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This is My Collar Badge Collection

 

Air Corps

The Air Corps collar badge has remained the same  design since its introduction in 1924.  The first badge was a solid (non voided) type in silver for officers and brass for enlisted ranks.   The solid badge had a short life and was replaced by the voided version which was worn until 1942.  In that year officers changed to a cloth badge and enlisted ranks wore bronze.  The cloth badge only lasted two years and officers adopted the metal bronze. The next change came in 1958 when a bright brass was introduced. Then in the early 1970s the staybrite badges appeared.   Since 1994 the collar badge has been chrome.   This badge is worn in pairs facing outwards.

The cloth badge was worn by officers in the early 1940s but proved unpopular and was replaced by the bronze type.  In general the lacquered Bronze badges were officers pattern.

The bronze badge with clipped wings came about because the tip of the wing could nip the neck when worn with the button up collar tunic.  Clipping the wings was just something that was done by individuals and was not approved.  The  V neck tunic was introduced in the mid 1960s and so the practice of clipping stopped.

Artillery Corps

The Artillery Corps collar badge has remained the same  design since its introduction in 1924.  The first type is referred to as the "long scroll artillery badge".  As was the practice the badge was produced in two metals Silver for Officers and Brass for Enlisted ranks.  The long scroll was worn up to 1942 when it was replaced by the smaller badge.  As you can see the small badge has been  produced in a number of metals.  The cloth badge which would fall into the 1942 officers series was not worn.  The brass long scroll shown below has had the ends of the scroll clipped for some reason.

Cadets

This badge is worn by cadets in the Military College.  The badge was introduced in 1931 and the design has remained the same since then.  The original brass and bronze badges had no rim.   The 1950s version was slightly larger and with a more rounded edge. The badge is sometimes referred to as the Military College collar badges which is not correct.  Staff members wear their own Corps collar badges.  The inscription "Ga Gasced ar a ragam Indiu"  is translated to "What deed of valour shall I do today".

A 1942 cloth version of the badge exists but it is only the torch and not the remainder of the badge.

The badge is also incorporated onto the Cadets belt buckle

Cavalry Corps

The large badge (An Cor Marcaidhe) was introduced in 1934 and was worn until 1953.  The badge can be found in various metals.      The smaller badge with title "An Cor Marcra" was introduced in 1953 and can be found in brass, bronze, copper and staybrite.  By the way both inscriptions mean "The Cavalry Corps".

Note the inscription of the small officers silver badge as against the other small badges.  This silver badge was worn on the Officers Mess Dress uniform 1935 / 1955.  There is also a small silvered badge with the more modern inscription.

Chaplaincy Service

Chaplaincy Service

Engineer Corps

This badge was introduced in 1924 and has remained the same basic design since.  The early badge had the word "Innealtoiri" (Engineers) on the collar of the badge.  Officers wore silver and enlisted ranks wore brass up to 1942 when both ranks wore bronze.   In 1953 the wording changed to "An Cor Innealtoiri" and it can be found in brass, bronze and staybrite.  A 1942 series cloth officers badge was designed but not worn.

The badge comprises a theodolite and a Torc (Gaelic collar).

Infantry Corps

Infantry 1924 - 1931

These are the first series of collar badges worn by personnel of the Infantry Corps.  Officers wore silver and enlisted ranks wore brass.  All indications are that 27th was the highest number in both sets.  As you can see some of the brass badges have been painted to dull them.  "Ceitearnact" means  "Kern".   The Kern was a 16th century Irish light Infantry warrior.

 

Infantry1931 - 1942

The infantry collar badge changed in 1931 to crossed rifles and separate number in brass for enlisted ranks and in silver for officers.  The number was worn in two ways,  below the rifles by the six regular infantry battalions and to the side by the seven reserve battalions.   Two other examples are shown in the reserve series.  As a point of information the old brass crossed rifles for marksman in the British army have been mistaken for our collar badges but their rifles are at a greater angle.

