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  #76  
Old 24-05-21, 02:19 PM
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Question Print die ?

Got this little oddity in a job lot that I bought for a 1938 RBL Scotland Conference badge. I think it 'may' be a section of a die for printing but why would it be coloured ?

The second badge is to fill a gap in my collection , a large Honorary badge but the early Gaunt version (3334) which must date it before 1928. I already have the Birmingham Medal Co. one plus the unusual Harris (Glasgow) version that is the style of the large standard WS badge but with "Honorary" on the top scroll instead of "Women's Section".

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Attached Images
File Type: jpg RBL Print 1.jpg (75.2 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg RBL Print 2.jpg (44.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Gaunt Honorary F.jpg (53.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Gaunt Honorary R.jpg (57.1 KB, 8 views)
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  #77  
Old 25-05-21, 12:49 AM
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Hi Mike

Hopefully there is a printing "wallah" out there to help but it does look like something for printing or embossing.

Would the plate be coloured so that the image could be transferred to the paper or card? Hence the blue and gold.

I would expect it to have a lot more ink on it in this case, sign of repeated use!
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  #78  
Old 09-06-21, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
A standard Birmingham Medal Co. badge but with an error on the Registered Design number.

Correct # 684409

Wrong # 984409

Have seen this previously , so assume a 'bad batch' were produced and the error was not immediately picked up.

A rough 'guestimate' based on the membership number would date this badge to 1944/1945.
A twist on the wrong number !

While checking on something else I discovered another badge with the same wrong number but manufactured by A.Harris Ltd. Glasgow.

I have three different badges made by this company :

1. Standard Large badge with wrong design number.

2. Honorary Large badge but with top scroll , design number the same as Large Women's Section badge.

3. Miniature badge , same style as Gaunt version.

None of them have member number , so have no idea of dates.

Q: Why would a Scottish company make British Legion badges , have not seen any British Legion Scotland badges by them ?

Have not seen any post 1945 (small) badges , anyone have/seen Harris versions ?

.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Harris F.jpg (52.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Harris R.jpg (41.5 KB, 2 views)
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Last edited by mike_vee; 20-06-21 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Spelling
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  #79  
Old 20-06-21, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
Q: Why would a Scottish company make British Legion badges , have not seen any British Legion Scotland badges by them ?
While photographing membership cards I noticed that I have a British Legion Scotland one (1946) but it came with the miniature Harris BL badge.

I also have numerous British Legion Scotland Conference badges but I have not seen a single 'Scotland' membership badge from before 1971 when the Royal title was added.

So , it appears that "standard" British Legion badges were issued in Scotland pre 1971 and that A.Harris Ltd. Glasgow were the sole manufacturer/supplier for Scotland.

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  #80  
Old 21-06-21, 05:40 AM
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Hi Mike

I showed your post to a long retired guy who worked in the badge industry. He has some wonderful tales to tell over a coffee (or something stronger!).

He told me that the punches used to create that backstamp were, unlike the punches that you would use to stamp your name on an article, positive versions of the letter. When the badge was struck the negative letters became on the die positive.

It was quite an easy mistake to reverse the 6 and the 9, much as you might do with an ordinary letter/ number punch set.

This is probably self-evident but I thought it was an interesting take on this error which probably wasn't picked up unlike they'd struck more than a few badges.

Those raised letters to the reverse of the badge were part of the hammer head and would have been unique to the BL badge. Keep an eye out for ones where they are a bit "off" and don't quite line up with the outline of the cut out badge.

You can easily date these to being made on a Monday or a Friday.....
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  #81  
Old 08-07-21, 10:29 AM
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Question Fund Raiser ?

Just got this unusual pin badge , similar to flag day/fund raising ones.
Very light weight , pin but no 'catch' and no makers mark.

Haven't seen anything like this before and assume it was an early item.

Anyone have any other info/suggestions ?

.
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File Type: jpg Help F.jpg (40.6 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Help R.jpg (40.5 KB, 14 views)
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  #82  
Old 12-07-21, 01:27 PM
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Haven't seen anything like this before and assume it was an early item.
Did a bit more digging and 'think' this may be an Australian badge .

Found a couple of similar style/manufacture badges made by SHERIDAN’S ENGRAVING & METAL STAMPING COMPANY , Hays Street , Perth.

The "Jacks Day" pin (see photos) was made in 1924 along with another "Jacks Day" one specifically for the visit of HMS Hood .

Also found an article in a 1926 Australian (Perth) newspaper (thanks Ray) about an attempt to form a Melbourne branch of the British Legion which was strongly discouraged .
Quote:
Following upon an attempt made in Melbourne to form a branch of the British Legion, and after attempting to become affiliated with the British Empire Service League, a cablegram was dispatched to Capt. Dyett from the B.E.S.L. headquarters stating that "suggested formation branch of Legion Melbourne contrary spirit of unity which animates all ex-service organisations throughout Empire";
So possibly my badge was produced by those veterans wanting to set up a British Legion branch ?

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File Type: jpg Jacks F.jpg (11.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Jacks R.jpg (14.2 KB, 3 views)
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  #83  
Old 14-07-21, 03:36 PM
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Discovered that a British Legion branch was set up in Sydney in January 1924 and also faced strong opposition from the RSSILA and the media !

One article even tried to stir things up , questioning ;

Quote:
if the parent body was really in existence
Imperial ex-soldiers/immigrants felt they were not treated equally by the RSSILA (only those who had served in the Great War could join , not those who had served before 1914) and although some were overseas members of the BL they wanted their own branch/organisation.

