Framed collection of Commonwealth of Australia War Service badges

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL32613
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Badge
Physical description White metal; Brass; Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1939-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Framed collection of specimen badges entitled 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA WAR SERVICE BADGES 1939-194 '. Each badge is pinned to the backing and surrounded by a black circle with the name below. The top row, from left to right shows the Mothers and Widows Badge, a round white metal badge bearing the image of a grieving woman with a laurel wreath and the words 'FOR AUSTRALIA'. A bar is attached to the bottom of the badge bearing three brass stars to represent three children killed; the Returned From Active Service Badge which is a bronze badge of a combined anchor, rising sun and wings surmounted by a king's crown. Underneath is a boomerang with the words 'RETURNED FROM ACTIVE SERVICE'; and the Female Relatives badge, a round white metal badge which is edged with laurel leaves and surmounted by a king's crown. In the centre is a map of Australia and the words, 'TO THE WOMEN OF AUSTRALIA'. Underneath is a bar bearing three brass stars to represent three children on active service abroad. The middle row contains two badges. The first is the General Service Badge, a bronze badge with a laurel wreath surmounted by a king's crown. In the centre is a shield bearing the letter 'V' and a scroll 'VOLUNTEER'. The second badge is the gilt RAAF Reservists Badge which depicts an eagle imposed on a circle bearing the words 'R.A.A.F. RESERVIST'. The circle is surmounted by a king's crown. The bottom row contains the Reserved Occupation Exemption badge, an octagonal badge surrounded by linked chains and surmounted by a king's crown. In the middle is the Australian coat of arms and the words 'RESERVED OCCUPATION'; the Merchant Navy badge, which is an oval badge edged with rope tied at the bottom in a reef knot and surmounted by a king's crown. In the middle are the letters 'MN' and underneath is a scroll with the word 'AUSTRALIA'. The last badge is the Medically Unfit Exemption Badge, a rectangular badge surmounted by a king's crown with the letter 'V' and the word 'VOLUNTEERED'.

History / Summary

This framed collection was put together during the Second World War by the Department of Defence. Each of these badges were issued for specific purposes and had particular criteria attached. These conditions have been typed up and glued to the back of the frame, and read as follows:

Returned from Active Service badge. To be issued to members of the Navy, AIF (including the AANS), RAAF, Voluntary Aid Detachments, approved representatives of philanthropic bodies, and Official Press Correspondents and Official Photographers, upon return from service abroad.
The General Service Badge To be issued: -
a) To those who volunteer for service overseas but who are retained, permanently or temporarily, in Australia for Home Service.
b) Temporarily to those enrolled in the Naval Reserve Forces, but who are not at present mobilised, and to those who have volunteered and have been accepted for service in the AIF, and who are waiting to be called up.
c) To members of the Navy, AIF and RAAF who are discharged without becoming eligible for the Returned from Active Service Badge, except where the discharge is due to misconduct or because the member is in a reserved occupation.
Exemption Badge (Medically Unfit) To be issued to volunteers for service overseas who are rejected on medical grounds, provided they are within the approved age limits and are not suffering from manifest disease or deformity. Volunteers must offer to serve in any of the defence forces before becoming eligible for this badge, which will be issued by the Army.
Exemption Badge (Reserved Occupation) To be issued to persons in reserved occupations who volunteer unconditionally to serve overseas with any service if called upon at any time during the war, and also to members of the Navy, AIF, and Air Force who are discharged because they are in reserved occupations. Applicants must be medically fit and within approved age limits for enlistment.
Merchant Navy Badge To be issued to all officers and men of the Mercantile Marine engaged in Australia for service in oversea, interstate or intrastate vessels (excluding River and Bay and Pilot vessels) and to the personnel of deep-sea fishing vessels of 25 tons gross tonnage and upwards.
Female Relatives Badge To be issued to the wife and/or mother or nearest female relative of members of the RAN, AIF (including members of the Australian Army Nursing Service), and the RAAF on active service abroad. Additional stars will be added to the badge for additional children on service.
Mothers and Widows Badge To be issued to the mother and/or widow of a member of the RAN, AIF (including AANS), or RAAF killed in action, or died of wounds or from other causes whilst on service or as a result of such service. Additional stars will be added in the case of the death of more that one child.
RAAF Reservists Badge To be issued to applicants to the Royal Australian Air force who have been successful in passing all the required tests, but are not required for immediate enlistment.