just made the alteration with glue! This seems a fairly hap hazard arrangement, but it looks neat enough from the front and it is only on close in section that you can see how the change was made. A slot is cut in the top of the brassard for a shoulder strap to pass through:imageThis prevents the brassard from slipping down the shoulder. Velcro is fitted to allow the main body of the brassard to be secured around the arm- loops on the front:imageAnd hooks on the rear:imageWhen wrapped around the arm, these mate up to hold it securely:imageCombined with the top fastening this helps hold the brassard nice and secure, whilst still allowing flexibility and easy removal for washing. These sort of objects are very hard to date, but I would guess that this was produced in the 1970s or 1980s. One old soldier recalls regimental variations in brassards:

Household Div use to have brassards for No2 dress shirt (made from No2 dress shirt material) shirts hairy and woolly pulley(made out of denim/lightweights material) and startched to fcuk so they could stand up. Remember, Guards RSMs have a fcuk off big tate and lyle on the forearm on brassards, not cuff too.

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