British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum

Recent Books by Forum Members

   

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > British Military Insignia > Airborne, Elite and Special Forces Insignia

 Other Pages: Galleries, Links etc.
Glossary  Books by Forum Members     Canadian Pre 1914    CEF    CEF Badge Inscriptions   Canadian post 1920     Canadian post 1953     British Cavalry Badges     Makers' Marks    Pipers' Badges  Canadian Cloth Titles  Books  SEARCH
 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18-06-10, 07:54 AM
Arthur 257 Arthur 257 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 19
Default SAS Cap badge - Design History required

Can anyone tell me how the SAS cap badge was designed?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18-06-10, 07:59 AM
Unknownsoldier's Avatar
Unknownsoldier Unknownsoldier is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sevenoaks, Kent
Posts: 2,130
Default

I believe it was designed in Cairo by one of the units member but can't for the life of me remember whom.

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 18-06-10, 08:27 AM
HamandJam HamandJam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,115
Default

It was designed in 1941 by Sergeant Bob Tait who was a nco in L-detachment Special Air Service the first unit designation of sas. The motto who dares wins is from David Stirling. The sword is exalibur the sword of King Arthur and not a fairbairn sykes dagger. The dark blue and camdridge blue refer to Oxford and Cambridge were Jock Lewis studied. Jock rowed for Oxford and an officer called Langton rowed for Cambridge. Cheers JB

Last edited by HamandJam; 19-06-10 at 09:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18-06-10, 03:55 PM
David Tremain's Avatar
David Tremain David Tremain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,899
Default

Hamandjam is correct. It's referred to in a number of the more recent books about the early origins of the SAS. One that springs to mind is 'Sterling's Men'. Can't remember the author, but you can Google it. There's a couple of other titles, but I'll have to look them up. It may also be mentioned in Virginia Cowles's 'The Phantom Major', an early account of David Sterling.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 18-06-10, 08:16 PM
Roy's Avatar
Roy Roy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: A Shropshire lad in Arizona
Posts: 3,837
Default

I could be wrong here but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the design was supposed to be a Fairbairn Sykes knife but the maker did not know what that was but 'everyone' knew about Excaliber, so that is what he used!

Regards, Roy.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 19-06-10, 09:18 AM
HamandJam HamandJam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,115
Default

Hi Roy

There is a lot of counfusion about it as the badge is known as the winged dagger. I have also seen somewhere a reference sword of Damocles. The most times I have seen however is reference to Exalibur. Also when you look at the badge it is clearly not a FS knive but a sword. The commando insignia however have the FS dagger like No 2 commando and thecommando brigades dagger.

Cheers
JB
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 19-06-10, 09:32 AM
johanwiegman's Avatar
johanwiegman johanwiegman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IJsselstein, The Netherlands
Posts: 762
Default Winged Dagger

Guys,

I think the name 'Winged Dagger' came into use after Roy Farran (2nd SAS) published his book 'Winged Dagger, adventures on Special Service' in 1948.

I believe it was meant to be the sword Excalibur, the magic sword of King Arthur, that according to legend, was thrown into a lake and would come back when England needed it... See illustration.

best regards,

Johan
Attached Images
File Type: jpg excalibur.jpg (32.2 KB, 31 views)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 19-06-10, 06:45 PM
Luc's Avatar
Luc Luc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Delft, Netherlands
Posts: 2,792
Default

"L" detachment was created in July 1941, the 1st pattern FS knife was introduced only half a year earlier and I'm not sure it was by then already issued to SAS members on a large scale. So I'm going to stick with J-B's explanation that it represents Excalibur.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21-06-10, 05:49 AM
Arthur 257 Arthur 257 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 19
Smile Re SAS Badge History

Thank you all for your replies, I think that you have all answered my query.
Arthur 257
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-03-12, 06:23 PM
tynesideirish's Avatar
tynesideirish tynesideirish is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,137
Default

Sorry to dredge up old threads, but I've been reading some I missed. FS Dagger or Excaliber. It was neither. JB hinted at it earlier. It was the Sword of Damocles, that's why it's Pointing downwards.

Damocles Dared and Won. (He later recanted and returned to a safer life.) It was thought up by the Classics reader Jock Lewes who told Cpl Tait to come up with a badge featuring the sword. The badge was found to be too expensive in Brass so It was changed to cloth. It was supposed to be Flames but the original maker thought they where wings and when the initial cloth batch arrived with Blue wings instead of red flames it stood.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-03-12, 06:54 PM
Mike Jackson's Avatar
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,265
Default

It's interesting that whilst the Greek Raiding Force Units adopted the SAS motto (albeit translated), the Damoclean sword was inverted and was presented as what appears to be a Greek sword, point up.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-03-12, 07:41 PM
54Bty's Avatar
54Bty 54Bty is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 5,983
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jackson View Post
It's interesting that whilst the Greek Raiding Force Units adopted the SAS motto (albeit translated), the Damoclean sword was inverted and was presented as what appears to be a Greek sword, point up.
And still worn today.

Marc

Last edited by 54Bty; 09-02-22 at 05:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25-05-21, 11:41 AM
trackman trackman is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 1
Talking SAS CAP BADGE THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES

Hi, I think the following is correct, I read it somewhere, there was a competition to see who came up with the best badge design, Duncan Tait's design was chosen, he knew it was the "Sword of Damocles" meaning, if you hear someone say "The Sword of Damocles is hanging over them or him" something very bad will happen to them or It will fall on you at any time. This makes sense. BUT, the officers and some others thought/assumed it was Excalibur so its was named as so for a while until he informed them of what it was, who knows how long this took, my guess is that both names were used, or may be it has never been corrected or for that matter did anyone care? as they had far more worrying things to think about, after all they now had a badge. "the Winged Dagger"
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 25-05-21, 12:30 PM
Padre's Avatar
Padre Padre is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 381
Default

It's true it was a competition amongst the units members, something confirmed by several of them in more recent years.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 25-05-21, 01:19 PM
Royal Royal is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 273
Default

Its certainly a sword, not a dagger and is referred to as such in official MoD documentation to this day.

As to Damocles vs Excaliber within the wider UKSF, the monument at Poole is very much the latter as it includes the arm coming out of the water...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:22 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.