A metal headdress badge for the Royal Norfolk Regiment, with the remnants of a slider on reverse, the badge is the figure of Britannia in white metal holding a sprig of olive in her right hand, with a trident in her left hand resting against her shoulder, below her left arm is an oval shield bearing the Great Union, the whole is enclosed by a laurel-wreath, below this is a scroll in brass inscribed "THE NORFOLK REGT".
Badge of the pattern worn 1898 - 1937.
The Regiment’s ultimate predecessor was raised in 1685 as Colonel Henry Cornwall’s Regiment of Foot. It was known by a succession of colonels’ names until 1751 when it became the 9th Regiment of Foot. It served briefly as Marines in 1717-1718.
In 1782 the Regiment was re-designated the 9th (The East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, adopting at that time a badge of a central figure 9 within a belt circlet inscribed EAST NORFOLK REGIMENT, surmounted by a figure of Britannia, facing left, with a trident in her left hand and a sprig of olive in her right. This badge was conferred on the Regiment by Queen Anne for exemplary gallantry at the Battle of Almanza during the War of the Spanish Succession and was confirmed as the Regiment’s “ancient badge” in 1799.
During the 1881 reforms the figure of Britannia replaced the figure 9 in the centre of a plain circlet, which then carried simply the title NORFOLK.
In 1898, with the adoption of cap badges, the Britannia figure remained the central motif, now surrounded by a laurel wreath with a scroll below inscribed THE NORFOLK REGIMENT.
In 1935 the Regiment celebrated its 250th anniversary and was bestowed with the Royal prefix in recognition of distinguished service in the First World War. A new badge was instituted in 1937, comprising simply the Britannia figure, the badge being sealed on 13 April 1937.
In World War Two, unusually all of the Regiment’s nine battalions served as infantry, three of which, 4th, 5th and 6th, were captured at Singapore. From 1942, when it joined the 24th Guards Independent Brigade, 1st Battalion wore a rectangular black patch behind the badge.
In 1958/9 the Regiment amalgamated with the Suffolk Regiment to become 1st Battalion East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk) in the East Anglian Brigade. In 1964, this Regiment became 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, dropping its County subtitle in 1968.