The Badge in Gold is the Legion's Highest Award
The Legion recognises any outstanding contribution by members to the organisation through a series of awards.
The Royal British Legion and The Royal British Legion Scotland Badge in Gold award started in the 1930s. Since a National Consultation earlier this year it has become The Legion's Highest Award that can be bestowed upon a member. It may be awarded to a member who has given at least eight years meritorious and conspicuous service to the objectives of the Legion as defined by the Royal Charter.
National Chairman’s Approval
Following National Chairman’s approval to the award, the formation must meet the cost of the badge. Officially on the death of a recipient the badge becomes the property of the next of kin, who may retain it or return it to the formation to issue to another individual for whom the award has been approved.
9ct Hallmarked Gold
The Gold Badge is made in 9ct hallmarked gold and each badge is engraved with a unique identification number that identifies the person who the badge has been awarded to.
There are two Legion Badges in Gold in our exhibition below are of particular interest from a collector's and from a historical prospective. Firstly the newest (right) from the Birmingham Medal and Badge Company (BMBC) 26mm x 26mm is hallmarked Birmingham Serif letter "J" 1933 which indicates that it is one of the Legion's earliest awarded Legion Badge in Gold. And secondly and perhaps more importantly of the two is the 1972 hallmarked Royal British Legion Badge in Gold manufactured by Court Jewellers J. R Gaunt & Son, bears the Queen's crown for the first time. Both have the Birmingham assay 'Anchor' hallmark.
The award criteria for the Legion Badge in Gold in the 1930s to the early 1950s was not as rigorous as it is today. There were no registration numbers engraved on the badge, which means the so honoured member cannot be identified or trace which branch the badge was issued to.
The British Legion unpolished Gold badge is one of the last of its type bearing the date letter 'S' for 1967, in the last four years of the British Legion.
The Royal British Legion Badge in Gold bears the hallmark letter 'X' for 1972 which means it was manufactured in the first year of Queen's crown above The Royal British Legion badge.