badge, headdress, British, Royal Naval Reserve, Engine Room Artificer
'RNR' above a gold anchor, with wrapped cable, onto a purple background, within a double-ringed gold wire circular border. Surmounted by a padded King's crown, with red, gold and green detail, embroidered onto a black, cut-to-shape background.
The Royal Naval Reserve was formed in 1859 from men in the merchant service. It was amalgamated with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, under the title Royal Naval Reserve, in 1958. The uniform was to follow that of the Royal Navy.
Royal Navy caps were first introduced to supplement the cocked hat, as worn by naval officers. An extensive reorganisation of uniform in 1856 established the badge upon which Royal Navy cap badges remain based: anchor, surmounted by a crown and surrounded by laurel leaves.
Executive officers were distinguished from civil branches with a cap badge that consisted of a crown embroidered in gold and silver as opposed to one that was embroidered in gold only. In 1915, Engineer officers of the Royal Navy and Reserves received the executive cap badge with all other civil branches following in 1918.
Engine Room Artificers were the first Ratings to receive cap badges. When all other Ratings received the cap badge, Engine Room Artificers retained one distinction: a purple background. Seamen Chief Petty Officers wore an anchor of silver whilst all others wore an anchor of gold.