Home History A Look At The Legends Behind British Cap Badge Symbols

A Look At The Legends Behind British Cap Badge Symbols

by Enochadmin

The cap badge is a particular a part of British military headdress supposed to characterize the emblems of distinctive regiments. Regimental insignia derives from army traditions within the Center Ages, and thus cap badge designs are a kind of heraldry. Cap badges have been first worn in 1897 following a interval of adjustments in military headdress. Cap badges are sometimes manufactured from steel however throughout World Struggle II the British produced them from plastic because of steel shortages.

Every badge is extremely symbolic and displays the historical past and achievements of the regiment it represents. Extra than simply an figuring out mark, cap badges join troopers with feats from previous wars and the traditions of their regiments. Cap badges can embrace symbols or wording representing battle honors, historic or heraldic imagery, mottoes, symbols associated to the duties of explicit regiments, and mythological figures or beasts. They are often worn on berets and slouch hats in addition to peaked caps. The custom continues within the British Military right this moment.

Right here’s a better have a look at some well-known cap badge symbols and the fascinating legends behind them.

DEATH OR GLORY – Among the many most well-known British cap badges, the cranium and crossbones of the seventeenth/twenty first Lancers was impressed by the demise of Normal James Wolfe on the Battle of Quebec in 1759. Fatally wounded, Wolfe died victorious. The regimental motto “Demise Or Glory” continues in use right this moment.
A ROSE FOR SECRECY – Throughout World Struggle II, troopers of the Intelligence Corps could possibly be discovered at Bletchley Park and enterprise covert missions. Their cap badge encompasses a Tudor Rose symbolizing each British heritage and secrecy. The badge has been jokingly known as a “pansy resting on its laurels.”
IN AMERICA AND CHINA – The Royal Berkshire Regiment gained a Chinese language dragon as its image because of its actions in the course of the First Opium Struggle. This cover badge was regularly worn with a downward crimson triangle backing to characterize a daring assault in opposition to Individuals in the course of the Battle of Brandywine in 1777.
THE CAT AND CABBAGE – The Hampshire Regiment badge, dubbed “the cat and cabbage,” bears the image of the Royal Bengal Tiger because of actions in India and likewise options the Hampshire rose related to Henry V. Nicknamed the “Tigers,” the Hampshires have been the primary British troops ashore on D-Day.
WHERE THE FATES CALL – As with most fusilier regiments, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers cap badge is formed like a fiery grenade. The picture of England’s patron St. George slaying the dragon could derive from service underneath William of Orange. It features a Latin motto that means, “The place the fates name.”
BOBBY THE ANTELOPE – The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, first fashioned in 1674, was represented by an antelope. The image is alleged to have derived from a Moorish banner captured in the course of the Battle of Saragossa. Males of the regiment adopted dwell Indian blackbuck antelope mascots named Bobby for a few years.
THE IRON DUKE’S OWN – Probably the most well-known member of the Duke of Wellington’s West Using Regiment was the Iron Duke, who served in and commanded it. After his demise, the regiment took his identify and heraldic arms on the anniversary of Waterloo. The badge bears his motto, “fortune favors the courageous,” in Latin.
ANCIENT WELSH SYMBOL – This uncommon leek cap badge is that of the Welsh Guards. The leek is a nationwide Welsh image and was allegedly worn by Welsh troopers of their caps as a way of identification, together with by troopers serving the Black Prince within the Center Ages. This insignia continues in use right this moment.
MEMORIALIZING MINDEN – The sphinx of the Lancashire Fusiliers honors their struggle in opposition to the French in Egypt in 1801. A laurel wreath recollects their heroism on the 1759 Battle of Minden, the place regardless of heavy losses they disobeyed orders to face down and broke a cost by French cavalry. The badge is formed as a flaming grenade.
A LEGENDARY STAG – The badge of the Seaforth Highlanders derives from the legend of Clan Mackenzie’s founder who in 1266 saved King Alexander III of Scotland from a raging stag, allegedly by severing its head. The pinnacle, depicted with no neck, is proven above a Gaelic motto that means, “Assist the king.”
THE RED DEVILS’ WINGS – Troopers of the Parachute Regiment are recognized for his or her moniker “The Pink Devils” and their cap badge first issued in 1943. The straightforward design encompasses a winged parachute. British airborne troops earned renown throughout World Struggle II. Amongst their notable leaders was Normal Richard “Windy” Gale.
SHERWOOD FORESTERS – The badge of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment) shows a stag and oak leaves regarding Nottingham and the forest recognized for its affiliation with Robin Hood. Troopers of the regiment famously created “The Wipers Instances” trench newspaper throughout World Struggle I.
OLDEST TANK REGIMENT – The Royal Tank Regiment is the oldest tank regiment in world historical past. Its badge encompasses a World Struggle I tank and the motto, “Worry naught,” with laurel leaves and an imperial king’s crown. This badge was famously worn by Bernard Montgomery throughout World Struggle II on his black tanker’s beret.
DESERT EXPLORERS – The Lengthy Vary Desert Group (LRDG) fashioned in 1940 and have become well-known for deep-desert exploration and aiding commando raiders in opposition to the Germans in North Africa. The badge is alleged to have been designed by early recruit Gunner Grimsey primarily based on a scorpion that stung him.
THE HOLY BOYS – Britannia, a helmeted girl with a trident, first appeared on Roman cash representing the British Isles. As an emblem of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, she was as soon as allegedly mistaken by Spanish troops for the Virgin Mary, incomes the boys the nickname of “the Holy Boys.”
THE MYSTERIOUS DRAGON – The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) originated in 1572, used the image of a dragon since 1751 and wore it as their cap badge from 1896. Legends of the dragon’s origins differ however it’s mentioned to derive from the heraldic arms of Elizabeth I.
A MYTHICAL HEALER- The Royal Military Veterinary Corps fashioned in 1903 and continues to be accountable for care of army animals, performing with distinction in World Struggle I. Reflecting its responsibility to heal, it adopted the image of the centaur Chiron of Greek mythology, recognized for his mastery of drugs.
CASTLE OF GIBRALTAR – The Dorsetshire Regiment’s badge shows Gibraltar’s fortress for service in the course of the 1779-83 siege, an Egyptian sphinx for the seize of Fort Marabout from the French, and the Latin phrase for “first in India.” The regiment famously fought for Robert Clive on the Battle of Plassey in India.

this text first appeared in army historical past quarterly

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