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British and Commonwealth Military Markings "Click" to Login or Register 
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Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
A primary source for military watch and clock markings is A CONCISE GUIDE TO MILITARY TIMEPIECES 1880 - 1990, by Z.M. Wesolowski. In this one volume are markings used by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and many other countries. Given that the author is an English subject, the book is especially useful for British markings. If you are going to own only one book on Military Timepieces, the above book is highly recommended.

Attempting to figure out the markings on British and Commonwealth military watches can be challenging even with the above. There are a number of markings which are not included in Wesolowski, such as those of Australia and South Africa. However, with the help of a few websites and other resources, some of the more obscure markings can be de-coded. While some of these sites are for collectors of weapons and other military equipment, watches were sometimes marked in a similar manner:

(Royal Airforce Clocks)

http://www.radix.net/~bbrown/brit_bayo.html (Bayonet markings)

http://www.saaaca.org.za/links/markings.htm (South Africa)

http://www.rafweb.org/Air_Boards.htm (History of RAF)

While the above websites are useful, an excellent general guide is a new book by Ian Skennerton entitled THE BROAD ARROW. This book is devoted to the markings on British and Commonwealth arms and accouterments including England, India, South Africa, Australia and various British colonial governments of past and present. While watches are not often marked with specific unit marks, in the event one was so marked, such as within an inscription, THE BROAD ARROW would assist in figuring out which unit it was. For example, if we have a pocket watch marked, “Presented to Sgt. William Smith, 12 K.R.R.” We would be able to figure out that Sgt. Smith was in The 12th Kings Royal Rifle Regiment.

While there is no one source for British and Commonwealth military timepiece markings, with the above and a little luck, most of the markings can be deciphered.

Best regards,

Posts: 2008 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
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