Saturday, April 1, 2017

An Introduction to Post-WWII (Queen’s Crown) British Parachute Regiment Cap Badges

Although not nearly as sought after as WWII British Parachute Regiment Cap Badges (King’s Crown - George VI) there are a significant variety of the regiment’s cap badges bearing the (Queen’s Crown Elizabeth II - circa 1953 to Present). These include the blackened "tactical" version initially adopted for wear during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland (circa 1968 - 1998), as well as limited usage in the Falkland Islands Campaign in 1982, and continuing to Helmand Province, Iraq and Afghanistan today.

A distinct advantage, because of lack of popularity, i.e. demand, these badges have not been the target of known replication to date. This factor is significantly off-set by the fact that the vast preponderance of government contract manufactured (issued) badges produced are “staybrite” a/a (aluminum alloy) with a slider, and not white metal and/or lugged. However, both slidered and lugged versions, with no maker’s marks exist. The first w/m QC badges having been made by Gaunt, in both voided and non-voided versions. These are shown in Kipling & King Volume II. The majority of w/m (white metal ) QC badges being private purchase, not officially issued.

Until very recently shown, no collector had seen a w/m QC lugged badge. Jerry Bond, a member of the British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum, has provided an example from his collection. Images of the badge are shown below. Additionally Parachute Regiment black anodized badges, with sliders appear to be a scarcer variant. One group of the latter having been produced by Sharman D. Neill Ltd in Belfast.

In summary, at this time, the following versions are known to exist:

            Black anodized aluminum
            w/lugs – Not marked
            w/slider QC marked Dowler Birmingham
            w/slider QC marked JR Gaunt Bham
            w/slider QC marking unknown Sharman D. Neill Ltd Belfast

            Silver anodized aluminum
            w/slider King’s crown - no marking on slider
            w/slider QC marked Smith and Wright (early font)
            w/slider QC marked JR Gaunt London
            w/slider QC marked JR Gaunt Bham
            w/slider QC marked LB&B
            w/slider QC marked Grove MFG
            w/slider QC marked Dowler Birmingham
            w/slider QC marked HW Timings Ltd Bham
            w/slider QC - no marking on slider

            Silver anodized aluminum
            w/lugs QC marked LB&B made in England
            w/lugs QC - no marking
            w/lugs QC – no marking with odd flattened wings (appear short)

            White metal
            w/slider QC - marked Dowler Birmingham
            w/slider QC - marked JR Gaunt London
            w/lugs QC - no markings

Both acknowledgement and gratitude are extended to the following members of the British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum for their contributions of  knowledge and imagery.

            Frank Kelley
            2747andy
            Gotavapen
            Silverwash
            Phillip Herring
            Demonic
            Fougrasse1940
            Jack8
            Mike H
            JBBOND

The following photographs show both the obverse and reverse of the majority of the badges previously discussed.

Examples of Black Anodized Aluminum (a/a) Parachute Regiment Cap Badges (QC).

Black Anodized w/slider - Dowler Birmingham (Obverse)

Black Anodized w/slider - Dowler Birmingham (Obverse)

Black Anodized w/slider - Dowler Birmingham (Reverse)

Black Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Obverse)

Black Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Reverse)

Examples of Silver Anodized Aluminum (a/a) Parachute Regiment Cap Badges (QC).

Silver Anodized w/slider - JR Gaunt Birmingham (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - JR Gaunt Birmingham (Reverse)

Silver Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Reverse)

Silver Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Reverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - HW Timings Ltd Birmingham (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - HW Timings Ltd Birmingham (Reverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - JR Gaunt Birmingham (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - JR Gaunt Birmingham (Reverse)

Silver Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/lugs - Unmarked (Reverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - JR Gaunt Birmingham (Obverse)

Silver Anodized w/slider - JR Gaunt Birmingham (Reverse)

Examples of White Metal (w/m) Parachute Regiment Cap Badges (QC).


White Metal w/slider - Unmarked (Obverse)

White Metal w/slider - Unmarked (Reverse)

White Metal w/slider - JR Gaunt London (Obverse)

White Metal w/slider - JR Gaunt London (Reverse)

White Metal w/lugs - Unmarked (Obverse)

White Metal w/lugs - Unmarked (Reverse)

To the best of the author's knowledge all of the above badges are righteous, i.e. genuine.

1 comment:

jerry bond said...

Another fine blog Jim

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