Errors On Cigarette Cards of Regimental Colours – David J Hunter8th November 2019 by Michele Auborn
As all collectors of sets on Regimental Colours know, there are many beautiful card series on the subject. Unfortunately, with two exceptions, they are mostly incorrect; often with major mistakes such as the actual colour. The two exceptions are the 1930 John Player & Son’s set on Regimental Standards and Cap Badges and the 1916 silk series by B. Morris & Sons. Although the latter has a few minor errors, they need not concern the collector and, indeed, it remains my favourite set. Sadly, all the other series are mostly wrong. In particular, the large number of Godfrey Phillips silk sets; a shame as they are very attractive. This is why I started to produce my own sets of Regimental Colours over 10 years ago. I was determined that they should be as accurate as No.
I possible by visiting churches, cathedrals, Regimental Museums, and by gaining access to Regimental Records wherever possible.
The two John Player & Sons series of Badges and Flags of British Regiments (Illustration Nos.1 and 2) illustrate my point. The 1903 set shows a green Colour which, although it is correct as to the actual Colour, the Crown and 7 arrangement of the Battle Honours is not correct. Illustration No.3 shows what it should have been. The Regimental Colour never had a Crown and, in any event, Illustration No.1 shows a King’s Crown which was not introduced until 1901. Additionally, the arrangement of the Battle Honours is incorrect. The 1904 set is also totally incorrect and even has the wrong Regimental Colour.
The 1st Battalion retained their green Regimental Colour until 1912; eight years later. Although it is true that the 2nd Battalion received new Colours in 1891 (with the Regimental one being white), the design was totally different as is shown in Illustration No.4. The 2nd Battalion would have had the numerals ‘II’ in the top left corner; not the small Union which was abolished on all Colours presented after 1881. As is also shown in Illustration No.4, the Battle Honours were displayed on a laurel wreath. The title around the centre circle, when presented, would have been ‘Derbyshire Regiment’ and not ‘Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment’ (the title after 1902). As previously stated, because the Colour was presented before 1901, it would have had a QV Crown.
Illustration No.5, from the Godfrey Phillips set of Regimental Colours Series 12, is also incorrect. Once again, the wrong Colour is displayed. The 1st Battalion received new Colours in 1912; with the Regimental one being almost identical to that shown in Illustration No.4 except that it would have had the numeral ‘I’ in the top corner. Although the Regiment regained its green facings in 1913, this was not reflected on the Regimental Colours until 1927 (2nd Battalion) and 1935 (1st Battalion). In any event, much of the detail (including the Crown and centre circle) is incorrect.
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