First World War Mothers’ and Widows’ badge. C115454
The First World War Mothers’ and Widows’ Badge was issued to the mothers and/or widows of members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) or the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force who were killed in action, died of wounds or other causes while on active service, or after discharge died of wounds or sickness directly attributable to their service.
The black ribbon was machine-embroidered in gold with wattle sprigs, a Rising Sun badge, and the words "For Australia". The badges were suspended from a white metal bar which bore laurel leaves. Stars were added to the bottom bar, each indicating the death of one man. The badge was promulgated under Military Order 64 of 1919.
The Mothers’ and Widows’ Badge of the Second World War was issued to the mother and/or widow of a member of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), AIF (including the Australian Army Nursing Service), Citizens Military Forces, or Royal Australian Air Force who was killed in action, or died of wounds or other causes as a result of their service.
The Second World War badge was round and silver-coloured. The obverse shows a raised image of a woman and part of a laurel wreath with the words "For Australia" in raised letters. The reverse has a hinged securing pin and raised lettering which reads "Issued by the C'wlth Govt" along with the manufacturer's details. Suspended by two securing rings from the bottom of the badge is a flat rectangular bar were stars were added, as in the case of the First World War Mothers' and Widows' Badge. Authority for the issue of the badge in the Second World War was given under AIF Order 200, 14 February 1941.
Second World War Mothers’ and Widows’ badge C983097
Mothers and widows eligible to receive the badge had to apply for it through a post office, using a form which was witnessed by a postal employee. The forms were sent to the relevant service for verification before the badge could be issued. As mothers were often omitted as the listed next of kin they had to apply through this process and the difficulties caused by the application process may explain why not all women received a badge, or why some never bothered to apply.