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Old 02-03-2015, 01:32 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 917
Default Any interest in old army badges?

Other than antique guns, my other collecting interest is WW2 cap badges. British and Commonwealth militaries place a lot of emphasis on the cap badge - in the combat arms each regiment has their own distinct badge, and in the support trade every corps or service has their own as well. Your cap badge is the most visible identification of who you belong to and what you do - in the Canadian military, if we want to know where someone belongs, the questions is "What cap badge is he?"

The whole thing started when I inherited my grandfather's badge - he was in the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, attached to the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in Italy and NW Europe. From there it just sort of snowballed, as these things tend to do with me!

This is my (near) complete set of WW2 Canadian badges, for all the units that deployed overseas during the war. The maple leaf on top is the General Service badge, worn by all recruits until they were assigned to a unit. The first two rows are corps / service badges, the second cavalry units, and the rest are infantry. The two bottom rows with the larger badges are Highland regiments - because they wore the balmoral hat instead of the beret (or wedge cap before 1943), the badges are bigger. The Canadian Army in WW2 is interesting - we only had 3 regular Infantry regiments, and two Cavalry (converted to armored regiments in 1939) - all single battalion. Defence of Canada was intended for the Militia, which was made of up of all the other reserve regiments. During the war regiments raised overseas contingents, which became the 1st battalion of their parent regiment - the 2nd battalion staying at home to recruit and train a steady stream of reinforcements. Many of the infantry battalions were actually converted to armour to make up the shortages of tank crews - leading to some odd situations where a unit like the Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles were driving Shermans. Canada was also unique in deploying several French-speaking regiments - Most famously the regular army Royal 22nd Regiment (the Vandoos) but also several militia units. There were also a few interesting hostilities-only units, including the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment, formed when the French speaking Fusiliers de Sherbrooke, and English speaking Sherbrooke Regiment, each couldn't raise enough men to make up a full unit, so temporarily combined.


Last edited by Nyles; 02-03-2015 at 01:55 AM.
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