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Jewish Brigade, Jewish Chaplains or "Unidentified" Cap Badge?


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Hello,

I would like to add some items to my WW2 collection and I was considering a small cameo of Jewish Brigade insignias. Problem is that I couldn't find period pics to have a clear idea of their patches and hat insignia.

I've seen often some cap badges offered as jewish brigade but they look very similar to those worn by jewish chaplains in the british army. It would be really appreciated if some of you would share his collection here and teach me something new

regards Matt

Edited by leigh kitchen
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

I would like to add some items to my WW2 collection and I was considering a small cameo of Jewish Brigade insignias. Problem is that I couldn't find period pics to have a clear idea of their patches and hat insignia.

I've seen often some cap badges offered as jewish brigade but they look very similar to those worn by jewish chaplains in the british army. It would be really appreciated if some of you would share his collection here and teach me something new

regards Matt

Ah what a pity, I used to know an old gentleman who served with them, but is alas no more.

Some years ago, I was in Jerusalem on business, visiting the Chief Rabbi's organisation about an important Kosher certification of one of our plants. After the meeting, my exhausted colleagues and I sat down for coffee at a nearby caf?. I was musing to them, a little too loudly, about the oddity of there still being a thoroughfare called "King George V". Given that the Jewish state was not exactly enamoured with the Brits, and in most other former colonial outposts, such names were usually ditched.

There was something of a murmur from the table behind us. A distinguished old gent, with a crisp clipped moustache, tapped me on the shoulder and said "Young man. Why should we not have a street named after His Majesty? He was our King too". We then sat down and had a long natter about his interesting life. He had been a lieutenant-colonel in the Jewish Brigade and ended the War with the OBE. Of this he was very proud, because he had been personally invested by the late King George VI. I think I grew-up by several years after that first conversation.

Cheers,

James

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In 1978 I first met an elderly man who had a shop on Ben Yehuda, near the junction with King George V - he'd been a member of the Zion Mule Corps & served at Gallipoli. Presumably he & his shop are long gone.

Leigh,

My story dates from about 1990, so long after your visit, but I guess your man may have been gone even by then.

Cheers,

James

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought the Jewish brigade had no official cap badge..? [Jewish Infantry Brigade Group]

What I have read is that enlisted and NCO's wore the cap badge of the older Palestine Regiment, if they could get hold of one.

IIRC Officers wore the badge of their parent unit before transfering into the newly formed [1944 I think] Jewish Brigade.

Troops had an arm flash insignia though, for wear on the shirt.

The commonly seen solid backed rounded cap badge with the wreath of leaves [same both sides] and the star of david with crown above isn't for the Jewish Brigade either, nor is it a commonwealth army chaplains badge. Its the badge of the police or prison service of the [british Mandated] Nigerian Territory before it became independant in 1960.

Would love to hear more about this though :)

ttfn

Matt

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I thought the Jewish brigade had no official cap badge..? [Jewish Infantry Brigade Group]

What I have read is that enlisted and NCO's wore the cap badge of the older Palestine Regiment, if they could get hold of one.

IIRC Officers wore the badge of their parent unit before transfering into the newly formed [1944 I think] Jewish Brigade.

Troops had an arm flash insignia though, for wear on the shirt.

The commonly seen solid backed rounded cap badge with the wreath of leaves [same both sides] and the star of david with crown above isn't for the Jewish Brigade either, nor is it a commonwealth army chaplains badge. Its the badge of the police or prison service of the [british Mandated] Nigerian Territory before it became independant in 1960.

Would love to hear more about this though :)

ttfn

Matt

Hi Matt,

thanks for your post. I never liked those badges commonly seen on the famous online auction site. Sometimes also arm patches show up, but they don't convince much either.

There are very few pics of Jewish Brigade members, that is difficult to know what they exactly wore. It is an interesting topic though.

regards

Matt

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There's an Israeli stamp, or more correctly a stamp sheet, commemmorating the Jewish Brigade from 1988 and which depicts several Crown service badges.

Alas, I have not been able to find a larger picture which may give a better indication of what's what. But this came from a picassa account/website, which you may like to explore further because it seems to have a selection of people in uniform - see http://images.google.com/images?um=1&h...wish+Brigade%22

Failing that, a stamp dealer may be able to help.

Cheers,

James

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A few years ago there was discussion on another forum of the unvoided Star of David badge portrayed on the stamp sheet, I thnk that the general consensus was that it was misidentified & was'nt a Jewish Brigade badge.

It or a similar badge is / was also used by Trinidad & Tobago Police?

I think there's some discussion of this badge somewhere on this forum too.

