badge, rank, collar, British, Royal Naval Reserve, Midshipman
A double-looped buttonhole of pale blue twist, attached to a Royal Naval Reserve button embroidered onto a dark blue collar slip. The button consists of an anchor, with wrapped cable, surmounted by a King's crown, within a 'roped' border, with the letters :'RNR' embossed across the centre, onto a slightly domed surface.
As the Royal Navy civil branches' uniforms moved closer to those of the executive, new means of distinction were introduced. One such method was to use coloured cloth in the space in between rank stripes. Engineer and accountant officers wore the same coloured stripes as the Royal Navy. Pale blue was used to denote the instructor branch.
Midshipmen were added to the other ranks of the Royal Naval Reserve in 1872 and were given a buttonhole twist on each collar, akin to that worn by Royal Naval cadets, as a mark of distinction. Unlike the Royal Navy, they were not given a complete blue patch (to match the white patch of cadets of the Royal Navy) upon which the buttonhole would appear. During the First World War, RNR midshipmen wore this illegally and were granted it officially in 1921. This item may, therefore, be an example prior to the blue patch being awarded.
The buttonhole twist is in pale blue, this item may therefore pertain to the Instructor branch and, being without a blue patch, it may denote a RNR cadet rather than RNR Midshipman.