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Category: Badges

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  • Framed collection of specimen badges entitled 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA WAR SERVICE BADGES 1939-194 '. 

Each badge is pinned to the backing and surrounded by a black circle with the name below. 

This framed collection was put together during the Second World War by the Department of Defence. 

Each of these badges were issued for specific purposes and had particular criteria attached.

  •  The top row, from left to right shows the 
Mothers and Widows Badge, a round white metal badge bearing the image of a grieving woman with a laurel wreath and the words 'FOR AUSTRALIA'. 

A bar is attached to the bottom of the badge bearing brass stars to represent children killed; 

To be issued to the mother and/or widow of a member of the RAN, AIF (including AANS), or RAAF killed in action, or died of wounds or from other causes whilst on service or as a result of such service. Additional stars will be added in the case of the death of more than one child.
Returned From Active Service Badge which is a bronze badge of a combined anchor, rising sun and wings surmounted by a king's crown. Underneath is a boomerang with the words 'RETURNED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE'; 
To be issued to members of the Navy, AIF (including the AANS), RAAF, Voluntary Aid Detachments, approved representatives of philanthropic bodies, and Official Press Correspondents and Official Photographers, upon return from service abroad.

Female Relatives badge, a round white metal badge which is edged with laurel leaves and surmounted by a king's crown. In the centre is a map of Australia and the words, 'TO THE WOMEN OF AUSTRALIA'. Underneath is a bar bearing brass stars to represent each child on active service abroad. 
To be issued to the wife and/or mother or nearest female relative of members of the RAN, AIF (including members of the Australian Army Nursing Service), and the RAAF on active service abroad. Additional stars will be added to the badge for additional children on service.
  • The middle row contains two badges. The first is the 

General Service Badge, a bronze badge with a laurel wreath surmounted by a king's crown. In the centre is a shield bearing the letter 'V' and a scroll 'VOLUNTEER'. 
To be issued: -
a) To those who volunteer for service overseas but who are retained, permanently or temporarily, in Australia for Home Service.
b) Temporarily to those enrolled in the Naval Reserve Forces, but who are not at present mobilised, and to those who have volunteered and have been accepted for service in the AIF, and who are waiting to be called up.
c) To members of the Navy, AIF and RAAF who are discharged without becoming eligible for the Returned from Active Service Badge, except where the discharge is due to misconduct or because the member is in a reserved occupation.

RAAF Reservists Badge which depicts an eagle imposed on a circle bearing the words 'R.A.A.F. RESERVE'. The circle is surmounted by a king's crown. 
To be issued to applicants to the Royal Australian Air force who have been successful in passing all the required tests, but are not required for immediate enlistment.
  • The bottom row contains the 

Reserved Occupation Exemption badge, an octagonal badge surrounded by linked chains and surmounted by a king's crown. In the middle is the Australian coat of arms and the words 'RESERVED OCCUPATION'; 
To be issued to persons in reserved occupations who volunteer unconditionally to serve overseas with any service if called upon at any time during the war, and also to members of the Navy, AIF, and Air Force who are discharged because they are in reserved occupations. Applicants must be medically fit and within approved age limits for enlistment.

Merchant Navy badge, which is an oval badge edged with rope tied at the bottom in a reef knot and surmounted by a king's crown. In the middle are the letters 'MN' and underneath is a scroll with the word 'AUSTRALIA'. 
To be issued to all officers and men of the Mercantile Marine engaged in Australia for service in oversea, interstate or intrastate vessels (excluding River and Bay and Pilot vessels) and to the personnel of deep-sea fishing vessels of 25 tons gross tonnage and upwards.


Medically Unfit Exemption Badge, a rectangular badge surmounted by a king's crown with the letter 'V' and the word 'VOLUNTEERED'.
To be issued to volunteers for service overseas who are rejected on medical grounds, provided they are within the approved age limits and are not suffering from manifest disease or deformity.

 Volunteers must offer to serve in any of the defence forces before becoming eligible for this badge, which will be issued by the Army.


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