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  #76  
Old 14-10-20, 10:36 AM
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You really do have some great and interesting badges , this thread is becoming a really useful resource for anyone who wants to learn more about this topic.

I've seen a couple of 1916 badges with their original covers (and one with certificate) but , as this was not my main area of collecting , I didn't bid enough to get them .

Regarding the four figure numbers , they must be very scarce when you consider that (according to the Tony James article) : "Over 270,000 “On War Service” badges were issued to women between May and December 1916."

I can't find any details of the total number issued up to the end of the war but most of the ones I've seen have six figure numbers and unlike the 1915 men's badges there are no "series" letters to indicate that when the numbers reached 99,999 a new "series" was started/issued.

Edit : Men's badges had five figure numbers.
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Last edited by mike_vee; 16-10-20 at 08:28 AM. Reason: Number of men's badges
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  #77  
Old 14-10-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Chipper View Post
Thanks DumDum

fantastic to see these in their original packets.

Cheers, Tim
I agree wholehearted with Tim. Wonderful to see the original packaging which, as Mike notes, would have been discarded. These are a real treasure and a delight to see.
Cheers
James
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  #78  
Old 16-10-20, 07:30 AM
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Only too happy to add to the picture of , what for me, is this fascinating area.

I recall reading somewhere that the "war work" that women were issued these badges for could have been cleaning or working in the canteen and not just other more dangerous occupations.

I do have some Canteen badges that I'll post later. I guess that they have vague link with this area as well.

Possibly WW1, but they are enamel items and celluloid ones.
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  #79  
Old 16-10-20, 09:09 AM
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Initially there was there was a lot of opposition to the issue of the badge,the Committee on War Service Badges finally gave in to pressure and issued the badge in May 1916.

The Tony James article states :
"They were issued to women working in the munitions factories, including skilled and unskilled workers, clerical staff, charladies and even canteen workers"

Regarding the canteen badges , is it possible that these were similar to the "unofficial" OWS badges which were declared 'illegal' on 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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  #80  
Old 16-10-20, 09:42 AM
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Hi Mike

These discussions have really moved me to "go through the archives" and look for items that might provoke comment, discussion and, hopefully, add to our understanding of these items.

I've probably tended to "collect first, research later" and just pick up pieces that I felt were of interest.

I've also found myself reassessing what I understood about some badges (some I thought were WW1 have proven to be later...) but that's part of the fun I guess!
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  #81  
Old 16-10-20, 09:55 AM
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Question

Interlude

Checking about the number of Women's 1916 badges got me thinking about the Men's 1915 badges and how many there were.

Tom Tulloch-Marshall in his article “On War Service Badges 1914-19 The Official Issues” lists some figures – 1,347,627 male badges as at July 1916.

This seems to tie in with the different letters (series) on the badges , there were 13 main letters used , not including the 'J' series which was possibly used for 're- issued' badges (original letter ground off).

If each 'series' consisted of 99,999 badges , plus however many of the enamalled ones were issued , then the figures would seem about right as when conscription was brought in (January 1916 for single men and May 1916 for married men) then there would be no need/reason for the Men's OWS badge.

One point does confuse me , the 1915 badges were manufactured by eight different companies , some 'series' were made soley by one company (Gaunt) but others had up to four different manufacturers.

So , were these different companies contracted to make a specific 'number' of the 'series' (eg Gaunt 1- 20,000 and Wylie 20,001 - 40,000) which would explain why certain series/manufacturer marked badges are more prolific than others ?

Interlude over ....


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  #82  
Old 16-10-20, 11:29 PM
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Hi Mike

Again, learning all the time, me.

I think I posted some photos of the reverse of the 1915 badges I have/ was able to borrow but would happily do so again as I've noticed that with the sheer volume of posts, it can be hard to find a specific post on a given subject.

You might even be able to find them yourself and, should you do so, feel free to post them under your name. No problems.

With all the plated, solid nickel, enameled variants of these badges I think that there had to have been a system that distinguished between a man (or woman) wearing a plated badge or a brass version.

I've previously posted about the enameled 1915 and it's good to read what they said about this at the time. I'd always been told that it was for reasons of economy but the Volunteer Munitions Worker badge was produced in enameled (a curious orangey red hue...) and plain brass.

IWM website has a bit of an explanation of the differences and both my enameled Volunteer Worker's badges have, I think, 3 or 4 digit numbers.

Thanks again for all this. I see that we are racking up the posts and the views!
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  #83  
Old 17-10-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
I'd always been told that it was for reasons of economy but the Volunteer Munitions Worker badge was produced in enameled (a curious orangey red hue...) and plain brass.

IWM website has a bit of an explanation of the differences and both my enameled Volunteer Worker's badges have, I think, 3 or 4 digit numbers.
The 'War Munition Volunteer' badge (often referred to as the 'Enrolment' badge) was issued from December 1914 onwards. It was given to workers who had volunteered/enrolled to work in the factories but were awaiting placement.

They were originally issued enamelled, but then soon changed to all GM.

The IWM states :
"This type of enamel badge was exchanged for the gilt badge when a War Munition Volunteer was actually allocated to the work for which he had volunteered."

