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Remembered Today:

Silver War Badge - wearing - very basic question


seaJane
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Apologies if this is a totally dim question, but:

  • did one continue to wear one's SWB after the war was over, like a medal; or was it then redundant?

Thank you...

sJ

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This is taken directly from the Ancestry.com website SWB Records...

"Historical Background

The British Empire lost more than 700,000 service personnel killed in World War 1. An even greater number were discharged because of wounds or illness. In September 1916, King George V authorized the Silver War Badge (SWB) to honor all military personnel who had served at home or overseas since 4 August 1914 and who had been discharged because of wounds or illness. The SWB was a small, circular badge made of sterling silver, bearing the kings initials, a crown, and the inscriptions For King and Empire and Services Rendered.

The SWB was not simply an honour; it also served a practical purpose. At the time, men of military age who were not obviously in the service were sometimes accosted or insulted by civilians presenting them with white feathers a symbol of cowardice for shirking their patriotic duty. The badge served as an outward symbol that the wearers duty to country had been honorably fulfilled."

The recipients were no longer members of the armed forces as they had been medically discharged so I would imagine that the wearing of the SWB after the war was a personal decision by individuals much the same as the wearing of medals by ex-servicemen at various ceremimonies was and is today.

Edit : apologies for my second post it just appeared without my posting it and I cannot delete it for some reason.

Edited by Lawryleslie
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Thank you :)

I wasn't sure whether it was indeed a personal decision or whether there might be some rule or other.

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Hi SeaJane

I took this photograph of Norman Skelton (1898 - 1988) during the early 1980s at a Remembrance Event at the Brookwood Cemetery.
103715 Sapper Norman Ralph Skelton, Royal Engineers enlisted on 22nd June, 1915 and was discharged (due to sickness) on 11th February, 1918.
He can be seen proudly wearing his British War Medal and Victory Medal together with his Silver War Badge (numbered 328553).
Norman was a genuinely nice chap :)

Sepoy

post-55476-0-53464400-1450222545_thumb.j

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Great picture!

Question answered, I think. Thank you very much, Sepoy and all. :)

sJ

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The last one I saw was being worn by a gent leaving a veterans club in NZ back in the 70's, there was no ceremonial implication to the day and as was typical of older men back then he was wearing a suit whilst in town.

khaki

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  • 3 weeks later...

Members,

while on the subject about the " Silver War Badge" would you allow me to ask a question. As a new member I found this forum in an attempt to find some answers regarding this medal. Amongst my grandfathers affects is this medal along with his pay book and photos.

I learned from my mother that he was discharged due to being gassed at the Somme in 1916.

His name was William Nicholson (private) from Durham number 8086 and attached to the RAMC. The number on the badge is 318788.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Hi Casmere

Whilst it would have been advisable to start a new thread with your query

following is what can be gleaned from the SWB record

Pte William Nicholson 8086 Royal Army Medical Corps

William enlisted on the 10th August 1914 his MIC shows he entered the theater of war in France on the 20th August 1914

Discharged from service with the RAMC on the 22nd February 1918 (cause sickness) and as you already know awarded the SWB No 318788

William served with the RAMC ( not attached to)

regards Ray

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