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    Warrant Officer miniature?


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    Hi all,

    Help needed again. I found a small SA CoA badge in a scrap shop the other day. The badge looks exactly like the Warrant Officer badge (was WO1 until end 50’s and then become WO2 badge until 2002) but a lot smaller (2.5 cm wide and 2 cm high as opposed to the WO badge which is 3.3 cm wide and 2.9 cm high). I have seen a similar badge at another collector a number of years ago but it had a loose wreath around it (Garrison SM before 1960). The badge has two lugs and not pins and is brass not gilt indicating era before 1960’s ???

    Any ideas, is it a:

    SA Army General Service collar badge?

    or UDF WO miniature for mess dress?

    or other???



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    Neville, I know the one with the wreath - a picture was posted under Sgt. Mjrs. Insignia. Are you able to post a photo - would probably help one of our army experts ?

    Attached is the photos as requested:

    Number 1 is the "old" Garrison (RSM) rank badge used from 1910? until 1960, after SA became a republic it was changed to the WO1 badge and from 1985 was worn with a color background by RSM's.

    Number 2 is the "old" WO1 rank badge as used until 1960 where after it became the WO2 badge replacing the British crown in a wreath WO2 badge.

    Number 3 is the badge that I got it is about 2/3 of the size.

    Edited by Seadog
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    • 3 months later...
    • 1 year later...

    Warrant Officers wore the standard size metal badges on Mess Dress, Black. Embroidered badges were also worn pre-WW2 and more recently but when metal ones were worn in the 1980s & 90s they were normal size.

    I have one of these smaller as well and had various theories about it.

    (A) A larger type of coat-of-arms was worn c. 1914-15 as a general service cap badge. This supports the idea of a general service collar badge, but collar badges were not that commonly worn in the SA Forces in WW1. The SA Mounted Riflemen (Permanent Force) did not wear them on SD nor did the Commandoes. Most of the WW1 early GS cap badges (i.e. large coat of arms type) were cast, not struck, while the badge you show and everyone like it that i've seen appears to have been struck rather than cast.

    (B) The SA Railways as well as the SAR&H Police (SARP) also used the coat of arms as a cap badge, with additional lettering on a scroll below etc.

    I cannot remember Railways wearing collar badges. This does not of course mean they never did!

    © Railways Police.

    Photographs of SARP of this period indicate that the other ranks wore RP/SP titles on their lapels with the coat of arms on the helmet (late 1940s photograph). I am not sure whether SARP officers may have worn collar badges, (their SA Police counterparts did at the time). If that was the case, then the small coat of arms could possibly be a SARP officers collar badge pre 1955? If you have Owen's book - the SARP badge pre-1955 is #1886. The WW1 early GS badge is #1885. I see there is indeed a SARP collar badge in Owen's book but it has a scroll underneath the coat of arms (#1878 & 1879).

    (D) Another theory I have had is that it may be some form of "sweatheart" badge.

    Having had a better look through Owen's book...the small badge was apparently the collar badge of the "SA Railways & Harbours Rifles"! Would be good to get another source to back that up though. Perhaps someone knows a bit more baout this unit?

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