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  #1  
Old 03-10-17, 01:41 PM
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Guzzman Guzzman is offline
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Default Mystery 'cap' badges

I have today received three small blue-on-white embroidered WWII issue cap/hat badges - possibly for Wrens tropical hats. One of the reasons I think that is because they came with a small 'SEAC' badge embroidered in WRNS blue (see images below).

However, every picture I have seen of WWII wrens in tropical rig shows PO and CPO Wrens wearing the standard blue cap badge they would have worn in the UK. I can't find any images of badges similar to the ones I have. In fact, I have never seen any badges similar to these before. They are all quite small and I can't think of any other use for them than as cap/hat badges. There are even pin holes and traces of thread on them which suggest that at one time they were stitched to a hat of some kind.

Any ideas?

Pete
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Last edited by Guzzman; 04-10-17 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Poor grammer!
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  #2  
Old 04-10-17, 04:54 PM
navyfred navyfred is offline
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Its nice to see that someone else has the same problem identigying these 'cap' badges. I have two and like yours they have pin holes where they have been sewn to something.

I agree that they should be WRNS hat badges of some type but I cannot find anything out about them either.

Regards
fred
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  #3  
Old 04-10-17, 07:30 PM
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Hi Fred

As you say it's nice to know someone has the same problem! They are nice badges aren't they?

I seem to recall Alex Rice saying that he once saw a picture of a member of the South African Women's Auxiliary Naval Service (SWANS) wearing a hat with a blue-on-white cap badge. They only existed 1943-49 so the dates are right. Hopefully he'll see this and let us know if the badge in the picture was anything like ours. I'll PM him in a few days if he doesn't spot this.

Pete

Last edited by Guzzman; 04-10-17 at 07:36 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-17, 01:35 PM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Hi Pete
Sorry, been away for a few days. Yes, there is a blue on white WREN/SWAN cap badge. There is a photo of a SWAN CPO wearing one, so there should be a POs version too. I assume it is a tropical badge as it is on the white headdress, not the dark blue. There seem to have been 3 styles of headdress worn in the SWANS, but I don't know much about the WRENS. There was the all navy-blue tricorn type, one with a white crown and navy-blue brim and an all white one. The white on blue badge was only worn on the all white hat by the look of it.
The CPO badge you have doesn't look right to me so maybe theatre made?
Hope this helps and if you find a spare please think of me!
Cheers,
Alex
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  #5  
Old 08-10-17, 09:42 PM
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Default Mystery 'cap' badges

Hi Alex

Thanks for replying. I know you're a busy man so I appreciate you getting in touch.

Agree about the CPO's badge. I thought it looked slightly odd too and agree that it could be theatre made.

I can't find any record of these badges being official Wren issue. They are certainly for wear with tropical rig but whether they were official issue or not I just don't know. The only evidence I have of them being worn are the badges themselves and the fact that you have seen a picture of one (or something similar) being worn by a SWAN in South Africa. Are they even WRENS badges or could they be SWANS badges?

Have sent you a PM.

Pete
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  #6  
Old 09-10-17, 06:12 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Hi Pete
Unfortunately, I don't know if copyright laws for the photo are in force so I am not happy about trying to post a copy here but the SWAN in question was CPO Meg Godley, so there is no doubt about the white on blue CPO badge. The badge looks just like the regular CPO cap badge though, with a 'ring' around the anchor. In my opinion it must have been a WREN badge as well, simply because the SANF didn't have any unique cap badges. All the badges which were used were the same as their British counterparts so why would they make an all new badge for a few members. I think it must have been copied from the WRENS.
Obviously this is my opinion but maybe there are photos of WRENS wearing the badge out there somewhere.
Cheers,
Alex
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  #7  
Old 09-10-17, 08:23 PM
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Default Mystery 'cap' badges

Alex,

What you said makes sense. It probably is WRNS issue. I wish there were lots of pictures of them being worn! Every photo I've seen of Wrens in tropical rig (and I've looked at a lot lately) shows them wearing their normal blue badges. I guess I'll just keep looking ...

Pete
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