Regular Battalions

Silver

Brass

 

Reserve Battalions

The infantry collar badge changed in 1931 to a brass and a silver crossed rifles and separate number.  The number was worn in two ways,  below the rifles by the six regular infantry battalions and to the side by the seven reserve battalions.   Two other examples exist and they are shown below 'City of Dublin Volunteers' and the 26th Inf Batt.   During the early emergency period when new battalions were being established they used available numbers to suit their needs e.g. 25th Battalion used the 2 and 5 because there was not a single piece number made up.  From photographic evidence more often than not the new battalions did not wear numbers.

26 Inf Bn

The 26 Infantry Battalion was established in 1939.  It is possible that the numeral was a battalion manufacture rather than an issue item.  As I have mentioned already none of the other battalions followed suit with a similar device.

 

Infantry 1942 - 1958

During the period 1942 - 1944 officers wore a cloth collar badge.  The third series was a bronze badge and was introduced in 1942, it was worn with an oval numeral from 1 - 27 below it.   From photos of the period it was more without the numbers that with.

 

Infantry 1958

The infantry collar badge changed in 1958 to crossed rifles and target.

For a period officers wore a brass badge that had been silvered.  The design changed again in 1969 and is still worn.

Medical Corps

Collar badges for personnel of the Medical Corps were introduced in 1924.  There was not just one badge but four.  Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses wore silver of a similar basic design enlisted ranks wore brass.  In the early 1940s a standard bronze design was introduced to replace the three silver. The Enlisted ranks badge was worn from 1924 until 1958.  Since 1958 all personnel wear the same design.

The four coloured backings for the Army Nursing Service were introduced in 1987.  They replaced an earlier colour code system.  In all my contacts with the Army Nursing Service I have not  seen these coloured backings worn.

Military Police Corps

This collar badge was introduced in 1924 and remained the same basic design since.  The earlier badge had the inscription "Diorma Poilini an Airm" (Military Police Service) whereas the 1953 version is inscribed "An Cor Poilina Airm" (Military Police Corps).

Observer Corps

The observer Corps was formed in the early 1960's.  The brass collar badges were only produced in singles and the staybrite in pairs.  The inscription "Ar Faire" means (On Watch).  The badge depicts a Crane holding a stone in its claw.  The purpose is that if it sleeps the stone will fall and waken it,  so it is always alert.

Ordnance Corps

The Ordnance Corps badge introduced in 1924 has remained the same basic design since..  The inscription on the scroll of the 1924 version is "Serbhis Ordanais an Airm" (Army Ordnance Service).  The next change was in 1935 with the introduction of the long badge which was worn until 1955.  The 1955 design was smaller and the inscription changed to "Cor Ordanais an Airm (Army Ordnance Corps).

Notice how the silvering is wearing off the long scroll badge with wear and age.

School Of Music

The initial issue of the badge had an Maid of Erin harp superimposed on in.  In 1925 the current pattern was introduced and has been in use since.  In 2003 the the bullion type badge was introduced for the new uniform.

Signals Corps

The first signals badge was worn during the period 1922/1924.  I remember being told that the Signals units  in Dublin and the Curragh wore the badge but differently one wore it on the breast pocket and the other on the sleeve.  The badge which measured 40mm contains the figure of Mercury (messenger of the Gods) and the inscription "Le Luar a Cornuigim" (With Speed I Defend). The badge exists in brass and bronze there may also be an officers embroidered version.  In 1924 the smaller badge was introduced and worn on the collar.  In 1965 the badge changed to the new design showing the Angel Gabriel (messenger of God).>

The miniature signals badge was introduced unofficially during the 1980s.  Only one batch was ever made and the badge has since faded away.  I did see a Signals officer wearing a set of miniatures on his service dress as recently as 2003.