Also the RSSILA was involved in controversy at that time :

Quote:
The RSSILA was noted for its right-wing politics, in 1919 drawing on its membership to form a 2,000-strong paramilitary force called the "Army to fight Bolshevism", and permitting various right-wing Australian militia groups access to its membership lists to convince returned servicemen to join them. Even as early as the 1920s, the role of the League became controversial as it banned women from attending the dawn service because of wailing.
It appears that 'political' pressure was exerted and the fledgling branches soon disappeared , I am guessing that a similar situation arose in New Zealand and that their branches were also short lived.


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  #84  
Old 14-07-21, 04:37 PM
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That's really interesting Mike, thanks for sharing.

Michael
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  #85  
Old 05-08-21, 08:26 AM
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The early large badges had the lion head attached by two tangs/wires(?) and on later large badges the lion head (which is thicker) was attached via two holes (see photo 1). These all appear to be white metal.

A lot of the small/miniature badges have a thin white metal (aluminium ?) lion head attached by five small 'tangs'.
I originally thought that the lion head with the wire attachment was only found on the large , early Gaunt badges but have now got hold of two Birmingham Medal Co. badges (Men's and Women's) with the same method of attachment.

This appears to indicate that the same method of manufacture was initially carried over when Birmingham Medal Co. took over the contract from Gaunt in 1928. I would 'guestimate' (based on badge numbers) that these badges are from late 1920's as the 'rivit' style fitting was used on later badges.


NB. I used to use 'Membership Number guide' from Graham Wootton's book to work out badge dates but have found it does not always match up to actual badges I have seen/got , as the 'guide' is based on membership numbers/fees and it also includes "honorary" members .

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File Type: jpg Wire.jpg (53.5 KB, 9 views)
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  #86  
Old 27-08-21, 04:25 PM
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Question Gender ???

Picked up another of the unusual "Honorary" badge made by A.Harris Ltd. Glasgow .

When I got the first one I wasn't sure which box to put it in , men's or women's section ? So now I can put one in each !

Also (in the same lot) was a nice voided miniature badge with buttonhole fitting , no makers mark , not Harris as their's were unvoided and marked .

.
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File Type: jpg Honorary set.jpg (60.0 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Mini buttonhole.jpg (66.7 KB, 10 views)
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Last edited by mike_vee; 28-08-21 at 09:41 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #87  
Old 27-10-21, 12:45 PM
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Exclamation Double check !

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
Just arrived , a large Gaunt button hole fitting badge. These were made/issued from 1921 - 1928 .

Well , it is a guaranteed 1921 badge and possibly one issued in the first month (or even week) , it has a three digit number 842 !

Approximately 18,100 members joined in 1921 and by 1928 there were roughly 220,000 members , so a nice addition to my collection.

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Originally Posted by mike_vee View Post
The second badge is to fill a gap in my collection , a large Honorary badge but the early Gaunt version (3334) which must date it before 1928.
I spotted two Gaunt 'Honorary' badges , complete with original boxes , the seller stated they were 20mm . This would indicate post 1945 but the numbers on them didn't fit with the time period (no prefix letter).

At £30.00 for the pair I took a risk ! (As I had just won £30.00 on lottery it was not too bad ).

They just arrived , they are very early large Gaunt buttonhole badges numbered 848 and 859 and although the boxes are a bit grimy the badges are in great condition.

As there were roughly 18,100 fee paying members of the BL in 1921 and that 'honorary' membership was limited to 10% it is possible/probable that these badges were issued in 1921 !

So , it is always worth double checking listings as sellers can make errors if they don't know about specific markings/dates.

NB: Badges look better 'in hand' than original photos.

.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 848 badge.jpg (40.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 848 Box.jpg (45.0 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 859 Badge.jpg (49.7 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 859 Box.jpg (53.8 KB, 2 views)
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Last edited by mike_vee; 27-10-21 at 01:05 PM.
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  #88  
Old 28-10-21, 09:02 AM
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Excellent early issue badges, Mike. Well done!
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  #89  
Old 28-10-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dumdum View Post
Excellent early issue badges, Mike. Well done!
Thanks , now I need to find an early issue Gaunt WS badge (earliest I have is numbered 10,168 - 1923/1924) and Gaunt marked miniatures .

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Last edited by mike_vee; 06-11-21 at 10:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #90  
Old 04-12-21, 12:38 PM
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Default Honorary Member (Service)

Having got hold of early/low number Honorary badges I decided to do a bit more digging into the Honorary 'awards'.

Honorary Membership

This was initally introduced primarily for civilians who the Branches thought 'worthy' and was mainly given to people "who felt strongly about the cause and volunteered their services to assist those who at fought in The Great War."

At first Honorary members were not required to pay fees but as numbers increased (limited to 10% of members) British Legion branches/clubs started charging 'subscriptions' , an example from 1935 :

Members 2/6d (12.5p)
Honorary members 10/6 (52.5p)

World War 2

With membership numbers dropping it was decided to try and recruit "serving personell".
Quote:
serving personell could be awarded honorary membership. The status incurred no dues to the serviceman while allowing the Legion to stay in contact with throughout his time in uniform.
Advertising posters show that one of the reasons for this was to encourage serving personell to remain members when they left the service.
Quote:
Join now as an honorary member and become a full member when demobilised or discharged
What I had not realised until recently (when I got hold of the membership card below) was that they were issued with their own membership cards "for the duration of the war".

After 1973 non serving Honorary Members became Associate and Honorary Membership became the sole province of serving members of HM Forces only , but in 1981 this all changed when they were admitted to Ordinary Membership.

Today :
Quote:
If you're a serving member of the UK Armed Forces, regular or reserve, you can register to our Military Member mailing list for free.

As a Military member you'll receive regular emails with great news stories, offers and information.

Please be aware that this is a digital membership and does not have the benefits of a Branch Membership.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Membership.jpg (42.8 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Honorary F.jpg (63.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Honorary Page.jpg (70.8 KB, 5 views)
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