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  #1  
Old 22-09-21, 02:58 PM
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Default Lonsdale Battalion

Hi All,

wondering if anyone can help with some information on the badges of the Lonsdame Battalion. I have been looking at previous posts and found a document pinned from the Cumbrian Library which has the follwing information in letters between Lord Lonsdale and the Commander of the battalion Col. P W machell...

5 December 1914 Letter from Lord Lonsdale: Certainly I will have a Photograph taken for your Xmas card & I will send you a sketch of the Badge which is almost complete. How many badges do they require, one for cap 2 for shoulder, where else?
Machell to Lord Lonsdale: ‘Received 600 badges with 1000 thanks badges perfect for caps total with Depot 1600. Unsuitable for shoulders where usual order badge must be worn. Suggest hundred extra to supply officers’ collars.’ 11 January 1915

Garrard & Co. Crown Jewellers, to Lord Lonsdale: ‘we have this afternoon forwarded to Col. Machell 650 of the silver regimental badges, we have made to your esteemed instructions.’ 16 January 1915

Does above mean received 600 silver badges 11th jan 1915(possibly hallmarked date ‘t’ 1914) and requested extra 1000 plus 100 for Officers collars(lugged ?) and a further 650 silver badges sent out 16th Jan 1915(hallmarked ‘U’ for 1915) ? Read somewhere that Lonsdale provided silver badges to all in the battalion, so where does the GM badge come in ?

Any info or educated guesses welcome

Cheers in advance, Mark
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  #2  
Old 22-09-21, 03:21 PM
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I can't remember the date but the year would ran from mid 1914 to mid 1915 for 1914 hallmarks back then.
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  #3  
Old 22-09-21, 03:27 PM
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Default lonsdale

Ah right - so that would suggest majority of the silver badges will be date letter ' t ' and that those date lettered 'U' would be from mid 1915 till whenever Lord Lonsdale stopped providing silver badges. Must have been expensive for him !

Mark
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  #4  
Old 24-09-21, 10:28 PM
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All very good questions which I pondered a lot myself at around this time last year when purchasing my own HMS example.

The date letter changed on 29th of May at the London assay office. Every badge I’ve ever seen has the leopard assay mark for London.

Very few silver Lonsdale badges are assay marked ‘u’ for 1915, believe I’ve only ever seen two v’s dozens with the 1914 ‘t’.

The online Cumbrian archives are an excellent free resource for the cited texts, found here:

https://cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/Cont...4229216421.PDF

8th December 1914 - letter from Lord Lonsdale ‘‘I will send you a sketch of the badge which is almost complete. How many badges do they require, one for cap 2 for shoulder, where else?’’

(a man with deep pockets!)

I interpreted this as the design sketch had not yet been completed. But alternatively it may mean the the sample badge was almost completed?

12th December 1914 - strength listed as: 19 officers, 1088 other ranks, 15 paid instructors.

11th January 1915 - Machell’s 600 ‘badges’ & 1,000 ‘thanks badges’ letter.

16th January 1915 - Garrard’s 650 badges forwarded letter.

As you point out numbers bounded about are a tad confusing and ambiguous - 600, 1,000 and 650.

Personally I don’t believe all of those can be the silver Lonsdale badge for 4 reasons: (1) it’s over double the Battalion strength, (2) six weeks doesn’t seem enough time to make, assay and deliver 2,450 silver badges, (3) reference to 1,000 as ‘thanks badges’ v’s 600 as ‘badges’ suggests a difference and (4) would any more be needed later to get the date letter ‘u’ in June?

The 600 and the 650 being silver badges is a more likely scenario I think. Even then that brings the total to 1,250 badges with a Bn strength of 1,107 officers and men. Seems plausible.

Producing, assaying and delivering these 1,250 silver badges between 8th Dec - 17th Jan. A tall order but also possible I think.

I’m very curious as to what a ‘thanks badge’ is or may be in this context. When I Googled this term the results I got appeared to be linked with Scouts and scouting which seem unlikely to be what Machell was referring to.

As to the officers collars and suggestion of an extra 100 badges, this is interesting for a couple reasons.

Firstly all the pictures I can find show officers wearing standard Border Regiment OSD collars.

Second, interestingly silver Lonsdales are found with two different original fixing arrangements: loop & tongue or sometimes 2 E-W loops.

Thirdly 100 silver (collar) badges for 19 officers seems a tad excessive! But then Lord Lonsdale isn’t short of a bob or two.

Notwithstanding it would seem that if this 100 was approved there then must have been a subsequent order of silver badges even later in the year for the ‘u’ mark to exist.

I’ve been told that after being issued it was not uncommon for the silver badges to go missing. Perhaps unsurprising given their value and the economic situation of many of the men and their families. So were replacements badges partly the cause of a future order?

Your last sentence about Lord Lonsdale providing a silver badge to every member as a personal gift and it being the first issue badge is Pals lore and referred to in several books.

The GM badges made by Gaunt are similarly universally accepted as being of later issue. When is unclear. I’m certain sure I’ve seen a 1917 dated photo with the GM badge worn.

I’m of the opinion there were at least two batches of GM badge due to differences in voiding and variations in Gaunt plaque positions and type. One is voided between the Griffon’s neck and tail, these invariably have a rectangular plate attached at the cross-over point of the scrolls. The other is solid in respect of the former and has either a rectangular or lozenge shaped plaque behind the beast’s body. Both types are from the same die.
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  #5  
Old 25-09-21, 10:00 AM
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Default lonsdale

Hi Luke,

many thanks for your very imformative reply. Thank you also for the link to the cumbrian library reference. I too was confused over the thousand thanks badges - I think it means "600 badges received - (a thousand thanks)" - "badges perfect for caps".

Mark
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  #6  
Old 25-09-21, 10:29 AM
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When brainstorming that did pop into my head but that Machell goes on to say in the same sentence ‘total with depot 1600’ proves I think beyond doubt they’re physical badges rather than his expression of thanks.
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  #7  
Old 25-09-21, 11:22 AM
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Default lonsdale

Hi Luke,

I interpreted the "total with depot 1600 " as total number of badges required ...could be wrong,

Mark
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  #8  
Old 25-09-21, 04:46 PM
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Then the maths would not stack up. He had 600, asked for 100 more then a short while later received the Garrard’s delivery of 650. Total 1,250 or 1,350 not 1,600.

Obviously there could be further letters re orders not recorded on the archive manuscript.
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  #9  
Old 25-09-21, 04:57 PM
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Default lonsdale

That makes sense Luke 1250 or 1350, as total strength around April 1915 was 1350.

Mark
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