I think this is misleading/wrong as a couple of articles I've read both say that the change from enamel to GM/Gilt was an economy measure due to the increasing number of badges required. They also say that the WMV badge was exchanged for the oval brass 1915 OWS badge when the worker took up their job.

Regarding numbers , I think the WMV badges would have been strictly controlled (who each badge was allocated to etc) and the fact that they were exchanged for an OWS 1915 badge when the 'volunteer' started work would mean they could be reissued to another 'volunteer' (same numbered badge , so low numbers).

The OWS 1915 badges were supposed to be returned when the worker left or was no longer doing the job they were employed for , so many would have been held on to as keepsakes/souvenirs.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg WMV Enamel.jpg (50.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg WMV Gilt.jpg (51.4 KB, 2 views)
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  #84  
Old 17-10-20, 03:37 PM
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There was a lot of misuse/abuse of the OWS badges/status and in 1916 (when conscription started) new rules were brought in and "debadging" began .

"The Ministry of Munitions had written to all trades unions advising that if they had members who were skilled men but not badged or employed in war work , who were called-up , then these men should report to a Labour Exchange at once and enroll as "War Munitions Volunteers". The exchange would see if an opening can be found for them in some place which would qualify them for badging.

On the 19th June it was decided that temporary badges and certificates should be issued to all new badging applications pending proper decisions."

NB: Taken from Tom Tulloch-Marshall article.


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  #85  
Old 17-10-20, 09:55 PM
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Hi Mike

I have to say that I've learnt more in these past few posts than I ever had before so many thanks to all who've contributed.

I have gathered up a few badges and certificates and I know I can put my hand on an WMV badge and certificate so it would be interesting to see if anyone with access to Ancestry could track this individual along somehow.

The point I'm making is that it may be possible to prove that a man was "badged" at some point and then lost his protection of the badge, subsequently being called up.

I can well imagine that there was such a massive issue of badges that it became very difficult to control the recall following the issue of a badge and then to reissue it to another person.

I previously stated that my WMV badges were low numbered ones and I find that one is (900 range) but the other never has been numbered, much like more than a few of the 1914 Admiralty badges.

Quite prepared to post photos of certificates and matching badges if there is sufficient interest. We may stand to learn more about the fate of the owners.
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  #86  
Old 17-10-20, 10:16 PM
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Default War Munitions Volunteer badge

Here are the WMV certificate and matching brass badge. Number is 60589. There is a number on the front of the cert (top RH corner) that appears to bear no relationship to the actual badge number noted in blue pencil on the reverse. Ideas?

A quick check of National Archives war medal index cards didn't provide any indication of an enlistment for this man but one may be found elsewhere. Does the date of issue help us in any way?

Notice how the certificate for the WMV is a good deal larger than the ones for the 1914 and 1915 badges, examples of which I shall post later. Mr Hampton has had to fold it to get it into his pocket, coat, wallet!
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File Type: jpg wmv1.jpg (37.7 KB, 4 views)
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  #87  
Old 17-10-20, 10:20 PM
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Just noticed that the date of enrollment is 27/6/15 but the issue of the badge would appear to be 2/9/15. Of significance?
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  #88  
Old 18-10-20, 12:35 AM
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Default Munitions Canteens

Here are the canteen badges I previously mentioned.

The Coventry one is clearly WW1, and I'm guessing that the others are also.

Anyone got any thoughts on the meaning of "R.D.S"? The "S" is bound to be "Service" but "R. D"?

Hope you appreciate the spoon that came with a badge I think. Tempted to give it a good clean and eat with it....

Those old signs "Don't nick the spoons!" clearly weren't obeyed.... no more than the order to return badges that no longer served their purpose!
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File Type: jpg munitions3.jpg (34.7 KB, 4 views)
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  #89  
Old 18-10-20, 08:57 AM
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Great finds. Excellent and interesting badges.
Cheers
James
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  #90  
Old 18-10-20, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
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There is a number on the front of the cert (top RH corner) that appears to bear no relationship to the actual badge number noted in blue pencil on the reverse. Ideas?

Just noticed that the date of enrollment is 27/6/15 but the issue of the badge would appear to be 2/9/15. Of significance?
The worker would go to his local Labour Exchange and enrol/register as being available for employment as a Munition Worker.
The Labour Exchange would take all his relevent details (training/qualifications/experience) and these documents would possibly be sent to Ministry of Munitions for checking etc.

Labour exchanges would not have access to badges but could have a book of certificates which they could issue as soon as a worker enrolled/registered. The numbers on the certificate could indicate which Labour Exchange issued the certificate and what number in line the applicant was.

The delay between enrollment and badge issue could simply be down to verification ( would this be a civil service priority ?) and basic logistics as documents would have to be sent/returned , badge delivered to Labour Exchange and worker informed.

I'm assuming badge would have to be collected in person and certificate/identity card produced.


PS. A lot of information about this is in the Tom Tulloch-Marshall article , if you don't have access I can e-mail you a copy.


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Last edited by mike_vee; 18-10-20 at 09:42 AM.
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