Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

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Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

Post  ChrisF202 on Wed 21 May 2008, 9:09 am

Does anyone have any details on their uniforms and/or rank insignia?

I believe the force was renamed to the slightly less militaristic Royal Solomon Islands Police Force upon independence in 1978.

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Re: Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

Post  Sean on Wed 21 May 2008, 3:47 pm

Chris,
The BSIP are a difficult organisation to research. I believe they started around 1899 as the Armed Constabulary, a paramilitary unit. Their uniform up to WWII appears to have been a khaki-brown lap-lap or lavalava. After the war a khaki drill shirt and shorts were worn, progressing to the usual pattern of blue lavalava with white jacket for ceremonial dress and KD for service. both with red cummerbund. The Field Force wore jungle green. Cramer's Uniforms of the World's Police has excellent photos of the Force (p 24-25)

http://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/12/22/09/10/24_bsi10.gif
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A native Constable from 1924. I am unsure if the LMLE rifle was used at this time or an older Martini. Contemporary photos seem to show the LMLE.

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Re: Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

Post  Sean on Thu 22 May 2008, 2:26 pm

A bit more information.
The European members of the Force wore whatever they wanted initially. Khaki drill and white was probably predominant.
By the late 1930s there was an attempt to standardise the Colonial Police uniform and this was worn by the Officer/s of the BSIP through the 1950s to the 1970s.
I'm unsure of rank badges on early lavalava, but when shirts and jackets were worn by native members they wore British style chevrons, silver lace on blue backing.

A late pattern badge is shown below.

http://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/12/22/09/10/sip_b10.jpg
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Re: Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

Post  ChrisF202 on Fri 23 May 2008, 2:40 am

Yes you are correct in that, by the time the BSIP Constabulary fought alongside the US Marines on Guadalcanal in 1942 they were armed with LMLE rifles or whatever the marines and Australian coastwatchers gave them.

I have seen pictures of BSIP Constabulary Sergeant Major Jacob Vasua in civilian/native dress (taken around 1943ish) but I would imagine that was because they ditched their uniforms to avoid the wrath of the Japanese.

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Re: Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

Post  Sean on Fri 23 May 2008, 4:21 am

I also think its because they didn't have much else to wear. Even the 'uniform' is an adaptation of the native lavalava with belt order only.

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Re: Royal Solomon Islands Protectorate Constabulary - any uniform details?

Post  oblongz on Sat 26 Nov 2011, 7:58 pm

Hello,

a couple of WW2 photos

http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/304713

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g10000/g17080.jpg


Ken.

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