Jump to content
Historical War Militaria Forum
GWilliamson

The Silver War (Wound) Badge

Recommended Posts

This badge is often referred to as the Silver Wound Badge but its correct name is The Silver War Badge.

It was created in 1916 and was issued to soldiers who had served in the military but had been honourably discharged - most often because they had been wounded but illness also quailified. It was worn on civilian clothing and its main purpose was to allow those in civilian dress to avoid being branded a "shirker" for not being in uniform. It could be obvious with those who had been maimed, lost an arm, leg etc, but many had no visible signs of their injuries or illness and were harrassed in the streets - usually by women, accusing them of cowardice.

Wearing this badge made it obvious that the individual had "done his bit".

The badge was issued with an elaborate certificate. Here is one being worn, and the certificate which accompanied the badge.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The badge is in real, solid silver and has the imperial cypher in the centre "GRI" (Georgius Rex Imperator) with the legend "For King and Empire - For Services Rendered"

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to see the badge and the certificate as I used to have one of the certificates but not the badge. Also good to see one being worn in a period photograph.

Regards,

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where these become a bit more interesting is in that they are serial numbered and can sometimes be found with the matching serial numbered box. The serial number also means that in many cases they can actually be traced and their original recipient identified.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The badges were awarded in batches as follows.

1st issue - Numbered from 1 - 360,000 horizontal pin

1st issue - Numbered from 360,001 - 450,000 vertical pin

2nd issue - Numbered from 1 - 350,000 with a "B" prefix to the number

3rd issue - Numbered from 1 - 5,000 with an "O" prefix to the number

4th issue - Numbered from 450,000 - 525,000

The one shown above with the box is the original first issue with horizontal pin. Here's an example of the 2nd Issue with "B" prefix.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where they become even more interesting are in the additional prefixes used. the above lists relate to those issued to the Army. Those issued to the Navy had the prefix "RN" and to the airforce "RAF". The Merchant Navy also used the prefix "MS" (for Merchant Seaman)

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Commonwealth countries issued thier own. Here are

A - Australia

NZ - New Zealand

SA - South Africa

I - India (Very Rare)

Missing here is "N" for Newfoundland. Only a tiny number were issued and they are insanely rare.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Canada, which was unique in that as well as the "C" Prefixed versions of the British Badge, also produced its own badges. Note the "Penalty for Mis-Use"

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jerry. I love these little badges. Now that the medal Index Cards are available and you can identify the original owners you can collect them to specific regiments. They are still relatively cheap ( though "I" for India now regularly fetch well over £100) at around £15-£25.

Just picked up a couple one to MFP and one to MMP which neatly cover two interests in one - Military Police and Wounded Awards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gordon,

that is more interesting information about the index cards. I remember from some previous posts that you were interested in Military Police items so it is always good to pick more items from a main interest.

Regards,

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with SWBs is that the interesting part ( the serial number) is on the reverse so can't really be displayed in a frame.

 

(The shoulder titles cost more than the SWBs !)

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just picked up an example of the issue certificate for the badge, this one to a member of the MFP. Needless to say, much, much harder to find than the actual badge.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×