WW2 bakelite - plastic “economy issue” cap badge

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WW2 bakelite - plastic “economy issue” cap badge

Postby plbramham » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:34 pm

WW2 bakelite - plastic “economy issue” cap badge .
I’ve finally managed to find one of these (not enclosed in a frame or cabinet!) to photograph for a posting.
The Border Regiment WW2 Plastic Cap Badge was in silver-grey with the centre two-thirds on a red ground. It had rear brass fixing blades and on the back is “1 - A” and the maker's name "A.STANLEY & SONS WALSALL” who produced all of 40,408 Border Regiment plastic badges made. ( I read that figure on a military badge website some time ago, but it seems rather high to me,I think it should read 4,408, but the author put another "0" in by mistake?)
The WW2 plastic “economy issue” badges introduced throughout the British Army in 1941 were generally unpopular with troops (even though they did not need polishing!) who often tried to replace them with older white metal types as soon as any were available. Added to this, most were probably just thrown away or given to kids to play with, being of no intrinsic value. I have also heard that they sometimes became brittle and could snap in half. (The photo is actually a little complimentary - in reality they certainly are very dull and drab!)
All these factors contribute to the reason why surviving examples are among the rarest (and hence most expensive!) types of Border Regiment badge being very sought after by collectors.
(Check old sewing and button boxes at jumble sales and car boots because the stall holder will probably not know their value being “just a bit of plastic” You may just be lucky - though I have not been!!)

At the bottom are photos of a WW2 period officer’s silver plated cap badge. I don’t know if this was another “economy measure” by plating an officer’s bronze badge to conserve silver? It certainly seems to make sense, although if that was the case maybe they were a bit too “economical” as the plating has not survived very well.
Paul

(P.S Now go and check those button tins!)
Attachments
0 plastic front.jpg
WW2 plastic " economy issue" badge front
0 plastic rear.jpg
WW2 plastic " economy issue" badge rear
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WW2 plastic " economy issue" badge edge
0 silver plate front.jpg
WW2 silver plated badge front
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WW2 silver plated badge rear
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Re: WW2 bakelite - plastic “economy issue” cap badge

Postby CockneyTone » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:21 am

Paul,

I never knew they made bakelite ones, thanks for sharing the info and pictures!
Kind regards,
Scottie
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Re: WW2 bakelite - plastic “economy issue” cap badge

Postby kerchi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:30 am

plbramham wrote:The WW2 plastic “economy issue” badges introduced throughout the British Army in 1941 were generally unpopular with troops (even though they did not need polishing!) who often tried to replace them with older white metal types as soon as any were available. Added to this, most were probably just thrown away or given to kids to play with, being of no intrinsic value. I have also heard that they sometimes became brittle and could snap in half. (The photo is actually a little complimentary - in reality they certainly are very dull and drab!)


I'm not surprised they were unpopular, I certainly wouldn't want one of these badges on my uniform, they do look cheap and particularly unimpressive but at the same time you can understand the need for economising. I wonder how many of these survive today in people's houses thinking they are tat and not understanding their current value.
In memory of John Bardgett (15309 L/Cpl.), 11th Border Regiment who died 1st July 1916.

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