Edited by leigh kitchen
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A few years ago there was discussion on another forum of the unvoided Star of David badge portrayed on the stamp sheet, I thnk that the general consensus was that it was misidentified & was'nt a Jewish Brigade badge.

It or a similar badge is / was also used by Trinidad & Tobago Police?

I think there's some discussion of this badge somewhere on this forum too.

Are you actually referring to the badge for Jewish chaplains of the RAchD?

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James;

Thats not the case because the badge you refer to is a voided [you can see through the star] version and the unvoided star of david badge is different. [see pic] However it is often misidentified on 'the worlds greatest auction site' as such and sold to unsuspecting bidders. The badge I pictured is, as I said above, that of a unit from British Nigeria and if you look up the old colonies flag you'll see why.

ttfn

Matt

Edited by MattGibbs
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Matt,

I did see your earlier post but I could not follow what you were saying and your latest post confuses me a little further.

In your first post you mention "mandated territory" but now you talk about tthe flag of the "British colony". So I am a little confused.

After the Great War, a long slice of territory along the Nigerian border which previously belonged to the former German colony of Kamerun, was attached to Nigeria under a League of Nations mandate. At the independence of Nigeria, the Southern Cameroons elected through a UN conducted referendum to join the former French Cameroons. The north joined the Federation of Nigeria.

Before independence, Nigeria was a joint contraption, consisting of a "colony and protectorate". Nigeria was never a mandated territory.

Could you perhaps clear this up?

Cheers,

James

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James, I'm refering to the badge shown left hand column, 3rd down in your illustration post 12, also by Matt in post 10. It's not a Jewish Chaplains badge but is sometimes assumed to be & offered for sale as such, in bronzed finish it's sometimes assumed to be Jewish Brigade.

Edited by leigh kitchen
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James, I'm refering to the badge shown left hand column, 3rd down in your illustration post 12, also by Matt in post 10. It's not a Jewish Chaplains badge but is sometimes assumed to be & offered for sale as such, in bronzed finish it's sometimes assumed to be Jewish Brigade.

Leigh,

That's the one I was thinking of.

I do hear everyone saying that it isn't. But, there seems to be such a rag bag of confusion over what it is supposed to be that makes one doubt the dismissal. Especially after seeing the stamp. The stamp at least has some degree of official authority.

Cheers,

James

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I have since found a Dutch on-line photographic archive which seems to have quite a few pictures.

This one can be enlarged to view the cap badge

<A href="http://www.jhm.nl/beeld.aspx?database=fotos&limit=1&start=19&SEARCH=wwwsamen%20=%20"baehr">http://www.jhm.nl/beeld.aspx?database=fotos&limit=1&start=19&SEARCH=wwwsamen%20=%20"baehr

It appears to be the same as the third badge in the second row of the stamp sheet.

This one of a group of officers

<A href="http://www.jhm.nl/beeld.aspx?database=fotos&limit=1&start=1&SEARCH=trefwoord%20=%20"Joodse%20Brigade">http://www.jhm.nl/beeld.aspx?database=fotos&limit=1&start=1&SEARCH=trefwoord%20=%20"Joodse%20Brigade

These seem to be wearing the third badge on the first row of the stamp sheet.

Cheers,

James

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Dear James;

I'd be happy to clear it up. In fact its a much better time now because I am not trying to feed our 7 week old daughter and balance the attention with the 3 year old daughter at the same time! Phew.

Right. First...link to the British Nigeria Flag - http://www.fotw.us/flags/ng-gb.html - where you can note the emblems of a crown and a star of david included on the blue field.

Next and sadly I have not got one but in Colin Own's book on South African badges there is one of these badges pictured below. It is the badge with the purple background and is from the "NIGERIA CUSTOMS PREVENTIVE SERVICE". The difference you will see is that this version is voided around the star. The unvoided one comes from the NIGERIA PRISONS SERVICE. This information comes via J. Gaylor, [Royal West African Frontier Force and Intelligence Corps] and a post made on the British Badges Forum where the confusion with this being a Jewish or even a Chaplains badge comes. My motive in finding out about it comes from a friend being ripped off by someone convincing him it was RAChD related.

The details about the Magen David [star sign] relating to Nigeria are interesting. The badges of the Police in Trinidad also had the same detail. The following information is available from a newspaper from over there about this interesting emblem:

""This symbol adorns the local Police jeeps, flag, hats and buttons on the blue and grey uniform. In its centre is the copper rumped Hummingbird.

The explanation as to how the star got there will take most historians back to the 1930s. During this time, we were still a British colony, and as such our Police Commissioners were sent here by Britain.

