Sunday, February 10, 2013

Celebrating Small Things - Badges

I've collected small things since early childhood. Whatever town we visited as a family, I'd always ask if we could go to the museum - and at the age of about seven I started creating my own in a shoebox.

All my relatives and my parents' friends were asked 'Do you have anything small that I can add to my museum, please?'. How presumptuous, but nearly all of them had something for me to take home. Many were family heirlooms, and though I remember the donors of most items, the actual family connections have unfortunately been lost for some items, but I can't remember ever being told what they were.

Now I'm starting to write and illustrate a new book that will feature many items from my collection - at least, I'm writing a sample chapter or two to start with to try to entice publication. The plan is to include small ancient items, some that are vintage and which will stir memories, others of today and projects to create miniatures yourself - small things of the future.

One chapter is planned to be on badges, and I'm hoping that someone will be able to tell me more about these:

Kings Royal Rifles cap badge - 1915

I do know a little about this first one. It's a cap badge that was worn by Grandmother's brother - Stanley Thomas Beaumont. He enlisted in the 17th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifles in 1915 and was killed in action at Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme, 3rd September, 1916. He's buried in a marked grave, so until someone tells me otherwise, I'm believing that the badge was returned to the family.

But I don't know the family connections with any of the following badges:

WW1 Tank Corps 'Sweetheart Badge'

This WW1 'Tank Corps' badge is a 'sweetheart badge'  - one that would have been worn to show support for someone in the military.

I've searched Google Images for each of the following badges and found nothing identical. Were these next ones regimental uniform badges or sweetheart badges, too?

Coat of Arms for Yarmouth

The coat of arms belongs to Yarmouth, where the Norfolk Regiment was based at one time.

WW1 Army Service Corps

This one is for the Army Service Corps, again, WW1, I would think - but there is no sign of there having been a pin or anything else for attachment. The Service Corps were responsible for delivery of food, water and clothing to troops.

Rifle Brigade

The Rifle Brigade badge is made of solid silver. If I have interpreted it correctly, the hallmark is Birmingham, 1864.

CCC may not have any connection with the armed forces. This could easily be a badge for the Chertsey Cycle Club - my grandfather was a mad keen cyclist in about 1910 and had a light-weight bike specially made. I wonder how long it took him to travel the 42 miles to Brighton - a frequent destination?

High resolution images of all these badges are available for any expert or regiment that would like to include them on their site or in their archive.

I'll greatly appreciate any information anyone can share.

Peter Taylor

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