Corporal Sign-writer

Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
I'm hoping someone clarify something which I've not seen discussed on the forum before.

Most of us are aware that Foggys previous career was as a Corporal Sign-writer, I was wondering whether in fact such a job even existed? I would have thought even if the role did exist that would have been undertaken by a civilian and not given a rank in the army. My great grandfather was a regimental tailor in WW1 but he worked as a civilian from his shop. Perhaps someone with better military knowledge answer this for me.
 

RickAns

Dedicated Member
Interesting, not thought of that before. In First of Summer Wine we see Foggy working on street signs that I figured would be under a government transportation department type thing. He was a young recruit and I felt the local branch would help with local government work. Even if it might have been a civilian sign maker shop.

With Return of the Warrior Foggy has a duffle bag full of door signs which I also figured were done in house in the military. Figured that by keeping what he did within the government / military it kept the funds within itself while making busy work for the lower ranks. Something on a much larger scale such as creating clothes for all the military like you mentioned. I can see that being outsourced to civilian production that is already making clothes.

Looking forward to hearing from someone who knows.
 
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Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
Found this which seems to infer that Sappers [Engineers] did undertake Signwriting during the war on specific manoeuvres .

Thanks CC, that's a really interesting article, it looks like that brave soldier was a sapper who used his painting & decorating skills to quickly write makeshift signs on the battlefields, perhaps as a sideline. The various references to Foggys army career suggest that he probably never saw much front line action, other than in his embellished stories. In one episodes he tells a story of having to write gothic script under enemy fire, which does sound quite unlikely!!
 

Marianna

Dedicated Member
In Foggy's case, he probably was put to work on signwriting because he could do it and he wasn't good enough at anything else. He didn't know how to do anything else, so he stayed on as a civilian employee at the Oswestry base doing the same work.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Interesting, not thought of that before. In First of Summer Wine we see Foggy working on street signs that I figured would be under a government transportation department type thing. He was a young recruit and I felt the local branch would help with local government work. Even if it might have been a civilian sign maker shop.

With Return of the Warrior Foggy has a duffle bag full of door signs which I also figured were done in house in the military. Figured that by keeping what he did within the government / military it kept the funds within itself while making busy work for the lower ranks. Something on a much larger scale such as creating clothes for all the military like you mentioned. I can see that being outsourced to civilian production that is already making clothes.

Looking forward to hearing from someone who knows.
He also had some in "The Man from Oswestry". He argued with the bus conductor about damaging them when throwing his bags off the bus, and later showed them to Compo and Clegg in the bus station waiting room.
 
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