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Remembered Today:

Cap Badges


thegreatwar
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I'm by no means an expert on WW1 cap badges, but were they Bi-metal or just all one standard metal?

What was the metal?

Were they fitted with sliders or lugs?

When did the sliders come about?

Were the sliders a different metal from the main badge (Bi)?

Many thanks.

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Yasman,

At the beginning of the war cap badges were either brass, bi-metal, white metal or blackened brass according to the regimental pattern. For example the Royal Scots were bi-metal, the Buffs were brass, the Gordon Highlanders were white metal and the Kings Royal Rifle Corps were blackened brass. The whilte metal of the badges had nickel in them which was also used in the manufacture of ammunition. Because of a shortage of nickel, in 1916 badges previously made in bi-metal or white metal were struck in brass until the end of the war.

Regards

Chris

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Cap Badges generally have sliders,though many variants have lugs & split pins,Officers in general have "blades",Sliders are normally in Brass,regardless of Badge metal,but again exceptions prove the rule,I would suggest a look @ Gaylor's Book Collecting Cap Badges,or Kipling & King,for further reference,Badge collecting is both a frustrating & enthralling hobby & new variants will turn up in the most unexpected places!

Not an exact science...

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As Harry says not an exact science and there are exceptions to every rule. In general slider came into use in early Edwardian time and by WW1 most (but by no means all) cap badges came with sliders. I have an EVII RE badge on a slider but most slidered badges are post 1908.

Sliders were generally made of brass but you do find versions in the same gilding metal as the main badge and I have a WW2 bi-metal East Lancs badge with a white metal slider. I have several genuine WW2 badges which went back to lugs and this very much depended on the unit. It is rare to find a Coldstream or Scots guards badge on anything other than lugs.

As has been mentioned from 1916 or so some regiments badges were made in all brass. Some of these seem to have been produced in large numbers (such as the Essex or Middlesex regts) where as others are very much scarcer such as the KSLI. This does suggest that there was not a universal move to all brass badges and all brass ones were ordered on a case by case basis. It is quite possible that the production of simpler construction (hence quicker) brass badges owe more to the limited skills and machinery available to a war-time subcontractor than a concientious decision to save on nickel but this is a matter of debate.

Alan

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[

As has been mentioned from 1916 or so some regiments badges were made in all brass. Some of these seem to have been produced in large numbers (such as the Essex or Middlesex regts) where as others are very much scarcer such as the KSLI. This does suggest that there was not a universal move to all brass badges and all brass ones were ordered on a case by case basis. It is quite possible that the production of simpler construction (hence quicker) brass badges owe more to the limited skills and machinery available to a war-time subcontractor than a concientious decision to save on nickel but this is a matter of debate.

Alan

No need for speculation or debate here. The decision to use gilding metal alone, rather than bimetal, was a centralised one, and is recorded in the ledgers of the Royal Army Clothing Department. It was described as an economy war-time measure. I can find the exact reference if needs be.

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I am sure that it was a centralised one but was it due to metal shortages or labour skills /time concerns? The fact that there were some all brass designs made without voids such as RE, RFC and RA would suggest it was the latter in these cases as the original designs had no w/m in them. However the manufacture of Scottish badges in brass instead of w/m (though these are scarce) would argue the other way.

I am not sure that the centralised decision seems to have been implemented across the Army. You don't get lots of economy Cornwall, Border, DLI or RWarcs badges yet these were regiments with high numbers of bns - why is that? In fact have never seen a genuine economy badge for any of these regts.

Alan

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Many thanks for your replies.

It seems there are many copies or re-strikes floating around at the mo.

I would like the original ones, hence the q's.

Many thanks.

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You can get most Corps and Infanrty regts (less the Southern Irish) for about £6 from a good dealer - cavalry and yeomanry are a lot more. However one word of caustion is that most of what you see for sale on ebay etc is repro.

Alan

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...However one word of caustion is that most of what you see for sale on ebay etc is repro.

"Allegedly" :mellow::rolleyes:

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HarryBettsMCDCM Yesterday, 04:38 PM

(max7474 @ Jul 4 2007, 02:30 PM)

...However one word of caustion is that most of what you see for sale on ebay etc is repro.

"Allegedly" :mellow::rolleyes:

Shall we simply say that vendors' claims should be taken with several kilos of salt :P

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