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BROWN BOOTS?

Old 20th Jan 2021, 09:16
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BROWN BOOTS?

I have seen a b&w photo of a WW2 RAF bomber and its crew standing in front, which has been 'coloured' by a professional and is as good now as a modern-day hi-res image.
A friend has a similar picture that they want coloured but we notice that the first one may have a nit-picking error which we want to avoid copying.
Does anyone know what colour Bomber Command's aircrew and groundcrew shoes/boots were in 1943-44?
The original photo that we admire has them coloured brown and yet I am convinced that they would have been black. A nitpicking point, I know,, but attention to such minor details is necessary.
Does anyone know the answer, or otherwise know whether the RAF Museum at Hendon has a 'fashion' adviser whom I could contact?
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 09:43
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It probably doesn't apply in this case but during the filming of The Dambusters at RAF Hemswell, screen 'officers' wore brown shoes to distinguish themselves from RAF real officers. This was to avoid confusion and airmen saluting them by mistake. The different colour didn't show up in the black and white film.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 10:06
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And we could 'ear the neighbours all remark
"What, 'im chief mourner? Wot a blooming lark!
Why 'e looks more like a Bookmaker's clerk...
In brahn boots!"
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 10:09
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If you are talking about the fur lined boots worn by aircrew than IIRC my father's (Halifax) were brown They were not leather as such but a smooth swede.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 10:12
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Could have been either???
I would have thought that most likely black, with the removeable upper to allow them to be 'converted' to shoes for escape purposes. However, our initial issue in 54 were pairs of the super, fleece-lined suede version which were introduced during the war ... but when? If the complete boot is visible, it should be possible to identify - the suede variety were usually worn outside the flying suit (or uniform).
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 10:20
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My Dad's were brown suede lined with an off white coloured lambs fleece. I used them for lying under my Austin 1100 whilst undertaking repairs in mid minter during the mid/late 1970's, as did my Dad with my mums cars. Wish we had looked after them a bit better.

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Old 20th Jan 2021, 10:53
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
My Dad's were brown suede lined with an off white coloured lambs fleece.
So were my Dad's boots. The suede seemed to darken with age. His Lanc exploded after a night-fighter attack, and by the time he got the boots home after 15 months in SL III, Long March and so on they were very much the worse for wear.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 11:09
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Osborne,
Aaah Those were the poetic lines that I was trying to recall when I wrote the post title. Who said them, I ponder?

Last edited by Jetset 88; 20th Jan 2021 at 11:10. Reason: grammar
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 11:09
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
...airmen saluting them by mistake.
airmen and junior officers, I would think.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 11:18
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"Brahn Boots" R.P. Weston and Bert Lee 1940. Made famous of course by Stanley Holloway
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 11:19
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Link to song

Brahn Boots – Stanley Holloway

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Old 20th Jan 2021, 11:28
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Thanks gents I should have thought of Stanley Holloway - of course ...... we had a postman once whose boots were always well-polished and I recall my Mum always calling him 'Brahn Boots'.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 13:54
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I left South Cerney in early 1962 and we were issued with flying kit prior to leaving. Several of our course were issued with the WW2 brown fleece lined boots but most with those black ones you could (allegedly) cut the tops off so they looked like shoes.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 17:32
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Originally Posted by Jetset 88 View Post
Thanks gents I should have thought of Stanley Holloway - of course ...... we had a postman once whose boots were always well-polished and I recall my Mum always calling him 'Brahn Boots'.
Proteus 6 - Civvy Brits or 99 / 511 ??
@jetset 88 no connection to civvy or 99/511 , it was another reason
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 19:41
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I left South Cerney in early 1962 and we were issued with flying kit prior to leaving
.

Including leather flying gauntlets of which the left was made by one manufacturer and the right by another.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 20:14
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
.

Including leather flying gauntlets of which the left was made by one manufacturer and the right by another.
So that explains why the left hand never what the right was doing.

We were issued with black boots for winter and brown ones for summer wear. I used to prefer the summer ones because they were shorter and more comfortable. Even so, I never did manage a second career in the film industry.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 22:18
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
.

Including leather flying gauntlets of which the left was made by one manufacturer and the right by another.
Do you remember the ‘Drawers, short cellular, I can’t remember what the long johns were called ?
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 12:48
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stevef
It probably doesn't apply in this case but during the filming of The Dambusters at RAF Hemswell, screen 'officers' wore brown shoes to distinguish themselves from RAF real officers. This was to avoid confusion and airmen saluting them by mistake. The different colour didn't show up in the black and white film.
Apparently Richard Todd - who had held a commission and was (possibly) still a reservist of some sort - insisted on wearing black boots/shoes and getting the salutes!
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 12:54
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Originally Posted by teeteringhead View Post
stevef

Apparently Richard Todd - who had held a commission and was (possibly) still a reservist of some sort - insisted on wearing black boots/shoes and getting the salutes!
Para D Day Captain I believe.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 14:10
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Originally Posted by rolling20 View Post
Para D Day Captain I believe.
He was one of the party who captured Pegasus Bridge. When playing John Frost in The Longest Day he talks to 'himself' in one scene.
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