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  #1  
Old 20-06-14, 04:26 PM
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Chacal Chacal is offline
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Default Badges for ID please

Evening gents

Earlier today I received a package of badges from an old friend including these three which I have been unable to precisely identify:

“MT” patch - this appears to be a WRNS trade badge, but those I see online are ‘tombstone’ shaped, rather than circular?

NAAFI brooch - I remember the NAAFI girls wearing something like this when on duty, is there any significance in the RAF-style bird?

The third looks like a fashion pin trying to imitate a WWII German helmet flash - the fitting on the reverse doesn’t look study enough to go on a uniform.

As always any comments/opinions will be greatly appreciated and will help me to decide if these should go in the swap or scrap boxes

Thanks for looking

Graham
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Old 20-06-14, 06:32 PM
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Hello,

The WRENS 'MT' badge was worn within a star not a circle from 1941 -1951 and was for a Despatch Rider and a Motor Driver.

Maybe this is for a date after that?

regards
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  #3  
Old 20-06-14, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chacal View Post
“MT” patch - this appears to be a WRNS trade badge, but those I see online are ‘tombstone’ shaped, rather than circular?
Worn from 1951 (Motor Transport Driver).

As to when it ceased to be worn, I don't know. Perhaps with the integration of the WRNS into the RN in 1993?

I have a couple of circular WRNS trade badges and as you have noted some "tombstone" as well.

All the best,

Andy
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Old 20-06-14, 07:47 PM
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Thank you Simon and Andy, appreciate both your replies. As a former 'crab' RN badges have always been a mystery to me .

Thanks again

Graham
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  #5  
Old 21-06-14, 12:21 AM
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Graham,
The WRNS badge is, as previously stated, for a Motor Transport Driver and replaced the previous badge (MT within a star, also previously mentioned) in 1952. From 1952 to 1971, the central design was used for Leading Wrens and below; from 1971 onwards it was used for Chief Petty Officer Wrens and below. Your badge is the basic badge used for personnel below able rate. The design continued to be used after the disbandment of the WRNS, and was issued in red on blue, Gold on blue and blue on white, certainly up to 1988. It is mentioned in BR81, 1984 Edition, Change 5 - Dec 1986, and had not been amended out by Change 7 in 1988. In RAF speak, Change = Amendment List (AL). It is not shown in BR81, 1999 Edition. Regarding the shape, it would have been issued as a tombstone shape with the vocab number attached, forming a top right corner, your badge has been trimmed at some time. Quite often, Wren recipients shaped their badges then used blanket stitching around the edge prior to them being attached to uniforms.

The NAAFI brooch was worn on the brown and orange work attire by female NAAFI staff in bars, restaurants and shops; the eagle being specific for staff on RAF stations.
They were still worn in the 1980s but became obsolete when NAAFI change their logo.
Regards,
George
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Old 21-06-14, 05:50 AM
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Hi George

Many thanks for such a comprehensive answer regarding the WRNS and particularly the NAAFI badge, greatly appreciated. I’m probably not the only collector who wishes they’d paid more attention to badges outside of their field of interest during their service time .

Have a great weekend

Graham
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Old 21-06-14, 08:51 AM
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Quote-The NAAFI brooch was worn on the brown and orange work attire by female NAAFI staff in bars, restaurants and shops; the eagle being specific for staff on RAF stations.
They were still worn in the 1980s but became obsolete when NAAFI change their logo-quote.

Although I do not doubt this, these brooches were made with a queens crown on top as NAAFI staff could be moved to any area Navy, Army or RAF.
My thinking is that the owner when posted/started work(dependant) at a RAF NAAFI establishment choose to have the brooch modified.
This is of course my theory.

Jerry.
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  #8  
Old 21-06-14, 01:34 PM
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Default NAAFI brooch

Jerry, you are quite right.
Three types of brooch were used, all based on the letter 'N', surmounted by different devices, representing the different services: St Edwards crown - Army; Naval crown - RN & RM and RAF eagle - RAF. These badges, I suspect, cost very little to make; they look to have been made from a cast base metal and possibly plated with a locking pin attached. From the front, and at a distance, they look like silver badges with marcasite type stones set into the 'N'; close up, their probable low cost becomes apparent. From the rear, they look rather crude too. It is likely that the initial issue of these badges reflected the establishment to which a member of staff was posted; and, they would continue to wear the badge, even if on loan to the establishment of another service , but could exchange their badge if a move became permanent. I have a feint memory of NAAFI staff, on loan to RAF Brawdy from Castlemartin Ranges in Wales, wearing a badge with the crown rather than the eagle. I also have a vague recollection of being told by a NAAFI girl that her badge was the only one she had and it would have to be returned to NAAFI when she left. As the quality of the badges was fairly poor, one would expect that staff would be allowed to keep them upon leaving NAAFI.
I don't know whether better quality badges were issued to more senior members of staff or whether, upon leaving NAAFI, senior staff were presented with badges in a similar way to plaques etc. being presented.
It may be that better quality badges do exist, though I haven't seen any?
George
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Old 23-06-14, 01:11 PM
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I think the second pin back may be Egyptian rather than a copy of something German. The colour scheme is right and so is the shape of the eagle. Presumably some sort of sweetheart or perhaps a veteran's lapel pin.
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  #10  
Old 23-06-14, 07:35 PM
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Thank you Peter, that gives me another avenue to investigate.

And belated thanks to Jerry and George for their additional comments on the NAAFI badge.

Graham
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