Frequently Asked Questions  - The British Legion Memorabilia Collectors Club

Q1. From Amy D
Subject: British legion enquiry
Dear Bob

Our family has found a BRITISH LEGION Honorary badge . How we came by this we are not sure of. There is a number on it , can you tell us about the badge, who was it owned by and how much is it worth. Hopefully you can help us find this information.
Kind regards

Amy D

A1. Dear Amy

Subject: British legion enquiry

Thanks for your interest in the club.
Honorary membership badges are nearly as old as the legion itself. They where for people who perhaps had not served in the Great War but had a belief in the aims of the Legion. I cannot actually tell you who it was issued to because it was the responsibility of the issuing branch to keep the records. However you by using our number guide you roughly estimate when it was issued. Your photograph would suggest that it is one of the pre-ww2 badges and they sell for around 3.00 on eBay but could fetch a little more at a militaria fair.


Q2. From Charles H
Subject: Comrades of the Great War


Hello - I have a Comrades of the Great War badge which I bought at a Jumble Sale many years ago - on the reverse side there is a number 273970 presumably the original owner - is there any way in which he can be identified ? Regards
Charles H

A2. Dear Charles H
Subject: Comrades of the Great War


Unfortunately records where kept by individual branches most of these have been lost in the amalgamation in 1921 when Comrades branches changed to British Legion branches. However in some towns across England records have been preserved in local town museums.


Q3. From Steven G
Subject: Gold Badges

Hi,
I have a small collection of BL and RBL badges, amongst these are two Gold badges, the first is of the early type as described on the collectors club pages, but the inscription does differ slightly. As opposed to BMBC it says BMco in an impressed box and has a further box with 18ct. Other than the name of the recipient there are no other marks on the rear of the badge. This is by the way, I believe, to be earlier than your 1933 example as this badge was presented in 1930.

The second I know little about and is of the smaller BL variety with the number G5928 stamped above the hallmark and JRG45 below. I would like to know to whom this was awarded if possible and if JRG45 means that it was JR Gaunt that manufactured it in 1945.
Yours sincerely,
Steve G

A.3 Dear Steven
Subject: Gold Badges

The museum and the club are always interested in new sources of information about badges. Some of what we know about the badges has up to only quite recently been very sketchy and speculative. The acquisition of the BL HQ Branch Pricelist has been a real boon in identifying badges.

Our problem is that there are no records from either the RBL or the RBLI that we can refer other than what is mention in the various history books about the legion.

Having read/heard that the gold badge was instituted in the 1930s we had assumed that having a 1933 gold badge that might be the earliest. The hallmarking on the 1933 is so badly damaged that it is impossible to establish whether it is 9 carat or 18 carat. It is very exciting from a historical point that there is now a known gold badge that dates from 1930! Would you be prepared to donate a picture of it for both the online museum and the club sites?

Now as to your small gold badge up until the advent of the price list we have been entirely unsure of the exact nature of the small badge. We now know that at the BL 25th Anniversary Women's Section National Conference in 1946 that they adopted the small badge which is the forerunner of the badge we know today. However we only have assumed that the BL adopted it too as yet we do not have the evidence to confirm it, however we do now know that between the wars there were two sizes of badge the large which we all recognise and one that is considered to be a miniature.

Your small gold badge if it is dated 1945 could be what one would term as a miniature as it pre-dates the 1946 conference and it would also be interesting to see a picture of it and know its dimensions.

This badge could possibly a reissued badge if it has a 'G' mark inscribed into it and it might be traceable I will see what I can do. But I am fully aware that the BL did not start registering them to around 1953 as you may have read on the site. For me it is the 1945 hallmark and its size that are intriguing because of the war time metal shortages of the times.

Do you have any other interesting badges that may not be in our collection? As I said earlier we are always keen to have new collector donate photo of their badges which helps us to improve our knowledge.

 

 


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