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Category: Badges

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Badges for special qualifications including wounds, long service etc

Colonial qualification badges.

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Badges of the AIF for special training, wounds, overseas service and other special cases including long service and good conduct.

No enlargement available  

Salisbury, England, 1917-07. A studio portrait of 2919 Corporal Wallace Alfred ("Alf") Jones, a physical training (PT) instructor, at the AIF encampment on Salisbury plain. The badge of crossed swords that he is wearing above his corporal's chevrons denotes his position as a Physical Training  Instructor.  

His belt buckle is a British pattern 14 buckle that he has probably donned for the photograph, to make his uniform look smarter. 

Corporal Jones was killed in action on 1918-03-17. (donor: P. Jones)

Click to enlarge Castlemaine, Vic. c. 1887. Studio portrait of Corporal Robert Gartside (born 1862). Note the marksman badge on lower left sleeve. Gartside enlisted in the 4th Victorian Rifles in 1885 and was promoted to Corporal in 1887. He was wounded in the South African (Boer) War as a Lieutenant at Wolve Kuil on 14 February 1901 while serving with the 3rd Victorian Bushmen's Corps. He retired as a major in 1903. He re-enlisted in 1914, and served as Second in Command of 8th Battalion as an acting Lieutenant Colonel. He was killed in action at Gallipoli while leading a charge of the 7th Battalion near Tommies' Trench on 8 May 1915. He was posthumously awarded the Volunteer Decoration (VD). (Donor: G.W. Gartside). Photographer: A.Verey & Co, Castlemaine (Vic).
Click to enlarge Lieutenant Colonel E.H. Smith CB of the 12th Battalion, AIF. Note the additional lapel badge.  

This must have been a personal decision as the Dress Manual did not call for such a badge. (Donor Captain L.M. Newton)

WW1 Corporal in a Signals Unit Worn by 3849 Corporal (Cpl) Frank McArthur. Cpl McArthur enlisted on 28 August 1915 and served with 13 Battalion. He was awarded a Military Medal at Zonnebeke in 1917, and returned to Australia on 13 April 1919.

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Runner's arm band. A runner is someone who carries messages from the commander of a unit or sub unit to HQ or to lower echelon people. Sometimes a runner was required to be running away from the front lines. To ensure that there was no mistakes or  misunderstandings runners were made to wear a distinguishing arm band. This was particularly necessary if British MPs were around as they would shoot to kill any one they decided was 'malingering' or not taking a proper part in an attack.

photo supplied by Grants Militaria

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France. A group of non commissioned officers (NCOs) from the 1st Australian Siege Brigade, probably the 1st Australian Siege Battery, formerly the 54th Siege Battery. 

Note the men are all wearing the badge of the permanent artillery, not the Rising Sun badge. 

The siege batteries were the only units in the 1st AIF authorized to wear a distinguishing badge. (donor S. Pamphilon)

Cairo, Egypt. c. December 1915.  8932 Driver Jack (John) McKenzie and his brother Gordon. Jack McKenzie of Bathurst, NSW, enlisted on 24 March 1915, aged 26. He was with the Ammunition Reserve, 4th Light Horse Brigade and was then attached to the 3rd Section, 20th Australian Army Service Corps (AASC) until 5 April 1919. Jack is smoking a pipe and is wearing a proficiency badge on his right arm of Skill in Horse Driving (2nd Class), the design being crossed whips and spur. This badge came into existence in 1903 as a militia badge, also being worn through WW1. His brother was possibly Lieutenant Livingstone Gordon McKenzie, Australian Flying Corps, who enlisted on 8 February 1915 and retired on 6 May 1919. (Donor P. Emery)

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916.DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :-
Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.
In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on the cuff. Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left forearm sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve. Subsequent occasions on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half inch interval.

Gold braid and sews will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public. (see photo).

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It is probable that some men, particularly Officers, wore the metal gold wound stripe as seen below, on dress uniforms.

LONG SERVICE BADGES  A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917

The question of the issue of a badge  to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

  • The badge will consist of an inverted single chevron of service braid to be worn on the left forearm - the point of the chevron to be 3 inches above the edge of the cuff. (see photo)


  • Warrant and non-commissioned officers and men, will be eligible for the badge, which will not carry an increased pay or allowance.


  • One chevron will be worn for each complete year's service in the Australian Imperial Force from the date of embarkation in Australia; but no badge will be issued to any man who, during the 12 months, has incurred a regimental entry (i.e. an entry involving forfeiture of pay) in his sheet.  Time absent from the unit in hospital or elsewhere on account of wounds or sickness, not the result of misconduct, will count as service towards earning the badge.


  • A man in possession of a badge will forfeit same on being convicted of any offence involving a forfeiture of pay , but will be eligible to regain the badge after 6 months good conduct, from the date of forfeiture.


  • The illegal wearing of this badge will be a crime under A.A. Section 40.

    Information supplied by the AWM

2233  Pte F Palmer 42 Bn (photo above) can be seen to be wearing 1 wound stripe, 1 long service stripe and 2 overseas service stripes
Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, 4th January 1918 *(Slightly abridged) CHEVRONS FOR OVERSEAS SERVICE (see photo)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

Chevrons of two colours have been approved. The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red; if earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue; and all additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch in width, the arms 1/4 inch long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm: in the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch above the upper point of the flap on the cuff. In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches above the bottom edge of the sleeve. The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.

WW2 overseas service stripes, blue on light khaki twill.
This soldier is a Lance Corporal and wears the specialist badges of ??? This soldier is wearing an unidentified badge on his left breast
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From the top the badges are

  • AATTV badge
  • Para wings
  • WO2 rank badge


The brassard worn by Ray Simpson VC. on his 3rd tour in Viet Nam. 

A brassard is a dummy sleeve top that carries badges while in camp and can be slipped off when the NCO goes bush so as to reduce the likelihood of him being identified as a leader.

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Wound stripes WW2. 

Melbourne, Vic. 1944-03-13. Uniform showing the red and gold wound stripes worn on the left sleeve, the wearing of which was authorized by the Minister for the Army. 

The one red stripe denotes wounds received in previous wars, irrespective of the number. One gold stripe is worn for each occasion the wearer has been wounded in the Second World War. (See below)

  Wound stripe.

The "golden" wound stripe kit. The metal stripe went to the outside of the sleeve, the backing bar went inside and the spring pin held everything together.


WW2 mortar-man qualification badges. Issued in 3 classes, bronze, silver and gold. School Cadets badge for Under Officers, i.e. a Platoon Commander. It dates from c. 1960-1973
This Aussie is a member of 13th Light Horse Regiment.

He is  wearing the color patch of 2nd Division Mounted Troops (red and white diamond). 

He also wears the ANZAC "A" in brass (1917 issue not the earlier cloth type). 

The woven proficiency badge on his lower sleeve means he is either a saddler or harness maker. (see right)

Unofficial Rats of Tobruk Badge. Available ONLY to the men who served during the siege.

photo  Bill Zroback, Ontario Canada



A Service Police Badge on the lapel of a Women's  Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) jacket.

PNGVR badges for command of English ^^^
Metal Sniper sleeve badge. The large plate goes inside the sleeve leaving only the crown and crossed rifles outside.

Marksman, 1930-42

Adjutant & Quartermasters Branch armband WW1

WWI Australian officers tunic to the AFA with "Medically Unfit For Further Service " badge to left shoulder.

Refer Page 58, Australian Army badges : cloth insignia of the army in Australia, 1860-1993 / J.K. Cossum.  


WW2 Naval Telegraphists badge



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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces