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    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide

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    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide Empty British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide

    Post by Camo_fiend Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:58 pm

    Upon receiving a British Army jacket last year, I was puzzled as to what the flash on the right shoulder was. I eventually found out what it was, but was surprised to know there are so many different flashes out there.

    So, for the convenience of everyone here, (especially the British militaria collectors) I researched and uploaded images of all known TRFs used by the British Army today. Some units such as SAS do not have TRFs.

    Note -- most of these were drawn in paint, since they are fairly simple. However; some of the more intricate flashes are super-sized images of that TRF that has been blown up from a thumbnail, so the resolution may not be perfect, but should provide a clear enough picture to help determine the identity of said TRF.

    The following units had no information available, meaning they either do not have a TRF, or a current TRF was not found at the time of this posting.

    Units without TRF: Royal Army Chaplains Corps, Army Physical Training Corps, Small Arms School Corps, Corps of Army Music, General Service Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Air Corps (as a whole, excluding shown 9th Regiment TRF) and the SAS.

    This list is as complete as my own research could make it, but there are bound to be units I may have overlooked, and it is probably by no means 110% complete, so if you have or know of a TRF not listed here, by all means please add it! Smile

    Household Cavalry

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide BluesRoyalsLifeGuards
    The Blues and Royals and The Life Guards

    Royal Armoured Corps -- Heavy Cavalry

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide QueensDragoonGds
    Queen's Dragoon Guards

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalScotsDragoonGds
    Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalDragoonGds
    Royal Dragoon Guards

    Royal Armoured Corps -- Light Cavalry

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide QueensRoyalHussars
    Queen's Royal Hussars

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 9th12thLancers
    9th/12th Lancers

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide KingsRoyalHussars
    King's Royal Hussars

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide LightDragoons
    Light Dragoons

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide QueensRoyalLancers
    Queen's Royal Lancers

    The Royal Tank Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 1st2ndTankRegt
    1st & 2nd Royal Tank Regt

    Royal Armoured Corps -- The Yeomanry
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalYeomanry
    Royal Yeomanry

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide QueensOwnYeomanry
    Queen's Own Yeomanry

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide MercianLancastrianYeomanry
    Royal Mercian & Lancastrian Yeomanry

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyelWessexYeomanry
    Royal Wessex Yeomanry

    Infantry -- Foot Guards

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide FootGuards
    Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards

    Infantry -- Line Infantry & Rifles
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalRegtofScotland
    Royal Regiment of Scotland

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide PrincessofWalesRegt
    Princess of Wales's Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide DukeofLancasterRegt
    Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalRegtofFusiliers
    Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 1stBNRoyalAnglians
    1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 2ndBNRoyalAnglians
    2nd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 3rdBNRoyalAnglians
    3rd Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide YorkshireRegt
    Yorkshire Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalWelsh
    Royal Welsh

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide MercianRegt
    Mercian Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalIrish
    Royal Irish

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 1stBNParaRegt
    1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 2ndBNParaRegt
    2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 3rdBNParaRegt
    3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 4thBNParaRegt
    4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide GhurkaRegt
    Royal Ghurka Rifles

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide TheRifles
    The Rifles

    Support & Services

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalArtillery
    Royal Artillery

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalEngineers
    Royal Engineers

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalSignals
    Royal Signal Corps (this is a two-colour patch, white and blue, I simply forgot to do an outline)

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalDentalCorps
    Royal Army Dental Corps

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalMedCorps
    Royal Army Medical Corps

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalVetCorps
    Royal Army Veterinary Corps

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalLogisticsCorps
    Royal Logistic Corps

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RoyalElecMechEngineers
    Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide AGCorps
    Adjutant General's Corps (SPS Branch shown for example, other flashes are issued for neccessary branch, ie. MPGS, ETS, ALS)

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide QnAlexandrasRoyalNurseCorps
    Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps

    Other Branches of the Armed Forces

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RAF
    Royal Air Force

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide RN
    Royal Navy

    Miscellaneous TRF's

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide PathfinderPLT
    Pathfinder Platoon

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 13AirAssltSptRegt
    13 Air Assault Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 7thAirAssltSptRegt
    7 Air Assault Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 9RegtAAC
    9th Regiment, Army Air Corps (again, another two-colour patch without an outline)


    Last edited by Camo_fiend on Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:43 pm; edited 3 times in total


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    Post by Grim Reaper Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:03 am

    Hi Ben ref your mention of the SAS not having a TRF that might be true of 22 Regular but I know for a fact that 21 had one certainly for the recent deployment to Afghanistan, my nephew has one at my sisters house would you like me to get a photo of it for this section? Cool
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    Post by Camo_fiend Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:03 pm

    Grim, if you have anything to add that was left out or undocumented, by all means feel free to submit it! Cool
    I had figured when I did this that despite all the info I could find, I was bound to forget a few. lol!


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    Post by Grim Reaper Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:00 pm

    I think you've done a great job mate so no worries Ben, I was pleased to see The Rifles I love you in there I'll take a pic of the Royal Green Jackets Twisted Evil TRF too and the TA one I used more recently and then hopefully manage to get a pic of my nephews 21 SAS used TRF
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    Post by Camo_fiend Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:38 pm

    The more TRFs the better, so it's all good! Cool


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    Post by Longshaor Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:07 pm

    Is this list for TRFs, as distinct from DZ Flashes?
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    Post by Grim Reaper Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:12 am

    It has DZ flashes! Doesn't it? Smile
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    Post by Grim Reaper Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:17 am

    I notice Ben that I promised a pic of my Nephews 21 SAS TRF well as of now I still haven't managed to get a pic of it, also he's back with sand between his toes.... Not returning till January. However looking through his pics I have the other day I'm sure I saw one on an arm of one of my nephews colleagues
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    Post by Longshaor Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:13 am

    Yesterday it crashed my computer.

    16 Para Bn. Pathfinder Plt

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 16ParaPathfinderPlt
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    Post by Longshaor Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:21 am

    Right, now a few more...

    16 Para Bde

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 16ParaBde

    5 Para Bde

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 5ParaBde

    6th Field Force (worn on left sleeve by Paras, right by everyone else)

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 6thFF
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    Post by Tommo Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:27 pm

    Longshaor wrote:Right, now a few more...

    16 Para Bde

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 16ParaBde

    5 Para Bde

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 5ParaBde

    6th Field Force (worn on left sleeve by Paras, right by everyone else)

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 6thFF

    Top one looks more like Para RHQ.
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    Post by Tommo Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:44 pm

    My Nephew's BRF DZ Flash:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 88e62a7f

    2nd (NC) Signal Brg
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide C3df2fec

    16 (Lincoln) Company, Pathfinders (V)- left is the last issue one
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 488dd6d8

    47 Middlesex Yeomanry, Sig Sqn later - later 305 Abn Sig sqn:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 52a63cac

    16 Field Force (Non-Para):
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 43707cd6

    5th Infantry Brg - later 5AB:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide Eb70a193

    16 Heavy Drop Coy RAOC:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 5c5483ab
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    Post by Longshaor Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:40 am

    44 Para Bde

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 44ParaBdefelt1950s

    10 (County of London) Para

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 10Parafelt1960s

    15 (Scottish) Para

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 15ScottishParaBn

    17 Para Bn

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 17PARACHUTEBNTA
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    Post by Tommo Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:27 am

    Are they the Geogeodude ones?
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    Post by Longshaor Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:15 pm

    Are they the Geogeodude ones?

    Don't know who/what that is. These were e-mailed to me by a retired Ranger buddy for reference.
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    Post by Tommo Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:57 pm

    Its a bloke on ebay that sells DZ Flashes, and people claim they are copies... however if thes are Geogeodude flashes, they look pretty pucka.
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    Post by Gulf91 Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:54 am

    Tommo wrote:Its a bloke on ebay that sells DZ Flashes, and people claim they are copies... however if thes are Geogeodude flashes, they look pretty pucka.

    He certainly has some amazing patches and cannot comment as to if they are originals or repros but i hope for the sake of his buyers that they are originals as some go for BIG money.

    Also,where on earth if they are originals does he get such a constant supply of them?
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    Post by Paveway16 Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:40 pm

    Couple of points (apologies if these have already been covered):

    1. In Airborne units they're DZ flashes, strictly speaking, rather than TRFs. (For example 7 (Para) RHA have a DZ flash which appears to be identical to the RA TRF, but is actually about 1/4" bigger. Units serving in 16 Air Assault Brigade wear a DZ flash which generally takes precedence over their parent unit's TRF, i.e 13 CSLR wear their Red/Black DZ flash rather than the standard RLC Flash.)

    2. This DZ Flash
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 16ParaBde

    is the old RHQ Para one, recently replaced by one with a Black band on the right to represent 4 Para. It is used by members of the Parachute Regiment not currently serving in a Battalion or other part of 16 AA Bde, and therefore not entitled to wear their Bn DZ Flash. In reality most people wear the DZ flash of their previous Bn unless on RHQ posting, recruiting etc etc.

    3. This:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 5ParaBde
    Is 5 AB Bde; I believe it was originally 5 Inf Bde prior to becoming an Airborne formation, but was never a purely Parachute Brigade.

    4. Of these:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 488dd6d8
    the one on the right is genuine, the one on the left isn't. There is a dealer (maybe several) who claim these were the last issued DZ flashes for the Company; the 16 Coy DZ flash was never issued, but 'local purchase', that is ordered by the OC and paid for by the blokes. The one on the left, whilst manufactured using the BeVo technique (basically meaning it's woven I believe) and no doubt made by the same manufacturer as other current DZ flashes, is not how the 16 Coy ones were made. In living memory they were all printed, though I did see one which was 'appliqued' by being sewn together from separate bits of fabric.

    5. This:
    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide 16ParaPathfinderPlt
    I believe is just a slight simplification of the 16 Coy Flash. It was an independent Volunteer 'Pathfinder Company' variously attached to 15 (SV) Para and then 4 (V) Para.

    Hope this is of use.
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    Post by riverwarrior Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:40 am

    Thank's, looked up this sight as a reference.

    Some great flashes there.

    Glad to see the 16 Lincs Paras there too! Just to let you know the RAMC TRF is upside down and there is no 21 TRF.
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    Post by beakytzw Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:06 pm

    Some brilliant Flashes there gents, I am hoping someone can help me Identify a Badge/Flash I saw on an image the other day which has me lost, is it Royal Artillery? The only other version I have seen had an RA Cap Badge with it?

    British Army "Tactical Recognition Flash" Guide Format10


    Last edited by beakytzw on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional Information of Cap Badge.)
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    Post by Gulf91 Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:21 pm

    Not sure if its just the pic but it looks Red/Black,if so not RA I dont think as they were Red/Blue.
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    Post by beakytzw Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:19 pm

    Gulf91 wrote:Not sure if its just the pic but it looks Red/Black,if so not RA I dont think as they were Red/Blue.

    Thanks Gulf91, I think it is red blue, just bad image quality as the photo was taken in the early 1940s. I cannot find any Flashes/Patches that are red black.

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    Post by matchstick Fri Dec 29, 2023 8:21 am

    AAC had several flashes when I joined but has now gone down to one.

    9 AAC was light blue (beret colour) rectangle atop a dark blue rectangle making a square shape, helpfully RS also had an almost identical one with white atop darkish blue like illustrated in the first post of this thread.

    3 AAC was a light blue (beret colour) triangle with inverted red triangle in the centre

    4 AAC was a red rectangle atop a green triangle making a square shape

    The other Regiments prior to the Corps adopting the one for all flash had a rectangular flash in the colours of the stable belt, two horizontal stripes of a medium blue colour with a light (beret colour) blue running through the centre. Now all the Regiments use this flash, 4 Regiment keeping the red and green strip on barrack rank slides.


    Bde/Div flashes worn by AAC that I saw during my time were 1 AAC pre MTP, Subdued black/green 1 (UK) Armd Div (charging rhino), post MTP full colour 1 (UK) Armd Div then subdued black green JHC (swooping owl clutching lightning bolt) 3/4 Regt 16 AA Bde in full colour and sand/black and green/black subdued depending on activity/availability pre disband of 16 AA Bde and depending on Sqn post disband.

    5 Regt JHC green/black subdued

    661 Sqn also sports a yellow maple leaf over red background as a battle honour from AOP days in WW2 spotting for Canadian forces and 651 and 664 Sqn's have the Maid of Warsaw on No.2 dress as battle honour for something to do with AOP duties relating to Poland in WW2.

    That's just the bits I can think of off the top of my head without trawling through old photo's, books and the such and looking up defunct units/Sqns.

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