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    Briish Army skill at arms badges & trade badges

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    Following on from the thread's on WO rank badges I noticed that there does not appear to be a thread looking at the hugh variety of skill at arms badges and trade badges worn by the British Army so I decided to kick this one off.

    First up a trade badge for "A Group" trades. This encompassed a number of different trades.

    This is followed by the B trades badge.....

    Next up we have the badge worn by an Artificer in the REME. Firstly the badge for No 2 dress.

    and then the bullion badge for mess dress...

    Edited by Paul L Murphy
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    The AT badge was originally worn by Anti Tank Gunners and is now worn by those qualified to use guided weapons systems, basically since these replaced anti tank guns.

    Next up we have a RA Gunnery Instructor badge for No 2 dress

    ... followed by an Infantry Pioneer badge, also for No 2 dress.

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    Another version, SMG this time...

    Followed by a PT Instructor's badge

    Followed by two versions of the signaller's badge, the normal No 2 dress type and the version used by the Light Infantry


    Feel free to add more......

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    Here are some examples which were amongst my girlfriends Grandfathers belongings. He served before and during World War2 in the Queen Victoria Rifles, which I believe was a Territorial motorcycle unit which took part in the defence of Calais. He was captured there and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner. After the war he was commisioned into the Royal West Kents and collected many military items. I believe that these badges relate to his time in the QVR although this may not be correct.

    Firstly crossed rifles marksmanship badge.

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    A variation 'MG' badge with star. I believe the star dentoes territorial battalion. Leigh?

    Yes, "MG" without the wreath was 1st Class Machine Gunner with a star above MG it was the best machine gunner in Part II of the annual MG course, among the Lance Corporals, Troopers & Privates of a Machine Gun Squadron or Platoon (Army Council Instruction 122/1928. There does'nt appear to have been a version with crown over MG.

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    This is one I don't know, so any ideas please Gentlemen.

    "R" in a wreath is 1st Class Rangetaker, Royal Artillery & MG Companies, later Rangetaker & Position Finder & Instrument Number, Anti Aircraft Royal Artillery. A Skill at Arms badge worn lower left arm, an Instructors badge worn upper right arm.

    First mentioned in Musketry Regulations, 1909 amended 1914, but without reference to a badge, Clothing Regulations 1914 allowed 2 badges per battery of Royal Horse Artillery & Royal Field Artillery & 6 per company of Royal Garrison Artillery.

    Army Council Instruction 39/1921 allowed a further 8 for each battery of AA Artillery & 6 for each battery of Coast Artillery, in 1926 the numbers were increased slightly.

    Clothing Regulations 1936 extended qualifivcation to Rangetakers of MG Squadrons & Companies.

    Looks like the badge is obsolete now because of computer controlled equipment being in use nowadays.

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    Lastly for now, LG with crown :cheers:

    "LG" on its own is the TA equivalent of the Regular Army's "MG" in wreath.

    With the star above, it's Lewis Gunner 2nd Class, later the best Light Machine Gun shot in each company, a Skill at Arms badge worn on the lower left arm.

    Priced Vocabularies of Clothing & Necessaries 1936 shows a version with 2 stars, one above the other, above the LG, possibly intended as Lewis Gunner 1st Class.

    LG with crown above was Best Shot in Battalion

    The "MG" & "LG" without wreath series of badges were discontinued by Army Council Instruction 23 of 1932, but were still appearing in PVCN 1936 & Small Arms Training Volume 1 of 1937.

    It's probable that they were being worn by TA Hotchkiss Gunners, the Hotchkiss was phased out of the Regular Army by 1940, the Regulars had adopted LG in wreath in 1921, it's likely that the TF adopted the "LG" without wreath as it now stood for Light (Machine) Gunner.

    The MG & LG series of badges without wreath were declared obsolete by List of Changes in Ordnance Material 5067/52.

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    A further three to add, this one is identified by Ray Westlake as best shot in a Company.

    The crossed rifles with star above was Best Shot in Squadron, Company or Band, a Prize Badge worn lower left arm.

