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  #1  
Old 24-05-19, 05:30 PM
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Default Unofficial war service pins

Does anyone know if there's a book out there about the unofficial pins that were issued?

I have one each of the 4 official pins that were issued but no unofficial ones & it's an area that I'm thinking of branching out into.
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Old 24-05-19, 06:44 PM
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What is an official and unofficial War Service Pin, please?

Marc
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  #3  
Old 24-05-19, 06:58 PM
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I'm presuming you mean the On War Service badges. There is a book all about them called Doing Their Bit, worth googling for it.
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Old 24-05-19, 07:00 PM
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Hi AB,

as far as I know there is not a definitive book on these badges, but I can refer you to CharlieDog's albums, which are a quite an amazing collection of them, complete with some superb info.

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...p?albumid=3667
https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...p?albumid=3305
https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...p?albumid=3665

Hi Marc, we are talking about the many "on War Service" lapel pins that were issued during the Great War. Mostly unofficial and mostly not endorsed by the Government, but none-the-less, prolific. I go by the assumption they were used to both closely mimic official ones (in the case of the 1914 badge, many unofficial ones are very similar in design) and also to ward off the white feather brigade.

Officially, there were 4 issued:
1) The common round "1914 On War Service", issued by the Admiralty
2) The crossed cannon "enrolment" badge, issued to workers waiting for placement in factories - they were originally issued enamelled, but then soon changed to all GM
3) The common "1915 On War Service" badge, also as above, originally enamelled then changed to 'economy'.
4) The 1916 "On War Service" triangular badge, issued to women workers. These come mostly in brass, but all gilded, white metal and nickel plated, and occasionally with the corners rounded off.

Cheers, Tim

Last edited by Chipper; 24-05-19 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 24-05-19, 07:11 PM
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Thanks Tyneside, I had forgotten about Jon's book, that is an excellent reference for WW2 badges.

There are other country specific books, mostly very hard to get a hold of nowadays, that cover the area, as well.

Cheers, Tim
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Old 24-05-19, 07:41 PM
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Thanks for the information & links. Unless my Googling skills are wonky, the book appears to cover the Second World War & I'm looking more for First World War items. Sorry, I should've been clearer.

The albums look fantastic!
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Old 24-05-19, 08:01 PM
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Hi AB

I figured you may be looking at WW1.

If you re looking at British badges, there is scant info in any one book.

Canadian Badges are covered in "Canadian War Service Badges" by Robbie Johnson, but the book is virtually impossible to find these days, I have been looking for a copy for 2 years....

Australian Badges covered in "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and "Australian War Badges of WW1 & WW2" by Graham Donley has some as well.

British Railway badges are covered briefly in "Railway Buttons, Badges, and Uniforms" by David Froggatt and there is literally just a few pages on British badges, with just a little info in "The Great War Collectors Companion" by Howard Williamson

Cheers, Tim
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Old 24-05-19, 08:45 PM
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Thank you, I understand now, it was the use of the word pin that had me confused.

Marc
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Old 25-05-19, 09:19 AM
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This one is defintely unofficial

The postcard is by Fred Spurgin ( Izydor Spurgin ) , many of his wartime comic postcards were a reflection of contemporary attitudes and tastes. There were cards on patriotism, politics, women at work, comments on government policy.

This one may be connected to either compulsory military service, which was introduced in 1916 or perhaps a change in policy about "private" badges.

"These private “On Service Badges” were made illegal on August 4 1915 and any companies that had been allowed to issue their own badges were instructed to withdraw them and issue official badges instead."
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File Type: jpg OWS 1916.jpg (78.3 KB, 41 views)

Last edited by mike_vee; 25-05-19 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Added info.
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Old 29-05-19, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipper View Post
Officially, there were 4 issued:
1) The common round "1914 On War Service", issued by the Admiralty
2) The crossed cannon "enrolment" badge, issued to workers waiting for placement in factories - they were originally issued enamelled, but then soon changed to all GM
3) The common "1915 On War Service" badge, also as above, originally enamelled then changed to 'economy'.
4) The 1916 "On War Service" triangular badge, issued to women workers. These come mostly in brass, but all gilded, white metal and nickel plated, and occasionally with the corners rounded off.

Cheers, Tim
Hi Tom,

I've just picked up on this thread, what is the crossed cannon enrolment badge? I'm not sure I've seen one of those.

Michael
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  #11  
Old 29-05-19, 11:46 AM
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Hi Michael,

I imagine you have seen these, but they are often described simply as Munitions worker badges, when in fact, they were a sign a person had enrolled to work in munitions, but had not been placed yet. They were meant to be returned and replaced with the 1915 oval version once employment started, but as was often the case in those days, is seems based on how common they are, most were never returned.

Cheers, Tim
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Old 29-05-19, 11:49 AM
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Thanks Tim,

Yes I know what you mean now, I am one of those who thought they were for munitions workers. I have the GM one but not the enamelled version.

Thanks for the explanation.

Michael

Edit: I've just realised auto correct changed your name to Tom on my early post, sorry about that.
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  #13  
Old 29-05-19, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
Hi Tom,

I've just picked up on this thread, what is the crossed cannon enrolment badge? I'm not sure I've seen one of those.

Michael
I was confused as well

Google images helped , found this on IWM site.

Now all I need to do is fnd one !
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File Type: jpg War Muntions Volunteer.jpg (27.6 KB, 8 views)
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  #14  
Old 29-05-19, 01:25 PM
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no problem Michael, I answer to Tim or Tom

Hi Mike, the GM ones are reasonably easy to find on e-bay and dealer sites, the enamelled ones are a bit harder to find though. Pricing is all over the place, but you should be able to pick up an all GM version for around £15. The enamelled ones can be tricky, as they are usually priced way too high, in my opinion; but If you're patient, you may get one around £40 or even under, but most are in the £45 - £55 range.

If you have access to a militaria fair, that may be your best and cheapest option. I will be at Stratford this year, (9th June) happy to look out for one if you want - just PM me.

Also, beware of repaired enamelled ones, where the enamel is not a consistent colour.

Cheers, Tim
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Old 30-05-19, 12:32 PM
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Hi Tim , thanks for your input.

I'm very much a novice but have managed to get a basic set of the other OWS badges , not best quality but hopefully will 'upgrade' later. I will probably pick up a GM version and add the enamel one to my "wish list".

This forum has increased my knowledge and curiosity , my journey continues.

Poppy/Remembrance > British Legion/RBL > "Founder Organisations" > OWS.
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