Can Anyone Help

WW2 helmet badge Identification

I wonder if you can help me identify the emblem on the front of a WW2 helmet (picture attached) which I think might be for the ROC. I have had this item a while and the reason I think it might be an Observer Corps item is because on the inside of the chinstrap are the faint words which (I think) say:

Observer corps, J.H. Taylor, Sittingbourne & Maidstone.

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

Ralph Hood

Reply from the Royal Observer Corps Museum

I can confirm that the emblem is indeed that of the ROC as worn in the last half of WWII.

John Henry Taylor MC was appointed Assistant Controller of No.1 Group Maidstone when the Group was formed in 1925 (the first of the Observer Corps Groups) and worked in the Operations Centre. He was awarded the MBE in the King's Birthday Honours in 1941. At the end of the war he was Duty Controller at Maidstone, in the rank of Observer Lieutenant.

After WWII the ROC (it was granted the prefix Royal for its work in the Battle of Britain) was stood down, but was recalled on 1st January 1947. There is no record of Jack Taylor rejoining the Corps. Presumably with a WWI MC he was too old.

The above information was gleaned from "Forewarned is Forearmed" by T E Winslow, "The Plane Spotters" by H J G Dartnall, and a search of ROC Museum archives by Neville Cullingford, our Curator. Hope it is of interest.

Tony Maasz

[26aug05 00:35]