British Legion Associate & Honorary Badge
Honorary Membership started in an around 1922 and 1923 for the Women's Section. At that time this membership category was primarily civilians who a branch thought worthy were awarded Honorary Membership, or who felt strongly about the cause that they volunteered there services to assist those who at fought in The Great War. Latterly this membership included serving servicemen, servicewomen and in the 1960s membership to British Legion Clubs. Honorary membership had a limitation placed upon them initially that no more than 10% of the membership could be Honorary Members, from 1969 onwards it became a 60: 40 rule.
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.
Enamel Badge Manufacturers
In this online exhibition of Royal British Legion (RBL) and British Legion (BL) Honorary & Associate membership numbered badges, examples can be found from the following enamel badge manufacturers:
Birmingham Medal Company - BL
J. R. Gaunt, London - RBL, BL
Premier Badges - RBL
The construction of 1922-1947 British Legion Honorary Member Badge is of naval blue enamel over polished brass, with a horizontal white enamel crossbar with the wording "HONORARY" in uppercase and measuring 1" x 1" (26mm x 26mm) in size. The design of the badge was registered RD 688125 can usually be found at the bottom of the badge. The Women's Section version of this badge dates from 1923.
The design of the British Legion Associate & Honorary badge has remained the same there are some variations mainly in the design of the corporate lion logo and of course the metal of manufacture. Post WW2 in around 1947 the British Legion badge became noticeably smaller from 1" x 1" (26mm x 26mm) to 0.75" x 0.75" (20mm x 20mm) this is assumed to have taken place due to metal shortage caused.
The Royal British Legion now has a Single Membership, giving all members equal rights to participate in Branch, County and National decision-making processes of the organisation. The Associate Member's Badge, has become obsolete and has been consigned to history...