British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum

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-   -   First badge . . ! (https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87404)

Sonofacqms 20-11-21 11:35 PM

First badge . . !
 
I would be very interested in what the first badge any forum members acquired and what the consequences were . . !

My first cap badge was one that I found in a drawer in my Grand parents house (actually it was a pub) was my Father's Royal Engineers cap badge (GviR), it had a stain to the 5 O'clock and I wore it to school in my jacket buttonhole.

Other pupils followed my idea and with little exchanges for sweets etc, I acquired others, the die was cast.

With hindsight I would love to have that first cap badge, I cannot remember who I exchanged I with, so if you have an RE GviR cap badge with a stain at 5 O'clock I would love to do an exchange or buy.

Regards Rob

slick_mick 20-11-21 11:43 PM

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I guess it would be this one. It was issued to me when I joined the regiment in 1988. :)

Mick

Sonofacqms 21-11-21 12:02 AM

Badge!
 
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Mick.
That is a great looking badge, I have never seen that badge before being mainly interested in UK items, however, what a good starter with personal connections.

Rob

PS. I do have a few from down under . . !

Home Guard 21-11-21 02:55 AM

Always a fun topic. I consider two possibilities. The first was not me really seeking badges, but from having a love and fascination with the RAF. My father, a career Air Force pilot brought me back from a TDY in the Azores an RAF wing (unpadded, and yes, I still have it), and I have treasured it ever since. Then because it was RAF, and now because he brought it to me. I was 16 at the time, so maybe the real first?

Then, a little over 30 years ago I was on my way to get a haircut and across from my barber shop was the city center, and I noticed a sign that said "Military Show". So doing the right thing I went on and got my hair cut!!! But afterwards I went straight to the show, paid my entrance fee, and thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I spent the entire afternoon till closing just walking around and looking. Then I saw a WWI German pilot's badge, and being interested still in aviation and more specifically WWI aviation I stopped to enquire about it. Ended up buying it for waaaaay too much because as I soon learned it was sooooo bogus. But the dealer took me and I learned a great lesson. And yes, I still have it. I think it is Luke H who often advises - buy the badge, not the story, i.e. that seller knew it was fake and told me it was a good one, so shame on me.

But, not sure which to consider the first, but the German Pilot badge started me collecting, while the RAF wing was just treasured.

Terry

kingsley 21-11-21 03:47 AM

Rob, I suspect that your two open topped INF badges are Canadian rather that Auistralian.

Sonofacqms 21-11-21 07:48 AM

INF
 
Kingsley,
Many thanks, I put them on the board without thinking, put it down to whiskey drinking:D

Rob

Phil2M 21-11-21 10:04 AM

My cousin gave me his anodised RE cap badge with some other bits and pieces. Mum decided they were all nasty and threw them all away, except the cap badge I had stored separately. As an eight year old I couldn't stop things getting binned whilst I was at school, it happened often and I still 31 years later hold a slight grudge.

GTB 21-11-21 11:01 AM

I must have been 11 or 12 when our next-door neighbour gave me a black plastic KRRC cap badge, complete with red felt backing. My very first badge and I treasured it until in my ignorance and thinking I was doing the badge a favour, I removed the backing! I'll stop here.

manchesters 21-11-21 11:08 AM

1966, a QVC Bays cap badge from my grandparents next door neighbour. Sorry to say I sold it many years later.

regards

grey_green_acorn 21-11-21 11:27 AM

In the mid 1950s my uncle returned from Hong Kong having completed his National Service. He gave me his King’s Crown bimetal Royal Army Medical Corps cap badge which I still have together with thousands of other items acquired over the last 60 years!

Tim

Volunteer Soldier 21-11-21 02:05 PM

North Staffords - When I arrived at the North Staffords depot, Whittington Barracks in 1958.

tonyb 21-11-21 02:22 PM

An EiiR Royal Military Police in GM, given to me by a mate of my dad's, from that day on I was smitten!
Tony.

Chacal 21-11-21 02:25 PM

This brooch, given to me by my late mother, is the survivor of a pair my uncle brought back for his sisters after serving as a Redcap in North Africa and Europe during WWII.

