Fergus Read

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What are Identity discs, tags and bracelets?Military identity tags, usually in metal or compressed fibre, are discs designed to be worn at all times and to record an individual’s identity. The British Army introduced them in 1907. They were produced...

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What are fundraising pins and badges?These are the small tokens that were given to a person who donated to a fundraising appeal that helped to spread the word about the cause that they were raising money for.Fundraising during the warFundraising was a...

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What are the Next of Kin Memorial Plaque, Scroll and King’s Message?The Next of Kin Memorial Plaque is a bronze plaque approximately 11 cms or 4½  inches diameter with the name of someone who died serving with the British and Empire forces in the...

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What is an ‘On War Service’ badge and who might have worn one?These small, metal pin badges were worn by civilians during the First World War in order to indicate that the person wearing it was on engaged in important war-work.Several of these...

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What is the Princess Mary Gift Fund 1914 Box?The Princess Mary Gift Fund box is an embossed brass box that originally contained a variety of items such as tobacco and chocolate. It was intended as a Christmas present to those serving at Christmas...

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What are embroidered postcards?The embroidered silk postcard is a common souvenir of the First World War.  They are blank postcards onto which an embossed paper surround has been glued, to frame and hold a central piece of silk.  On the silk...

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What are regimental brooches and lucky charms?Regimental brooches are generally small pin-brooches depicting miniature badges of units. Usually they were commercially manufactured and some are still manufactured today.There were eventually hundreds of...

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What are propaganda badges and medallions?Substantial lapel badges, in metal and enamel, with patriotic or propaganda messages, were sold in the period before conscription.Who wore these badges and why?These badges were almost all produced and sold...

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What are the Silver War Badge and the King’s Certificate of Discharge?This small silver badge is a pin designed to be worn on civilian clothes after early discharge from the army. It was first issued in 1916, when it was also retrospectively awarded...

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What is trench art?Trench Art is a misleading term given today to a wide variety of decorative items, sometimes also functional, produced during or soon after the First World War (though the term is also applied to products of both earlier and more...