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Old 08-01-17, 05:55 PM
Beaker123 Beaker123 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 50
Default WW1 Dover ‘VTC’ badge – a bit of sleuthing

I have seen the attached badge invariably described as being of the Dover Volunteer Training Corps, however, I’ve not been convinced by this attribution for the following reasons:

1) Unlike most, if not all, VTC badges I’ve seen it lacks the name or initials of the corps
2) It doesn’t have any of the ‘martial’ symbols that some VTC badges have eg crossed rifles, image of a volunteer
3) The badge is not numbered whereas many or most VTC badges are
4) The 1915 date was a puzzle as I would have thought it would have referred to the year the corps was founded but the Dover VTC was formed in 1914
5) My example has a pin rather than a fitting for a button hole that many/most VTC badges seem to have

While no one of these reasons necessarily precludes it being VTC, having five were in my opinion grounds to doubt it. My problem was if it wasn’t VTC then what was it? Not Special Constabulary as I have one of those and while the local Women’s Volunteer Reserve were presented with a badge bearing the town arms on their disbandment in 1919, it was described as ‘silver’. After a couple of futile attempts to establish exactly what the badge is I believe I now know.

In July 1915 with the first anniversary of Britain’s entry into the war approaching, the Dover town council decided the event should be commemorated by asking the town folk to perform a specific act of “self-sacrifice” by donating some gold or silver object. The collection would then be sold and the proceeds donated to the Red Cross in the name of the King, to help wounded soldiers. In return those who gave items would later receive “a small bronze brooch, ring or pendant, or souvenir, bearing the arms of Dover, the date 1915, the motto “Pro Patria””. It was said, “that a little souvenir of the War like that would afterwards be extremely valuable and appreciated more than the articles exchanged for it” (Dover Express 30 July 1915).

In the event 6,835 objects were donated which realised £427 10s 10d at a London auction in November. Together with cash donations and fund raising events the “Dover’s Gift to the King” fund raised at least £883. The bronze badges, or brooches as they were described, and pendants were distributed early in 1916.

I had hoped it was VTC but it’s better to know so it can be appreciated for what it is...unless there are any other
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Old 08-01-17, 07:13 PM
Mike B Mike B is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North West
Posts: 1,521

Very interesting - good research on your part.
Sorry not to be able to add anything but wishing you good luck
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Old 11-01-17, 04:37 PM
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Alan O Alan O is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,028

Bosley's repeat the VTC claim. Their badge expert does need to keep current!
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Old 07-06-18, 08:11 AM
Beaker123 Beaker123 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 50

Just an update on this. I recently acquired the pendant version of the badge.

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Old 09-06-18, 07:33 AM
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Charliedog012012 Charliedog012012 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: A Yorkshireman in exile 'Up North'
Posts: 652

Great piece of research and very interesting too.
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Old 09-06-18, 07:51 AM
altcar73 altcar73 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Formby, Merseyside
Posts: 1,123

I lived and worked in Dover for many years and as a "police" collector was given one of these by a former colleague who was a Dovorian born and bred. Whilst nothing to do with the police he thought I might like it. He said it had been in his family for as long as he could remember. I too was able to eventually identify it for what it was by paying a visit to the local library and searching the back copies of the "Dover Express" for the year 1915. A nice little badge, which, as you rightly say, is often wrongly identified by the so called experts.

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