British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum  

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > British Military Insignia > Other Army Departments and Corps Badges

 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
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30-11-18, 08:48 PM
dubaiguy's Avatar
dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 506
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?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_6561[1].jpg (57.7 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6563[1].jpg (59.9 KB, 40 views)

Last edited by dubaiguy; 30-11-18 at 09:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 30-11-18, 09:30 PM
Hoot Hoot is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,048

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.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-18, 01:56 PM
Postwarden's Avatar
Postwarden Postwarden is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: The Garden of England
Posts: 2,346

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-18, 01:48 PM
dubaiguy's Avatar
dubaiguy dubaiguy is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 506

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
Reply With Quote

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 01:03 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.