One of these men was Colonel Arthur Stephen Mavrogordato. Mavrogordato was stationed in Palestine in the Middle East, and he was transferred from there to the post of Commanding Officer of the Trinidad Constabulary. Mavrogordato was not himself Jewish, but he was believed to be the one who suggested the Magen David be used as the police emblem, a symbol he had known from the Palestine flag. He reversed the colours of the Palestinian flag; by this he put a white star on a blue background instead of a blue star on a white background. No one is sure why.

Some attribute the use of the Magen David to the fact that the 1930s was the time when it was becoming widely known and its shape was found to be fascinating. Others believed it was a talisman that brought good luck and this was why it was chosen.

The debate surrounding its origin was another reason for fascination, as scholars maintain that the star was not of Jewish origin, but taken from the Twi-San, a people of south, central and east Africa. The Twi-San dates back 30,000 years before the Christian era, and they wee known to traverse the banks of the River Nile. To them, the symbol was known as the Pole Star.

The use of the Magen David as the police emblem makes the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force unique in that it is the only police service in the world that does not use its country's Coat of Arms as its official symbol.

The star was originally encased in a wreath with a crown atop it, to signify that Trinidad was a British colony. When Trinidad became a republic in 1976, these symbols of the former monarchy were replaced with the Hummingbird at the emblem's centre and with the shield from the Coat of Arms at the top where the crown once sat."

I would tend to suggest that this indicates the badge to be from either when Nigeria or Trinidad were British Colonies [not mandated territories sorry] and not the Jewish Brigade.

ttfn.

Matt

PS I forgot to add this may mean that the info [from rumour etc] that the Jewish philatelic designers used was wrong. I also apologise for using Mandated Territory and Colony interchangably, I forgot, its different ;)

Edited by MattGibbs
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Hi Matt,

Thanks for the long and interesting post.

Sorry, if I cause confusion myself. I did not necessarily mean that the badge depicted was Jewish brigade, I was working on the assumption that it was RAChD Jewish chaplains.

The two links I posted last indicated the use of two other, different, badges by members of the Jewish brigade.

While the explanation for the origins of the Trinidad & Tobago police badge sounds interesting. But again there are some crossed wires. Surely Palestine did not have a Star of David flag during the British mandate!

Cheers,

James

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Sorry all, but for some reason the links do not seem to work and the search is not saved.

Please try again using the following link.

http://www.jhm.nl/beeld.aspx?database=fotos&limit=1&start=1&SEARCH=trefwoord%20=%20"Joodse%20Brigade

Click on "nieuwe zoekactie" and then enter "Joodse Brigade" in the field marked "vrij zoeken"

The images you should be looking for are:

fotonummer 00006645 ? group photograph of officers.

fotonummer 00006629 ? close up of a private wearing a beret with badge.

The photographs are all in adobe flash format so you can zoom and enlarge them quite easily.

Cheers,

James

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Hi James;

Well you'll have to ask the newspaper reporter who I quoted on the issue of it coming from this Colonel from Palestine then, I'm passing the info on. I have seen another website quoting this chap but I never saved the link because it's not a badge I am interested in for itself, only trying to stop people confusing it for what it's not. I just happen to dislike sellers on places like ebay misrepresenting their sales. [and reporting them, oh yes]

Since we're still untangling wires I can let you know I have seen the official sealed pattern of the Jewish RAChD chaplains badge, and it's not the same as the badge I pictured - see my avatar for something closer. :) I have some photos of the sealed patterns out of the RAChD Museum safe but without permission from them I am not allowed to reproduce my images. I will ask them and check if it is ok, but they wanted to make sure I respected their copyright.

Also there is a discussion on this badge subject here:

http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums/sh...=jewish+brigade

regards

Matt

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Since we're still untangling wires I can let you know I have seen the official sealed pattern of the Jewish RAChD chaplains badge, and it's not the same as the badge I pictured - see my avatar for something closer. :) I have some photos of the sealed patterns out of the RAChD Museum safe but without permission from them I am not allowed to reproduce my images. I will ask them and check if it is ok, but they wanted to make sure I respected their copyright.

Hi Matt,

Now that would have been a more useful source/reference to mention.

By the way, I have looked up Mavrogordato and one of his other claims to fame seems to have been banning calypso in Trinidad because it was immoral and indecent.

Cheers,

James

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Previous discussion concerning this alleged "Jewish Brigade" badge on other forums in the past resulted in some contributors expressing firmy held views but producing no firm evidence to back them up.

