Accessories, Badges & Crests & Tampions (HMS Warspite), British

Catalogue number
  • MAR 455
Department
Exhibits
Materials
  • whole: metal
Dimensions
  • whole: Depth 50 mm, Diameter 390 mm
Alternative names
  • full name: Accessories, Badges & Crests & Tampions (HMS Warspite), British
  • simple name: accessories : badges & crests & tampions : British
Category
Vehicles, aircraft and ships

© IWM (MAR 455)

Purchase & License
Label

First World War period tampion badge from HMS Warspite; one of a pair in the collection (see also MAR 639). Unusually HMS Warspite (1913) had two designs of ship's badge - a cannon and a woodpecker. The cannon design was the one adopted when a sealed pattern was first agreed in 1919 and so became the ship's 'official' badge, but the woodpecker continued in use on the gun tampions and on the bows of the ship's small boats. The ship's dance band was called 'The Woodpeckers'. The reason for having two badges links to an early pun - the Elizabethan word 'spight' not only meant 'defiance' (or 'contempt'), but was also a colloquial term for a green woodpecker.

Physical description

circular painted metal badge (diameter 39cm; depth 5cm) depicting a green woodpecker (enclosed by gilt-finish ropework edge).

History note

First World War period tampion badge from HMS Warspite; one of a pair in the collection (see also MAR 639). Unusually HMS Warspite (1913) had two designs of ship's badge - a cannon and a woodpecker. The cannon design was the one adopted when a sealed pattern was first agreed in 1919 and so became the ship's 'official' badge, but the woodpecker continued in use on the gun tampions and on the bows of the ship's small boats. The ship's dance band was called 'The Woodpeckers'. The reason for having two badges links to an early pun - the Elizabethan word 'spight' not only meant 'defiance' (or 'contempt'), but was also a colloquial term for a green woodpecker.

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