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Old 30-11-18, 08:48 PM
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dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
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Default Women's Legion - Winged & Wingless

I show two badges below associated with the Women's Legion, one being a winged representation of Victory and the other a wingless Victory.

Having trawled both the Forum for previous threads and external sites such as the IWM, there is plenty of photographic evidence available of the wingless badge being worn in WWI. It is worn both in the hat and collar by the WL and also sometimes as a collar or breast badge in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) where in the main the WL eventually merged in 1917. However, I haven’t come across a single photograph of the winged badge being worn in WWI. In fact I haven’t seen a photograph of it in use at all.

My confusion comes from other posters and also Cox which attribute both badges to WWI. One or two posters have also gone so far as to say that the winged badge is the earlier WL badge. Bosley’s on the other hand in all their internet and auction illustrations, state the winged version is post 1934. I couldn’t understand Bosley’s attribution until I read the following on the internet:

The Women’s Legion, a new successor to the Women’s Legion of the First World War. That original, private society had been formed by Lady Londonderry to provide cooks for army cookhouses that lacked sufficient staff. The girls were all volunteers but the Army Council did pay for those it hired through the Legion. It continued in existence into the thirties, by which time it had a Mechanical Transport Section. In 1934 Lady Londonderry was asked to set up a new organisation for women who might be trained in some way that would prove useful in any future emergency. She became president of this, assisted by Dame Helen as chairman, but, confusingly, they kept the title of Women’s Legion. After much discussion they decided to concentrate on anti-gas training (which only lasted for a couple of years) and officer training. In 1936, for various reasons this ‘new’ Women’s Legion was disbanded. The original Legion, still in existence, provided a Motor Transport Section.

So, what do members think? Is the winged version indeed a post 1934 badge? Are Bosleys right and has Cox got it wrong (once again!)? Does any member have photographic evidence of the winged badge being worn?
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Last edited by dubaiguy; 30-11-18 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 30-11-18, 09:30 PM
Hoot Hoot is offline
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All the Great War versions with the many different coloured backings for the different departments that I have seen have always been the wingless version, ("The Lady With The Frying Pan"). I have always understood the winged version was issued for the 1930s reincarnation. Hoot.
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Old 01-12-18, 01:56 PM
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Hoot is correct. The winged version was introduced when the Legion was revived in the 1930s to mark the fact that the Legion now included an Air Section.

The text below is from the IWM website.

Before the war a Women’s Legion Air Section had been suggested and begun, composed of trained instructors and mechanics, and supported by aviator members Pauline Gower, and Amy Johnson. After initial obstructions from the Air Ministry the scheme was launched and those WL who were qualified instructors were transferred into the ATS. Those ordinary WL who held the rank of Assistant Section Leader wore the bronzed badge that comprised a figure of victory with wings, adopted as a tribute to the Air Wing.

Jon
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Old 02-12-18, 01:48 PM
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Thank you for the replies gents and providing the IWM explanation for the winged design. If any member ever comes across a photo of it in wear, I would appreciate having a look.
Thanks again
Mark
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