    First mentioned in Clothing Regulations 1898 with no refernce to qualifications required, in Volunteer Regulations 1899 "Best Marksman in Company", in Clothing Regs 1909 "Best shot in each squadron, company or band of cavalry, Royal Engineers or infantry", by 1926 it was for "Best combined rifle & light automatic shot in a squadron or company".

    Abolished by LCOM 5067/52.

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    This one is again identified by Westlake, this time as best shot in a Battalion.

    Crossed rifles in wreath with star above - Best Combined Shot among Corporals, Lance Corporals & Privates in a Regiment or Battalion, a Prize Badge worn lower left arm.

    Volunteer Regs 1901, Clothing Regs 1904.

    Regulars wore it in gold, Volunters silver, the Volunteer Regs 1901 stating that it was to be awarded to the winner of a competition open to the 3 best marksmen amomng junior ranks from each company.

    It's the junior ranks version of the crossed rifles in wreath with crown above, which was Best Shot of Sergeants & Lance Sergeants of a Regiment or Battalion", Volunteer Regs 1901, Clothing Regs 1904. Later, Warrant Officers were included.

    Volunteer Regs 1901 allowed this for wear in silver wire by Rifle Volunteers, by the winner of a competition framed by the Commanding Officer with a view to testing all round shooting & open to all sergeants, lance sergeants in the battalion who are marksmen.

    Clothing Regs 1904 listed the different versions of musketry prize badges as being "for target practise", "supplied under the conditions laid down n the Musketry Regulations".

    Clothing Regs 1926 allowed Warrant Officers to compete, the only weapon training badge for which they were eligible - the badge was for the best combined shot amongst Warrant Officers, sergeants & lance sergeants in a regiment ofr battalion.

    Both badges were discontinued by LCOM 5067/52, but the version with crown is stated to have been worn as late as 1967 by at least one individual, a Colour Sergeant of the Queems Royal Rifles.

    The version with crown appears with St Edwarsds Crown, so continued in use in some Commonwealth formations?

    In Gold wire on dark blue & silver wire on dark blue it was / is also worn as a Bisley blazer badge.

    I have a crowned version,but with the lion on the crown over crossed rifles in gold wire on a bright green - I don't know what it is.

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    The basic crossed rifles badge, slightly different badges due to manufacturers variations, two on metal backing plates, one with shaped red cloth backing to the badge, & an anodised version.

    Currently worn by Marksmen.

    The crossed muskets or rifles badge was part of the rank insignia of all ranks of the Corps of Instructors of Musketry raised by Royal Warrant of 1856, & it was worn by Privates with crown above on the right sleeve.

    At various timesawarded for good shooting, target practise, weapon training or as a Prize Badge.

    The star over crossed rifles badge replaced it as a Prize Badge in 1898.

    Musketry Regs 1869 described it as awarded in gold for best shot in each company of a regiment or depot of infantry & in worsted for each qualfied marksman.

    By 1881 use had been extended to cavalry & Royal Engineers.

    In Clothing Regs 1909 it reverted to being used for Marksmen, gold in Full Dress, worsted for Service Dress.

    The badge consists of muskets or of magazine fed rifles (the magazine rifles can't predate 1890) & there are versions with / without slings, although with slings predominated before 1874.

    Produced in various colours, as were most profficiency badges, as well as metal, & 2nd King Edwards Own ghurkas wore the rifles in a wreath with Prince of Wales's feathers above, black embroidered on scarlet.IKING Edward& in anodised metal.

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    "It's probable that they were being worn by TA Hotchkiss Gunners, the Hotchkiss was phased out of the Regular Army by 1940, the Regulars had adopted LG in wreath in 1921, it's likely that the TF adopted the "LG" without wreath as it now stood for Light (Machine) Gunner."

    Would I be correct in saying that the primary heavy weapon's of the TF/TA infantry would be either a Maxim, Vickers or Lewis Gun rather than the Hotchkiss? The only photo I have of infantry with the Hotchkiss is members of the Volunteer Force in 1918 and there again I believe the qualification badge was "HG" in the wreath? As far as I'm aware the Hotchkiss was primarily used by the cavalry and yeomanry due to the weight of the Maxim and Vickers, which in infantry battalions had to be carried on specially adopted carts drawn by horse.

    Edited by Graham Stewart
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