25th Infantry Battalion
25th Btn CEF officers badge.
[See Notes Cap Badges and Collars below] Other Ranks

25th Infantry Battalion CEF Other Ranks Badge

25th Infantry Battalion CEF Officers Badge

Other Ranks [See Notes Cap Badges and Collars below]
Officers Officers
OR's B Copper, JR Gaunt London. (© Lovat Dawson collection)  
Officers Collar Officers Collar

Babin  E-25

© Images Copyright; L.L. Will 2008; Ian Candy 2011 (second two ). ©

  Last collection of 13 images copyright N.S. Regt. 2012 ©

 25th Infantry Battalion

 and Recruitment:
The battalion was authorized November 7 1914 Privy Council Order #2831 and raised in the province of Nova Scotia with the headquarters being in Halifax.
Higher Formations: The 25th formed part of the 5th Infantry Brigade 2nd Canadian Division
Commanded by: Lt. Col. George Augustus LeCain 28 Oct 1914 to 16 Oct. 1915.
Lt. Col.Edward Hilliam C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. and bar, 6x M.I.D. 16 Oct. 1915 to 18 Jan. 1917.
Major James Warren Grant M.I.D. 18 Jan. 1917 to 15 Feb. 1917.
Major James Arnold DeLancey M.C., M.I.D. 15 Feb. 1917 to 4 Apr. 1917.
Lt. Col. Duncan Stanley Bauld M.I.D. 4 Apr. 1917 to 15 July 1917.
Lt. Col. Arthur Osborne Blois D.S.O., M.I.D. 15 July 1917 to 20 Apr. 1918
Lt. Col. John Wise D.S.O., M.C., M.I.D. 20 Apr. 1918 to 8 Aug. 1918
Lt. Col. Frank Parker Day 8 Aug. 1918 to 27 Sept. 1918
Lt. Col.Chalmers Jack Mersereau D.S.O., M.I.D. 27 Sept. 1918 to Demobilization
Battle Honours: Mount Sorrel, Somme 1916-18, Flers-Courcelette, Thiepval, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917-18, Vimy 1917, Arleux, Scarpe 1917-18, Hill 70, Ypres 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Cambrai 1918, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1915-18.
Notes: 25th Battalion arrived in France on Sept. 15 1915 and served in France and Belgium until the Armistice. They also were part of the force occupying Germany crossing the Rhine River Dec. 13 1918 and arriving back in the U.K. 9 Apr. 1919. Honours and awards for the 25th Battalion included 5 D.S.O.s 1 first bar, 40 M.C.s, 6 first Bars, 1 second bar, 28 D.C.M. 2 first bars, 161 MMs, 26 First Bars, 2 Second Bars, 7 M.S.M.,34 M.I.D., 11 Foreign awards.
The battalion had a pipe band of 12 pipers and 10 drummers.

Note: The following list has been researched and compiled by N.S. Regt. Please send corrections or additional information through the B&CMBF message system. )

General Notes: The insignia and the issue of it to the 25th Battalion has an interesting history. The battalion’s first issue of insignia for the other ranks consisted of General List badges and collars which were made by P.W. Ellis Co. in 1915. The first issue included shoulder numerals which are discussed below. The battalion was then sent to the U.K. where most of the insignia was manufactured. There are six known makers of insignia for the battalion. Canadian makers include P.W.Ellis Co. Ltd., and Birks who made some early shoulder numerals and the general list badges. G.A. Hemsley made an order of C/25 collars. The English makers include J.R. Gaunt London, who made badges and collars, Tiptaft Birmingham, who also made badges and collars, and finally the G&S CO. Ltd. London, who made some of the battalions Officer and Senior NCO Insignia.
Cap Badges and Collars: Officers: Badges Variation 1, Gilt metal overlay on darkened bronze maple leaf east and west lug fasteners .Overlay is attached by means of two rivets, one on the top and bottom. Variation 2, gilt overlay with east and west lug fasteners.
Collars: smaller version of the badge variation 2, badges and collars have maker marks "THE G&S Co. 112 REGENT ST. LONDON" Shoulder title type 1 "NOVA SCOTIA" over "25th" over "CANADA" maker unknown.
Buttons in three sizes, tunic front, pocket and shoulder strap and cap bearing "XXV" over provincial coat of arms having a "N" to the left and "S" to the right, over "CANADA". The larger buttons are marked "SUPERIOR QUALITY' and separated at either end by two stars the two smaller sizes the backs are plain.
Divisional Flash: dark blue rectangle having a gold wire "CII" in center topped by a red triangle.

Senior N.C.O.”s (R.S.M. and R.Q.M.S.): Research into the battalion insignia indicates the N.C.O’s, the Regimental Sergeant Major and the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, wore insignia similar to the officers. The insignia of R.S.M. Frank Hinchcliffe M.C., killed at Vimy Ridge, wore the following:
Cap badge: gilded overlay having north and south lugs and backed in red felt no maker marks but very similar to G&S company officer badges variation 2. With this grouping was a pair of Gaunt made other ranks collars (described below) which may be an early issue.
Shoulder title: type 2 having "NOVA SCOTIA" over "25" over "CANADA"
Battle patch: other ranks divisional patch. (described below).
Research of the 25th Battalion’s insignia has not revealed photographic evidence of the insignia for senior N.C.O.s. However, other similar pieces for senior N.C.O.’s have been found, all backed by red felt and unmarked, like the Hinchcliffe badge. Collars have been found, similar to officers version but unmarked along with type 1 shoulder titles all with red backing. A variation of type 1 badge with north and south lugs and bearing no maker marks has rivets for the overlay one the right and left. There is also a C/25 collar that is constructed a little thinner stamping than the other ranks version. These are unmarked and said to be NCO versions with north and south lugs. More research into this area needs to be done, with analysis supported by either period documents or photos.
Other Ranks (Pte - C.S.M.): Badges and collars for the other ranks include four variations made by Gaunt and one variation by Tiptaft. Two variations additional variations are discussed in the Misc. Section.  Gaunt badge variation 1 is a brass badge with a chocolate brown finish. They are often found polished smooth and have a "J.R. GAUNT LONDON" tag on the back. There are also matching collars for this badge, many having a bright finish.
The second variation consists of a lugged version of the white metal overlay. It has a Gaunt tag on the back, like the first variation, and is often mistaken for a officers badge.
The third variation has also been mistaken for a officers badge. It consists of a brass darkened maple leaf and a white metal overlay. These are attached by pins, one on the top and bottom.
The final variation is similar to the previous one, the only difference being the attachment of the overlay to the maple leaf. The attachment is done by cutting two rectangle shaped holes where the lugs would be, and using a variation two badge with the lugs passing through the holes into the hat.
Variations 2-3 have not been recorded as having matching collars.
The fifth variation is made by "TIPTAFT B"HAM." and is marked this way on the back in most cases. The badge is slightly larger than the Gaunt made badges and the striking has some notable differences. These include the crown, the arms of the St. Andrews Cross which do not extending past the crest in the center of the badge, and the veining in the leaf being different. These badges are brass often found polished but many had a gilt coating which had been lost over time. There are matching collars but they are somewhat scarce and can be easily spotted by their larger size and different striking.
All had originally east and west lugs.
C/25 collars are found by two makers, "Hemsley" and "TIPTAFT B'HAM". The Tiptaft markings can be found as a single or double line. There is also a unmarked version and some appear to have been gilded at one time shown by the traces of gilding on the backs.
Shoulder numerals: there are two known makers. The earliest is the one made and marked on the back by "P.W. ELLIS CO. LTD. 1915". The second is "BIRKS 1916" with the striking of the "5" slightly different between the two of them.
The divisional patch for the other ranks consists of a dark blue rectangle topped by a red triangle.
Pipe Band:
The insignia for the pipe band differed due to the highland dress they wore. The tunic was a cutaway pattern for wearing but having the same insignia as for the other ranks with the following exceptions. Kilt and hose in MacKenzie tartan, red garter tabs were worn on the hose with Khaki spats. The sporran was a Seaforth type with a Seaforth badge, silver cantle and black patent leather top. The sporran had white goat hair and two black tails. The cap was a dark blue Glengarry with red, white and dark blue dicing. They wore a Seaforth badge. (Stewart in "OVERSEAS", lists the glengarry with only red and white dicing and the drummers wearing black cocks feathers. However photographic evidence does not bear this out.) The waist and cross belts were black leather, with the waist belt bearing a silver buckle with a G&S Company officer’s collar, silver plated over a stag head over a banner bearing "CUIDICH'N RICH". The cross belt plate was in brass with the other ranks variation 2 badge over a stag head and a banner bearing "SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS".
Miscellaneous: Some of the insignia for the 25th Battalion has not been categorized due to the lack of evidence of them in use. First is a Gaunt made badge. Similar to the other ranks variation 3, the difference being the maple leaf is white metal with a gilded overlay. This may be a early officer pattern. In a photo dated to the 1915-1916 period, a 25th Battalion officer appears to be wearing a similar badge.
A second unclassified pattern is similar to the other ranks variation 2 in white metal, but made by Tiptaft. These have the same striking differences noted above and are quite scarce. There are matching collars as well. A brass collar exists, similar to the white metal Ttiptaft version described previously.
Shoulder numerals have been found locally in Nova Scotia, and are similar in design to others from the province. Made in brass and unmarked this pattern may also be a Militia numeral for the 25th Colchester and Hants Regiment. Lastly, a shoulder title which appears to be trench made reads "Nova Scotia" over "25" over "CANADA". The above pieces have lugs. No records have been found for their use.
There are also examples of the Brodie steel helmets with the battalion patch painted on the front. Examples in collections are named to identified veterans and in one case came with the veteran’s tunic and medals.
References: S. Hunt; Nova Scotia's Part in the Great War (1920)
F. MacDonald and J. Gardiner; The TWENTY FIFTH BATTALION Canadian Expeditionary Force. (1983)
R. Lewis; Over The Top With The 25th (1918)
25th Battalion War Diary (1914-1919)

S. Horne Collection; Researched and Compiled by S. Horne. © 2011

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