Truro Branch Royal Observer Corps Association

10th Anniversary of Stand Down


Royal Observer Corps Chinese Puzzle Plate

To recognise the 10th anniversary of the stand down of the Corps in 1991, the Truro Branch ROCA has commissioned a very special plate. The plate is approximately 9 inches in diameter, in fine bone china with gold edging. The plate is made by Chown China of Connor Downs, Cornwall. John Chown formerly worked for the Spode China Company so he is an excellent craftsman.

Front Design

 The plate is intended to look like a Chinese Wedgwood/Spode plate with the pattern in RAF blue. However, the design is taken from the Aircraft Recognition Journal of September 1945 and is actually a recognition test containing the silhouettes of 21 aircraft hidden within. 

Reverse Design

Apart from the usual titles and copyright declaration, the back of the plate contains the key to the answers to the puzzle and where to find the silhouettes in the picture. An explanation of the puzzle is also given :-

“The Chinese Puzzle Test appeared in The Inter Services Aircraft Recognition Journal Volume 111 Number 13 September 1945 and was drawn by the artist ‘Cummings’. The Journal was issued to all personnel who required training in aircraft recognition and contained a variety of methods to achieve this training including photographs, silhouettes and aircraft shapes hidden in other drawings. The Chinese Puzzle is one such example. Within the Chinese Puzzle are ‘hidden’ the shapes or silhouettes of 21 aircraft which were flying in WWII in 1945. There are 13 Allied aircraft names which need no explanation e.g. Dakota, and 8 Japanese aircraft names. There are no German aircraft included because Germany had by that time surrendered and the war in Europe had ended. The Japanese aircraft names are code names (Christian names for men or women) for the actual type e.g. Peggy, Jack.”

Price £10 per plate

Plus £2.50 if any postage and packing is required.

Please make cheques payable to L.R.Holmes

Orders to Lawrence Holmes, Rivergarth, Malpas, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1SS
Telephone number – 01872-278234 E-Mail


NB: A .pdf file will print on any computer/printer combination.

.pdf file (136Kb) of the original flyer by Truro Branch ROCA.

[15oct01 19:30]