Most of this info however comes from Marc Sherif who certainly seems to know what he's talking about when it comes to insignia, & who offers reasoned opinions supported by evidence

The Israeli Defence Forces, the IDF Museum, the Royal Army Chaplains Department, & AJEX (Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen) had no knowledge of this badge being a Jewish Brigade or a Jewish Chaplains badge. AJEX take the view that it is not a Jewish Chaplains badge

The Israeli Post Office however confirm that they portrayed what they thought was a Chaplains badge on the stamp sheet.

Kipling & King were aware of the badge & did'nt regard it as a British Jewish Chaplains badge.

Not all RAChD badges known to have been worn are recorded.

The Trinidad & Tobago Police badge apparently has a royal crest in the centre of the star.

"Jewish Cap Badges: British/Palestine and Israel Defense Forces' 2nd edition 2006" by Alex Friedman shows the voided badge as "Jewish Rabbi British Army 1915", & the unvoided badge as "Jewish Rabbi British Army 1915-1940".

According to the author the "original" unvoided badge was too fragile a design & so it was changed to an unvoided one.

The implication is that the RAChD had to bull their Other Ranks quality cap badges then?

"The Military Badges and Insignia of Southern Africa? by Colin Owen shows a badge of this design but with a name scroll underneath to be the badge of the Nigerian Customs Preventative Service.

One web site (I can't remember which) shows the badge as both Jewish Chaplains & Jewish Brigade.

There are claims that the badge was worn by the Jewish Brigade on a red backing.

I don't know what it is, the crown & six pointed star combination even appears on the stated flag of Queensland, Australia, although with a "Q" in the centre of the star, but I veer away from Jewish Chaplain or Jewish Brigade.

Another interesting insignia - claimed to be the "Judean Battalion" but it seems very dubious to me:

http://www.militarybadges.info/pages/asstd/other2.htm

Edited by leigh kitchen
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Another interesting insignia - claimed to be the "Judean Battalion" but it seems very dubious to me:

http://www.militarybadges.info/pages/asstd/other2.htm

Thanks for the useful and interesting posting.

The attached scan is probably genuine.

The Judean Battalion was raised in 1919 and disbanded around 1921 after questions over the loyalty and off-duty activities of its members.

The badge owes its origins to the fact that a large number of recruits came from the war raised 38th, 39th and particularly 40th (Judean) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, the so-called ?Erestz Israel Volunteers?, after the latter was disbanded in 1919. During the Great War, the 39th Batalion, Royal Fusiliers were also known as the 2nd Judean Battalion.

Cheers,

James

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Kipling & King were aware of the badge & did'nt regard it as a British Jewish Chaplains badge.

Not all RAChD badges known to have been worn are recorded.

I don't know what it is, the crown & six pointed star combination even appears on the stated flag of Queensland, Australia, although with a "Q" in the centre of the star, but I veer away from Jewish Chaplain or Jewish Brigade.

http://www.militarybadges.info/pages/asstd/other2.htm

Nice summing up Leigh. I just quoted you on the bits I was interested in [to save space] but I agree with all the above. When I have recieved permission from the RAChD Museum I hope to post my photos of the sealed pattern of the Jewish Chaplains badge which I took when I was there in September. The silvery round one on this thread certainly ain't it. ;) There WAS a 'dress' version of the RAChD badge which was produced in small numbers in Silver [and also collar dogs I believe] produced in the same style as the wartime bronze Jewish chaplains badge, that was authorised in 1940. See attached pic.

Regards

Matt

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My tiny tiny contribution to the discussion is to do with the "Star of David" and Nigeria. When I spent several years there in the '70's, one commonly saw old pennies minted for "West Africa" - Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, I believe - under the colonial regime. About 1.5 across, each had a hole in the center - for carrying on a thong by people with no pockets, I was told. Around the center hole was a Mogen David-like star . They were very often stiched onto the rims of baskets for sale to tourists.

One of the pennies has graced my key ring these 30 years and more but I've never seen any explanation as to why that symbol was chosen, but surely NOT because of any associations with Judaism. Perhaps, like the swastika in India and in Native America decorative art, it simply represented an eye-pleasingly symmetrical figure. Any theories?

Peter

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Thanks for the useful and interesting posting.

The attached scan is probably genuine.

The Judean Battalion was raised in 1919 and disbanded around 1921 after questions over the loyalty and off-duty activities of its members.

The badge owes its origins to the fact that a large number of recruits came from the war raised 38th, 39th and particularly 40th (Judean) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, the so-called ?Erestz Israel Volunteers?, after the latter was disbanded in 1919. During the Great War, the 39th Batalion, Royal Fusiliers were also known as the 2nd Judean Battalion.

Cheers,

James

Pity there's not enough detail of the cap badge in this photo James. I don't know the colour of the cloth Star on the Fusiler's upper arm:

Edited by leigh kitchen
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