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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Women's War Volunteer badge


Peter Doyle

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You know the one - overlaid capital 'W' and 'V' with Imperial crown. (Apologies for the poor scan). Who wore this (obviously women), when was it instigated, and why? Munitions workers had their own, of course, and there are other 'unofficial' badges, but this one is quite common. These are the questions. If anyone could help fill me in, I'd be most grateful.

Thanks very much

Peter

post-29053-0-34555800-1307091480.jpg

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I can't help with the badge but the Fox-Strangways were a noble Westcountry family descended from the Earls of Ilchester. I would guess that the badge was issued to Women Volunteers.

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Thanks Jim - I guess Mr Fox-Strangways was a big cheese. This was a nice piece of social history, I thought.

The badge is undoubtedly for 'War Volunteers', but I wonder who received it. Those on Canteen duty, for example? No doubt someone will help us.

Best wishes

Peter

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I'm completely ignorant of badges etc., but as it says 'presented to me by the Taunton Supply Depot,' it would seem to follow that the women working in British Red Cross Supply Depots were at least one group who received it. There were hundreds of these depots throughout the country, and there seems to have been a particularly strong following in Taunton*. They collected supplies from donors in their areas, had groups of men making splints and appliances, and thousands of women padding splints, making bandages and dressings etc. They then packed their supplies into Red Cross boxes - they were filled with things like nightshirts, blankets, knitted comforts (hats and scarves) and all types of dressings. All this was done under the auspices of the Joint War Committee, but all the workers were volunteers, with no military affiliation.

Sue

*Most middle sized towns had two or three of these supply depot work parties, but there were more than twenty-five in Taunton.

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Fantastic, thanks Sue. This all makes sense; and it makes sense to have some recognition for good work done. It would be nice to know under whose direction the badges were manufactured and distributed.

Thanks again

Peter

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  • 8 months later...

As a new member, I have been browsing a range of posts and realise that this one is quite old. However, it is still worth ponting out that this is a Volunteer Workers badge awarded to people working to support the armed forces in a variety of ways on a voluntary basis during the First World War. The VW monogram was also used in the Second World War on a chrome and red enamel badge, but this was surmounted by a lion instead of the crown and had the words 'For the Forces' added in an arc below the VW.

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