Supply & Transport Corps

This badge was introduced in 1924.  The early pattern worn 1924 to 1931 had the inscription "Diorma Iochair an Airm" (Army Transport Service).  A smaller badge with inscription "Seirbir Solatair agus Iompair" (Army Supply and Transport Service) was introduced in 1931 and was worn up to 1958 when the name changed to "An Cor Solathair agus Iompair" (Supply and Transport Corps).   This badge is worn in pairs facing outwards.

The Military Judge

The Military Judge

Miscellaneous Collar Badges

Armoured Car Corps

The ACC was the forunner of the Cavalry Corps.  The badge which is a wheel with the inscription Cor na Gcarr N-Armta  is (The Armoured Car Corps) a nice simple badge.  It was worn from 1924 - 1934.

Construction Corps

This Corps was formed in October 1940 as a works unit and served until 1948.  During the period of the Emergency it reached a strength of 5 Battalions (see below).   The design of the badge is based on a legend from Irish Mythology (The Goban Saor) it is a circled wall with the logs making the roof.

The cloth badge shown above is recorded as the 1st Battalion  and a blue version may have worn by the 2nd Battalion.   I have included the above cloth badges in this section because to keep the Construction Corps items as one.

Recruiting started in Dublin in October 1940 with the HQ at Connolly Barracks in the Curragh.  Recruiting was extended to all towns of population of 1,500 or over in Apr 1941 and by July to all towns of over 1000.  Due to the influx of recruits the 1st Battalion (Curragh) was quickly up to strength and other Battalions were established as follows:  2nd Bn Athlone,  3rd Bn McKee Bks Dublin,  4th Battalion Cork and the 5th Battalion in the Curragh.  In 1944 the Corps was re-organised into two Depots and Ten Working Companies located in the Command areas.

Some of the works completed by the Corps are:

Road Construction,  Ranges,  Turf cutting,  Land Improvements,  Afforestation,  Archaeological and Aerodrome development.

For some strange reason personnel of the Construction Corps were not awarded the Emergency Service Medal.   By the way for those of you who do not know what I mean by "THE EMERGENCY", it was the period 1939 - 1946 (or the Second World War).

Department of Defence Administrative Company

This collar badge was introduced in 1924 and was worn until 1948. The badge was only worn by enlisted personnel.   The symbol is the same as is on the Defence Force Headquarters badge (formally Army Headquarters).

National Army Transport

Officer Training Corps

The Officer Training Corps (OTC) was established in 1929.   The OTC's were disbanded in 1935.  All the OTC collar badges  were brass.  In addition to the collar badges a number of titles also existed and these were worn on the epaulettes .  There is a grey area between the Pre 1922 OTC titles and the 1929 version.

There is some question about the badges for St. Patrick's Teacher Training College and the Veterinary College.  It has been suggested that the badges were not worn in brass and only the chrome version for the volunteers exist.

The title shown here for Dublin OTC is the one worn during the British period.  The one worn in 1929 was a the same but smaller.  It cannot be discounted that the badge shown was not used post 1929.

Staff Officers  1927 - 1939

Prior to 1927 Staff officers wore coloured underlays (Army, Rank Markings Officers 1924) under their rank insignia that identified them as staff officers.  The underlays were replaced in 1927 by enamelled collar badges that  indicated the  command level they served in.  Army Headquarters = RED and  Command Headquarters = BLUE .  Staff officers serving on a Brigade Staff wore the same diamond but in GREEN and with a number instead of the star.  Considering that there was a number of brigades  this badge has remained very elusive.

The back of the collar badge has a unique marking.

Volunteer Force

The Volunteer Force was formed in 1934 and as can be seen from the badges it replaced the Officer Training Corps (OTC) in colleges.  When the 1934 organisation took place "The Regiment Of Pearse" was one of the new units and it comprised the college units.  The Regt of Pearse wore maroon facings on their uniform and orange backings to the collar badges.  A chrome belt buckle was also worn (see belt buckle section).