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WW1 era PITT & Co, Somerset Light Infantry buttons ?


dutchbarge

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I would appreciate any help the Forum members can offer regarding WW1 era Pitt & Co. SLI officer's buttons.  Pictured are a 22 MM Somerset Light Infantry officer's button back marked  PITT & Co.  31 MADDOX ST.  LONDON W and a 19 MM SLI officer's button back marked PITT & Co.  MADDOX ST. LONDON.  Note the absence of the 31 and W on the smaller button.  Also pictured is the front of these buttons. Are these correct for the Great War era?  Cheers, Bill

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The pattern of the button is correct for WW1.  The impression on the rear of the buttons seems to have changed to PITT & Co in 1899 and it remained so until 1973, when the company was bought out by JR GAUNT, which in turn was almost immediately bought by the Birmingham Mint.  Other ranks commenced wearing the same button over the period 1922-24.

 

NB.  Prior to 1899 the backmark was CHARLES PITT & Co.  Before 1895 the address was 50 St Martins Lane LONDON WC.

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Thank you for your reply.  I'm always amazed at what a wealth of knowledge is cached on the Forum and the generosity of the Forum members.  Note that the outside walls of the battlements on the smaller button display much less curve than that on the larger button.  Was this a function of the available space on the button face or perhaps an indication of era (like Kings vs Queens crowns)?  I'm trying to put together a matched set of buttons to restore a WW1 era officer's tunic and wonder whether the two styles of battlements together would be appropriate.  Cheers, Bill

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On 07/02/2020 at 13:51, dutchbarge said:

Thank you for your reply.  I'm always amazed at what a wealth of knowledge is cached on the Forum and the generosity of the Forum members.  Note that the outside walls of the battlements on the smaller button display much less curve than that on the larger button.  Was this a function of the available space on the button face or perhaps an indication of era (like Kings vs Queens crowns)?  I'm trying to put together a matched set of buttons to restore a WW1 era officer's tunic and wonder whether the two styles of battlements together would be appropriate.  Cheers, Bill


It just relates to fitting the ‘Mural Crown’ (as it was known - it was earned defending Jellalabad in Afghanistan) to the smaller size of button, Bill.  There is no difference in design, the PA SLI retained the button, without change (other than material construction), until amalgamation.  It was Prince Albert’s (Queen Victoria’s Consort) own line regiment and carried some social cachet, although not as great as his other regiment, the elite Rifle Brigade.

 

NB.  In general buttons with a fixed loop are those intended specifically for officers.  The same button with a pivoting loop are later manufacture when the buttons were made for all ranks.  You can imagine the difference in quality (crispness of the striking) with buttons made for supply to officers outfitters (where the officer paid a premium), when compared with those mass produced for issue via the army supply chain.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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