I've always been a collector in diverse areas, it would be some years after getting this brooch before I went down the rabbit hole - I've escaped a couple of times, but like the Mafia you get dragged back in :D.

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ctureid=189438

Phillip Herring 21-11-21 03:36 PM

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On a trip to England in 1976, my great grandmother gave me this cap badge. It was given to her by her brother who served all through the First World War with the Cambridgeshire Regiment. He was awarded the MSM - I have his medals along with the replacements which were ordered when it was thought that the originals had been lost. After getting this badge, all hope was lost. I was hooked.

Charliedog012012 21-11-21 04:14 PM

It has to be the Cap badge of my now deceased father who served with the RAF in the Middle East during WW2. Holds a special pride of place in the collection and brings the memories of him flooding back.

Sonofacqms 21-11-21 04:58 PM

Cambridgeshire Regt badges
 
Phillip, what a lovely Cambridgeshire Regt badge, as a Cambridgeshire collector, it's a lovely item especially with the medals, thanks for sharing.
Rob

Peter Brydon 21-11-21 05:40 PM

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Me aged 9 or 10 “curating” my collection, not sure which was my first cap badge but probably in the photo.

Still have the hall marked silver Liverpool Pals cap badge bought when I was about 10 ( more than 60 years ago ) for pocket money and I still have that.

P.

JerryBB 21-11-21 05:45 PM

My dad's economy plastic royal signals, which I still have along with his medals

Peter Brydon 21-11-21 06:05 PM

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Jerry, still have my Dads RCOS badges and medals but he gave them to me relatively recently in my collecting time.

P.

JerryBB 21-11-21 06:47 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Brydon (Post 565406)
Jerry, still have my Dads RCOS badges and medals but he gave them to me relatively recently in my collecting time.

P.

excellent Peter.

I was always to inherit my fathers medals, which I received when he passed away in 1993.

Fatherofthree 21-11-21 09:07 PM

I was about 9 or 10, my parents had moved into a Victorian house a few years previously in 1957.

My dad kept chickens at the end of the garden, I was in the chicken run one day feeding the chickens worms, and whilst feeding, one was scratching the soil, up popped a badge.

After cleaning it, I found that it was a Middlesex Regiment badge, but it was many years later, when I began to take a real interest in militaria, that I discovered that it was in fact an economy version.

I have that badge still.

Meanwhile, also at the end of the garden was a rickety old shed. In there, standing on a shelf was, to my eyes, a large yellow coloured badge.

I kept this for many years not knowing what it actually was, but eventually found it to be an Officer's QVC Helmet Plate for 1st West India Regiment. The gilt was still in very good, as was the general overall condition.

It would have been wonderful to have known the antecedence of the previous occupants of the house.

I eventually swapped it for some other stuff when the bug bit and have since seen it on at least 3 dealers sites in the intervening years.

Who knows, one of you may have it now in your collections.

Regards.

Brian

KLR 21-11-21 09:47 PM

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I was about 12 or 13 when I was given various family badges -

Then I was about 14 or 15 my grandfather suggested that I collected 1914 infantry badges -

Then I started collected - and researching - KLR badges about 17 or 18 but more seriously when I was about 35


lots of KLR in my albums...
1914 Infantry
family badges...

grey_green_acorn 21-11-21 10:59 PM

My first badge
 
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Actually, here I am wearing my first badge in 1955. Unfortunately I now suspect it was just a copy/restrike/fake or fantasy item!

Tim

Terry Rayner 21-11-21 11:53 PM

My Dad gave me his Essex cap badge when I was in my late teens. He was captured at Monte Casino along with his brother. They were sent to Germany and Dad was made to work in a pipe factory. He was released by the Russians, and a Russian soldier and gave him a rabbit skin jacket and I still have it today. He did not like talking about the war. One story he did tell me, that the Russian solders were kept in separate huts from the rest of the troops in the camp.
The Germans were starving them and they were screaming out for food, the Germans sent their dogs into the huts, but they never came out.

