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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Information on Enamel Brooches.


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My lack of collecting focus led me to grab this little lot of empire badges/brooches when I saw them. I know little about them. Quite a lot are numbered (like the SWB) do rolls exist for any others? I'd appreciate any information/ID/ Confirmation they are all great war.

They all came together in a case...but there is room for a few more ;)

1 On War Service 1914

2 On War Service 1915

3 On War Service 1916 (question - were there badges for 1917/18 or did they go away with the introduction of conscription?)

4 Silver Wound Badge (is it possible to go from badge to man or only from man to badge using the number?)

5 CEF for Service at the Front (canadian)

6 WV (? War Veteran? / Wounded Veteran?)

7 Comrades of the Great War

8 Women's Section Comrades of the Great War

9 Knight Metal Products

10 Speed Up Munitions

11 British Legion

12 AIF Issued by Department of Defence Returned from Active Service

13 Volunteered for Active Service Medically Unfit (Issued by Department of Defence)

14 Comfort the Bereaved and Afflicted

15 A United Empire - What we have we'll hold

16 War Munitions Volunteer

17 Ottermead Military Hostpital

18 Fought and Bled for Canada

19 Honourably Exempt Canada

Thanks for any information or references.


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Well ID'ed, but search this site for info and references on the top four.

First was given out by the Admiralty, the second by the munitions makers and the third

(the triangular one) was issued to women working in munitions. The dates on the badge

relate to the date of issue to the individual.

The silver wound badge can be traced by badge number to individual, not vice-versa.

I cannot testify to the infallible vericity of the above, but it is as close as I can recall.

Hope this helps a little anyway since no one else bothered to write.



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hello DrB .i have the second brass badge for a munition worker were they just for male workers to stop them getting a white feather ? also on the back is a number 8821 .thanks tom .and thanks to chris for a great picture.

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Thanks Both,

I did search the site and did a bit of googling....

With the help from an antipodean librarian ..... THIS SITE is a good reference.

And for the Australian ones THIS SITE is good too.

Four or five of mine seem to be Canadian so I will keep looking for references on those

Thanks again,


PS - Ottermead Hospital was apparently an Auxilliary Military Hospital in Chertsey Surrey.

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Hi Chris,

Nice collection ... here's another

All the best


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There is another version of the War Munitions Volunteer badge (number 16) which is red enamelled. I do not know what the difference signals. The badge indicates working on government contracts.

Hadn’t seen the Ottermead Military Hospital badge before. Shall have to look out for that one.


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Tom Compton....to my understanding, the Admirality/munitions badges

were basically "get out of jail free" type things....like you said, kept one from

receiving the dreaded white feather. As I understand it, these things were

highly prized as tickets "out" of the service mess.

Unfortunately, there are no lists showing the specific number issued to the individual,

so they are nearly impossible to trace. Fun and realitively cheap to collect though.

The "strictly munitions" rule was altered during the war to include anything that

was related to the war effort, even to the extent of the manufacture of

dental instruments.



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The dates on the badges (Government ones) are the dates of introduction, rather than of issue to an individual. If one qualified for the 1915 version, it would say 1915 whether awarded in 15, 16, 17 or 18.

Companies kept their own rolls of which number badge went to which individual; and it would seem none of these (are known to) survive. The individual was issued a named registration card to match the badge - these were to be kept for production when challenged by the police to prevent a black market developing in them.

I think Tom Tulloch-Marshall's article on them - in the link above - must be considered almost the definitive work. A great piece of research.

Best wishes,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello and thanks for sharing your neat collection of badges which of course are a mixture of British and Canadian veterans, on service and muntiions badges.

Any way to do a good scan of the front and if possible the back of Number 18 the Canadian badge?



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Sure I will do it later today. I just dug myself out of a pile of end of term marking to find that whilst I was buried in paper - the house was being buried in snow...having dug myself out of that too I now dare to look at the forum!


As requested:

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Nice collection! as the others have all pointed out, Tom Tulloch-Marshall's article is the main one. I agree with the posts so far; the Admiralty badge (the first) was issued from 1914 onwards, the War Office one, with ordnance style guns second, and the triangular one, third. The first two were issued to starred men - those with black stars on their National registration, indicating important skills and trades for war work. The triangular badge was issued only to women on war work - a kind of recognition for their efforts, as the first two were obviously to keep the white feather vigilantes at bay! These were issued by the works themselves, the first two more officially, with severe penalties for those who obtained them for deception. I have a 1917 book that suggests that the enamel/non-enamel versions of the 1915 badge depended on whether the individual worked in a Government operation (enamel) or contractor (non-enamel).

I have heard that your number 6 is a badge issued to Women Volunteers on war work - but this is not substantiated. War Munitions volunteers (no. 16) was a last ditch opportunity for men to engage on war work before being conscripted, so i guess that this badge was issued to those successful.

The Comrades of the Great war was one of several organisations that was superseded early on by the British Legion (later Royal British Legion), together with the MOTHS (Memorable ~Order of the Tin Hats) and the Ypres League, etc, all fighting for ex-servicemen's rights...


Hope some of this is useful


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Chris : Thanks so much for scanning and posting this interesting Canadian enamel badge. Do you have any other information on this badge in particular its maker, date, place, etc...?

I have never seen this badge before.

Is it possibly a post-war FOREIGN that is worn by Canadians in USA or Great Britain 1919 to early 1920s?


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John, I'm sorry I have no additional information - they badges all came together in a lot.

I can find no other markings on the badge which indicate its origin etc.

The sum total of my knowledge in this area is contained in this thread I am afraid.

I intend to do a bit of digging over the holiday period to see what (if anything) else I can discover


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