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Old 02-01-10, 06:49 PM
matti467's Avatar
matti467 matti467 is offline
Mr. Jackanory
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Leicestershire
Posts: 1,813

Having read the threads and posts dealing with the issue of badges, slidered and minus sweatholes to the TF bttns I thought I would add three pictures from my collection to the forum to stimulate gentle discussion. I bought all three of these in the early 1990s in Nottingham under the careful tutorage of John, a man of near mythical proportions who 'really knows his stuff' and made sure I had a firm grounding in the collecting world. they are
1. Essex, definitely not the cyclist battalion as there are relatively common. No sweat holes.
2. South Lancs, a real solid badge, great patina and solid as a rock.
3. Middlesex, four neat hangers and a 'springy' slider.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1010007.jpg (37.0 KB, 255 views)
File Type: jpg P1010008.jpg (51.6 KB, 216 views)
File Type: jpg P1010009.jpg (41.9 KB, 234 views)
File Type: jpg P1010010.jpg (32.4 KB, 228 views)
File Type: jpg P1010011.jpg (31.4 KB, 211 views)

Last edited by Alan O; 16-01-10 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 02-01-10, 08:15 PM
2747andy 2747andy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Porthcawl, South Wales
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I'd say only the Middlesex badge is genuine! Essex looks like the slider was made yesterday and the lugs on the S Lancs probably the day before! The backs of your badges (Essex & S Lancs) are far too smooth for me to be a fan, the shape of the slider is far later than WW1. The waist belt on the Sphinx of your S Lancs is too basic, on genuine badges would be less flat looking. The lugs for me are wrong too, I would have liked to have seen something more substantial, yours look contemporary and lack age of any sort to me! I may be completely wrong, but I think John? may have been off a tad in these two!! But better on with the Middx!

Best regards


Last edited by Alan O; 16-01-10 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 02-01-10, 09:13 PM
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matti467 matti467 is offline
Mr. Jackanory
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Location: Leicestershire
Posts: 1,813

The Middlesex adds to my theory that badges of this age and genre were often provided by 'other makers' rather like the PRI thread that has been so revealing tonight.
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Old 02-01-10, 09:16 PM
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Alan O Alan O is offline
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I have a genuine Middlesex TF badge with an overlaid scroll with brasing holes unlike the usual tagged scroll. Definately more than one maker but there were 3 Bns wearing the badge. This may result from the fact that there was an ACD issued badge in 1915 as well as the 1908 TF provided badges.
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Old 02-01-10, 09:24 PM
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matti467 matti467 is offline
Mr. Jackanory
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Location: Leicestershire
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I would imagine that several thousand of the Middlesex badge would have been made. Rather like the Essex and South Lancs. My theory being based on the fact that despite Haig and Haldane's reforms of the TF recruitment remained high but retention low up until 1914. Units were frequently only at two thirds strength at the outbreak of war and the average length of service was only 18months. Soldiers, even Territorials, hang onto their cap badge when they leave. Recruitment for the TA went through the roof in 1914/5, John Tucker and Aubrey Smith make this point in their memoirs and the doors had to be shut for a while to the LRB. It therefore makes sense that badges would have been in demand even if we cannot prove that there was a shortage of them hence makers stepping forward as need demanded. Further to this units such as the LRB and the Artists recruited from a select section of society. Aubrey Smith frequently mentions private purchase items but sadly not badges! The private purchase items he made would have been a distant dream for the men of many regiments recruited from less affluent backgrounds.
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Old 03-01-10, 01:16 AM
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Keith Blakeman Keith Blakeman is offline
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Very interesting thread and I'd like to chuck in a couple of observations.

One thing which really strikes me about the Essex badge is the amount of voiding down the side of the castle bastions. I've gone through every one in my collection, regulars, 'economies' including an (excavated) all brass 8th, other TA's and I don't have one like. The laurels are all joined to the crenellations of the outer bastion or just below it.

I'd like to see a picture of the front though to see the quality of the stamping of the overlays because the one I've attached scans of is really let down by these. This isn't the one in my collection, it's a spare which I'm glad I've hung onto. The lettering is larger than normal and slightly mis-struck removing more at the bottom with the overlay sitting a little lower than necessary although the scan tends to accentuate this more by the badge being curved but the sphinx is beautifully struck though. As for the rear, similar smooth backing but in this case compared to Matti's the vertical shank has a crimp line and the tip less rounded but doesn't narrow from top to bottom.

I've no problem at all with the Middlesex although I have a looped and shanked one of each in my collection. Both have sweatholes of different shapes and location but I've yet to see a 10th with them and I think I'm safe in saying the general concensus of a genuine 'Pals' also being devoid of them is now accepted? As has been pointed out three battalions wore this SA honour badge which during wartime is a lot of badges. Alan Owen's mention of a version with an overlaid scroll is an exception even taking regulars' badges into account so another maker was certainly employed in this case.

Alan in the past has (quite correctly in my opinion) stated that the 5th-7th Essex stopped wearing the SA scroll badge and instead wore the scrolless badge of the 8th. The plain badge is abundent compared to the rarer scrolled version so with four Battalions wearing it surely outside makers would have been employed using whatever methods necessary.

I have no interest (so to speak in collecting terms) in the South Lancs badge but it's similarity in construction and quality of manufacture and detail leads me to think that it's a really good badge and one I would be happy with.....unless and this is the case in point with my Essex one (and 10th Middlesex) an example with sweatholes became available. I know it's hedging but that's why my collection changed and I never get around to framing things. The South Lancs is very typical of many if not all examples I remember seeing of this badge. Maybe sweatholed versions exist, I'd be suprised if they don't, but I don't remember seeing them purely through ignorance of not being in my subject of collecting and I'm sure the subject has been raised here before without a definitive answer.

To sum up there are certain things I like to see in badges, mainly sweatholes and a certain type of vertical shank or loop. For the former there are exceptions and as these are found on rare badges such as the Middlesex and East Surrey Wandsworth 'Pals' then I see no reason why contemporary TA badges should be any different.

Vertical shanks are more of a problem though and it really needs a study along the likes of Hagwalthers' anodized shanks and loops to nail down who made what. It's not easy becasue I've tried with my own collection. Some are obvious, the early Tiptaft and Woodward WW1 versions but when it comes to the plainer versions then it's anyone's guess.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Essex F.jpg (86.5 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg Essex R.jpg (68.3 KB, 96 views)
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