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British Army Cap Badges of the First World War

British Army Cap Badges of the First World War

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The fascination with the British involvement in the First World War extends to all aspects of the conflict. The battles and their outcomes; the armies and their leaders; the conditions of trench warfare; and the controversies form part of the growing literature examining every aspect of a war that was to cast a shadow over the rest of the twentieth century, the effects of which are still being felt today. For the British army, the cap badge is the most easily identifiable form of insignia. It represents a distillation of the pride of the regiment, its various battle honors and symbols borne proudly on the metallic emblem that was worn on all headdress, even within the trenches. Identification of the cap badge on old photographs is a first, important step in unraveling the military service of an individual. Cap badges have been collected avidly since they were first thought of in the nineteenth century. Cap-badge collecting is as popular now as it has ever been; yet with a growing number of fakes and forgeries, there is a need for a book that illustrates clearly the main types, and allows the collector and family historian alike to understand their meaning. Surprisingly, there are no real comprehensive web-based resources; and the available books (many of which are out of print), are often dull, arcane and poorly illustrated with grey, muddy images of otherwise spectacular badges. This book illustrates, for the first time in full color and high quality, images of the main types of badges used by the British Army in World War I. In addition, contemporary illustrations of the soldiers themselves wearing the badges, and the wider importance of their symbolism, is also included. Employing the skills of an established writer (and collector) and artist, it provides a unique reference guide for all people interested in the World War I.

Art, Fashion & PhotographyAntiques & collectablesMilitaria, arms & armour, weapons Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd Publication Date: 14/06/2010 ISBN-13: 9780747807971  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Peter Doyle is a scientist, military historian, and author. His previous books include: "Beneath Flanders Fields" and "Grasping Gallipoli" (both Spellmount); "The Home Front 1939-45; Tommy's War, 1914-1918, " and "The British Soldier in Europe, 1939-1945" (Crowood); "The British Soldier of the First World War, Prisoner of War in Germany, The British Soldier of the Second World War," and" ARP and Civil Defence in the Second World War" (all Shire).

More books by Peter Doyle

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Staff Choice

This is one of the best books on cap badges that I have seen for a long time. The book is superbly illustrated throughout, with images not only of the badges themselves, but also of soldiers wearing them. As the authors themselves state, it is impossible to cover all the badges used in WWI, but they have done a good job of covering the main ones worn.

There are eight chapters, five of which cover the badges themselves, and they are split into cavalry, yeomanry, infantry, territorial, and service battalions, and arms and services. Each photographed badge comes with useful and informative text on the design of the badge. The first three chapters cover the British soldier and the various badges worn; formation signs, shoulder titles, collar badge, etc.

This history of badges worn by the British Army, and the construction of the badges themselves, will be of interest to both seasoned collectors and beginners. As this book deals only with other ranks' cap-badges, a similar version on the officers’ and warrant officers’ cap-badges would be welcome. Highly recommended.

Reprinted with permission by

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 22/02/2011


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Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Second Class Available free for orders over £10* or £2.50 Available free for orders over £10* or £1.00 3-7 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
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USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

* Available free for orders over £10

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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