Description: Silver War Badge – A63231
Maker’s Name: N/A
Condition: Very Good
Comments: Silver War Badge – A63231. Complete with single pin. Believed to be for 24th Battalion AIF soldier Pte O’Keefe.
The Silver War Badge was issued in the United Kingdom to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness during World War I. The badge, sometimes known as the Discharge Badge, Wound Badge or Services Rendered Badge, was first issued in September 1916, along with an official certificate of entitlement.
The sterling silver lapel badge was intended to be worn in civilian clothes. It had been the practice of some women to present white feathers to apparently able-bodied young men who were not wearing the King’s uniform. The badge was to be worn on the right breast while in civilian dress, it was forbidden to wear on a military uniform.
The badge bears the royal cipher of GRI (for Georgius Rex Imperator; George, King and Emperor) and around the rim “For King and Empire; Services Rendered”. Each badge was uniquely numbered on the reverse. The War Office made it known that they would not replace Silver War Badges if they went missing, however if one was handed into a police station then it would be returned to the War Office. If the original recipient could be traced at his or her discharge address then the badge would be returned.
A very similar award, known as the King’s Badge, was issued in World War II. Although each was accompanied by a certificate, issues of this latter award were not numbered.
Approximately 1,150,000 badges were issued, which had to be claimed and then approved, generally covered by (xvi) above. The numbers on the back of the badge kept changing during the war.
Many Australians received this badge.