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Old 11-06-19, 09:07 AM
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atillathenunns atillathenunns is offline
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
Hi all

This is what the Forum should be about and you have certainly added to my knowledge of Bay's activities. So I was correct about the relative cost of employing women?

I did know that Bay came up with the idea of the ring on the back of the crown (mostly because so many badges were being lost, given that they were worn far more than medals).

An early edition of the RSA magazine (then called "Quick March") carries a side bar column entitled "Hints to Badge Wearers" giving you a few tips on how not to lose your badge!

If you look at early "C. B." badges (the degree of wear evident in the strike gives this away) you will see a very small R.D. number marked on it. From memory it is R.D. 1101 or maybe 1011. I'll check on the couple of examples that I have. Someone with access to the relevant files might be able to track this down, subject to getting the correct number of course!

What might be less well known is that Bay "converted" the stock held by the Returned Soldiers Association for the sum of around threepence a badge! These were badges made by Mayer and Kean with the "R.D. 861" marking punched into the back.

Badges by Bay, have the number on the front as per the reinforcement badges, but these have almost become illegible "dots" on later strikes, as well as these strikes showing evidence of cracks and rust.

The point about him moving to Te Mahia is also interesting. The contract to produce the badges would have then been passed to another maker one would guess.

At a potential membership of well over 57,000 (not including the reissue of badges) that would have kept someone fairly busy....
As far as I know, Mayer & Kean made the NZRSA badges from 1916 to 1918 and C M Bay made them from 1918.

I have never compared early RSA badges, but would suspect that the original badge die was made by M&K and then used by Bay to make more. It would be interesting to compare badges to see if that is correct.

It is worth mentioning that when the first RSA badges were produced in late 1916, they were completely unofficial and intended only to be worn on civilian dress, however, a returned soldier employed on home duties and still in uniform, were allowed to wear a vertical scarlet braid strip on the left cuff which indicated that the wearer was a returned soldier. (if wounded while on service it was worn next to a gold vertical strip for each time wounded)
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