High Wood 22-11-21 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil2M (Post 565375)
My cousin gave me his anodised RE cap badge with some other bits and pieces. Mum decided they were all nasty and threw them all away, except the cap badge I had stored separately. As an eight year old I couldn't stop things getting binned whilst I was at school, it happened often and I still 31 years later hold a slight grudge.

I know that feeling very well. My father served in the Second World War in the Home Guard due to having pulmonary T.B. as a child. He was living in Woodmansterne, Surrey at the time and later told me about various incidents that he had witnessed, which included German air raids on Kenley Aerodrome and Croydon Airport. He told me about a huge crater left in a field in Woodmansterne by a German bomber and I can clearly remember cycling over to see the crater with my mate Tony Mitchell when I was about 9 or 10.

Around this time, I found a .303 cartridge on some waste ground by a public footpath and took it home to show my father. He cleaned the end of the cartridge with a wire brush and showed me the date, 1940. That was it for me, my first piece of actual history and I convinced myself that it was fired from a Spitfire during the Battle of Britain.

Like nine years olds do, I took it to school to show my mates and in the playground, a small group of kids had gathered round to see my treasure. The teacher supervising noticed and came over to see what everyone was looking at.

After all these years, I can clearly remember her asking me, "What have you got there?!. I showed her and said that it was a WW2 bullet from a Spitfire. She looked at me and said, "you don't want that" and took it from my hand and threw it over the hedge into the field next door.

I remember going back after school again and again to look for it but I never found it.

If, I had kept the cartridge, I may have got bored and moved onto to other interests, but I honestly think that losing that treasure at such an impressionable age set me off on my endless quest of trying to preserve random pieces of military history.

Either that, or I am on the Autistic Spectrum, as yet undiagnosed.

Peter Brydon 22-11-21 09:41 AM

Thinking about the photo of me in my post, the full and half wings in the frame back left almost certainly came from the list of the legendary Bill Tobin.

The RAEC brass badge on the piece of black pegboard came from an Army and Navy shop on Byron Street, Liverpool. They had lots of cap badges for sale displayed in the window. A lot of the other badges had belonged to family and friends of the family.

On a few occasions my Dad took me to a Junk Shop in Myrtle Street, Liverpool. In there were large boxes full of all sorts of metal military badges of all kinds. With hindsight you could have made a fortune if you had bought selectively and even better no one had ever heard of restrikes and if they had been mentioned , why would they be needed when there were more than sufficient genuine badges to satisfy the collectors of the late 1950s- early 1960s

Golden days

P.

GriffMJ 22-11-21 10:02 AM

....my Grandfathers silver/gilt RAOC Cap badge in his old SD Cap. Cant remember what happened to both.... I was 9. Lost in time.

Phil2M 22-11-21 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by High Wood (Post 565438)
I know that feeling very well. My father served in the Second World War in the Home Guard due to having pulmonary T.B. as a child. He was living in Woodmansterne, Surrey at the time and later told me about various incidents that he had witnessed, which included German air raids on Kenley Aerodrome and Croydon Airport. He told me about a huge crater left in a field in Woodmansterne by a German bomber and I can clearly remember cycling over to see the crater with my mate Tony Mitchell when I was about 9 or 10.

Around this time, I found a .303 cartridge on some waste ground by a public footpath and took it home to show my father. He cleaned the end of the cartridge with a wire brush and showed me the date, 1940. That was it for me, my first piece of actual history and I convinced myself that it was fired from a Spitfire during the Battle of Britain.

Like nine years olds do, I took it to school to show my mates and in the playground, a small group of kids had gathered round to see my treasure. The teacher supervising noticed and came over to see what everyone was looking at.

After all these years, I can clearly remember her asking me, "What have you got there?!. I showed her and said that it was a WW2 bullet from a Spitfire. She looked at me and said, "you don't want that" and took it from my hand and threw it over the hedge into the field next door.

I remember going back after school again and again to look for it but I never found it.

If, I had kept the cartridge, I may have got bored and moved onto to other interests, but I honestly think that losing that treasure at such an impressionable age set me off on my endless quest of trying to preserve random pieces of military history.

Either that, or I am on the Autistic Spectrum, as yet undiagnosed.

