Thread: Manchester Pals
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Old 19-03-20, 07:22 PM
Luke H's Avatar
Luke H Luke H is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Londoner in exile
Posts: 2,652

I really donít believe it is a souvenir piece for several reasons.

Firstly if it was a bespoke finished souvenir I would have thought a conversion to a broach would be very likely for non-service wear or display.

Second, the condition and wear. As you can see the badge itself shows what Iíd regard as clear signs of service wear. The loops are battered and the badge itself has been purposely shaped and curved - undoubtedly to fit a cap. I strongly doubt a souvenir piece would exhibit these traits.

Lastly the period photographs Iíve seen of Manchester Pals badges being worn. Some, including one very close up and clear portrait postcard, are literally bright as buttons with not the slightest trace of darker bronzing even in hard to polish areas such as the recesses. Now these soldiers could potentially have been OCD polishers but equally I feel itís possible the bronzing isnít visible as it was never there in the first place.

Over the years I have seen a few of these badges which I donít believe to have ever been bronzed so I think itís entirely possible a batch or run was finished in a different way (mistake, altered requirement etc.) and issued. Certainly photographic evidence doesnít conflict with this and I know where I work you wear what youíre issued even if the person next to you gets a different shade/style etc. of the same kit due to different batches or manufacturers.

Personally Iím convinced this badge and ones like it were worn in service but wholeheartedly accept the Ďstandardí finish should be bronzed brass. That said I completely understand others may disagree with the above or my interpretation. I think this is potentially one of those subjects that ultimately comes down to opinion and individual views on the written record conflicting with whatís found.

Perhaps the owner of the smashing postcard will see this thread and post a picture to add to this interesting subject and debate.
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