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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Insignia Metal


CheshireRifles

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Hello Forum 

Question. 
 

I own these officers Collar badges 

I've seen them in bronze and I’ve seen them in brass? 
 

I’ve tried to clean these collar tabs and they seem to be brass under the bronze?  
 

were the Collar badges early war Brass and late war bronze?  Or even blackened brass?

 

thank you 

IMG_7848.jpeg

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3 hours ago, CheshireRifles said:

Hello Forum 

Question. 
 

I own these officers Collar badges 

I've seen them in bronze and I’ve seen them in brass? 
 

I’ve tried to clean these collar tabs and they seem to be brass under the bronze?  
 

were the Collar badges early war Brass and late war bronze?  Or even blackened brass?

 

thank you 

IMG_7848.jpeg

From 1902 new collar badges were introduced in a deliberately subdued hue of brownish bronze for wear explicitly on drab serge service dress.  In many cases they were different designs to what had been worn as collar insignia on previous uniforms and were subdued because of lessons learned from the 2nd Anglo/Boer War, when deadshot Boer farmers had found shiny officers badges useful aiming marks.  Thus lessons were learned.

Initially and for the sake of simplicity and reduced expense the bronzed badges (achieved via plating) were of the same size and pattern as had been in use as cap insignia since the late 1890s, but when paired these were matched in left and right facing duos with the right facing identical to the cap badge.  Unlike other badges the subdued bronze badges were fitted with fold over blades that could pierce the cloth of the collar and be bent in place as a permanent fixture with no requirement for removal to clean.

Most regiments made the decision to wear the same badges on their khaki drill hot weather variant of service dress uniform but to remove the bronzing by cleaning (though largely as a peacetime practice).

Some regiments, such as rifles and highlanders, did not adopt any bronze insignia at all, while others adopted bronze collar badges only.  Some other regiments disliked the bronze collar badges being matched with cap badges because they found them too large and clumsy to look neat on the collar.  These regiments subsequently chose their own alternatives.

And finally, a few regiments disliked their bronze cap insignia because it was identical in design to the insignia of their men and so again adopted a varied design of their own. 

IMG_0825.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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16 minutes ago, CheshireRifles said:

Thank you Frogsmile

I’m glad to help.  Each regiment has to be examined individually to understand exactly their discrete practice.  For example, in a very few cases some regiments 1st and 2nd Battalions chose to wear different insignia as a recognition of their different lineage prior to 1881.  The Manchester Regiment is one example, in connection with the ‘Brunswick Star’.  See: 

 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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