That reminds me of the cap that my cousin also gave to me. My friend's little brother threw it on to the porch roof and mum refused to get it down for me. It either blew away or the window cleaner stole it, I will never know. It was outside my bedroom window but I was too scared to jump down and get it

I fairly often think back at all the toys, gifts and books etc that got thrown away in my absence. I used to really look after my stuff too. She had a knack for getting rid of the stuff that I liked and/or held sentimental value to me whilst keeping the stuff I had little interest in.

Let's hope the casing your teacher threw over the fence helped somebody else find the collecting bug too.

jean-paul Vermersch 22-11-21 11:50 AM

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Hello everybody

I remember very well my first find. Long time ago

I didn't know what it was.

This one..

JP

High Wood 22-11-21 11:52 AM

Phil,

the strange thing is that I must have found several dozen cartridge cases since that first one and I didn't have any signicant memories of any of them.

I am reminded of a line in one of the India Jones films where the eponymous hero meets up with his long divorced wife. I cannot remember the exact dialogue but it goes something like this.

Indiana: You were always the love of my life I never once stopped thinking about you.

Ex Mrs Jones. I heard that you had many women after me and yet you never settled down with any of them, perhaps you were the problem.

Indiana. Those women all had the same problem, they weren't you.

grumpy 22-11-21 04:22 PM

A whole belt-full of cap badges Second World War collected for me by my RAF father. I can see them now: Royal Sussex, Isle of White Rifles, RE, RA, several Foot Guards .......

When I left home they stayed at home.

Somehow they disappeared, along with my school annual photos [600 boys in each, seven years worth] and my blue, big, smelly Teddy bear called Husband.

I only discovered them to be missing when I cleared the house after the second parent died.

Regrets, I've had a few .................

Sonofacqms 22-11-21 06:48 PM

Early days of collecting
 
Not long after my start into badge collecting an old (well he was to me) chap from Stratford, East London used to visit us for tea having walked seven on eight miles around the villages.

This happened once a year and him seeing my OXO tin of badges said he had some badges and he would bring them down on the next visit, when they arrived I was slightly disappointed as there was only one British cap badge, The Rangers, 12th London Regt and a Canadian General Service, all the others were Grenade/RF/CITYOFLONDON with some T/2's, all shoulder titles.

After a few years I moved these on to a lady who had an antique shop along with another title AMR which I have later found out was Army Motor Reserve and a few other "T" titles.

I have replaced the London titles, but have never seen an AMR, so if you have one I am interested . . !

Since my parents have died along with all of their generation I have found a postcard sent from Rifleman Pheasy, 12th London Regt, sent during the Great War, I still have his cap badge.

Rob

bess55 23-11-21 09:16 AM

Would be my Dad's RAF cap badge and GSM for Malaya. He was based at RAF Changi during the insurgency and was part of the casevac teams going 'up country' flying back wounded to the RAF hospital in Singapore.

Luke H 23-11-21 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sonofacqms (Post 565485)

After a few years I moved these on to a lady who had an antique shop along with another title AMR which I have later found out was Army Motor Reserve and a few other "T" titles.

I have replaced the London titles, but have never seen an AMR, so if you have one I am interested . . !

Since my parents have died along with all of their generation I have found a postcard sent from Rifleman Pheasy, 12th London Regt, sent during the Great War, I still have his cap badge.

Rob

Recently I had an email conversation with a dealer about the Army Motor Reserve as he’d just won a lot at auction containing an officers quality badge of a wheel on ‘Subitio’ transected by a horizontal arrow. The badge is either a pouch or possibly very large collar badge to the AMR according to David Kellock.

In Badges of the Empire’s Waggoners there is a picture of a private of the AMR’s predecessor the Motor Volunteer Corps wearing a cap badge which appears significantly smaller than his collar badges somewhat bizarrely.

Any way I digress, from that exchange I understand they disappeared before WW1 and were always rather small in number so it’s perhaps not surprising another title hasn’t surfaced.

I should like to see a picture of the 12th London badge if I may. I’m always interested in identifying WW1 worn/produced dies.

P.S. my first badge was also a GvR RE.


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