RIFLES NZMR REINFORCEMENT BADGES
A detail of draft Reinforcement troopers display a plethora of unit badges from various squadrons as they wait in
camp before their departure from New Zealand to the front. A Reinforcements hat badge and slide rule sit side by
side on a battle map of Turkish Palestine.
"Low-tail" variation of the
Pegasus badge of the
The initial troops sent to war sailed from Wellington 16th October 1914, and were known as the "Main Body". Thereafter all subsequent details of troops were numbered as "Reinforcements" - and within weeks of the Main Body departure the first of the reinforcements followed. These numbered groups were identified by individually designed hat and collar badges.
Various numbers of men were detailed to each of these reinforcements, and towards the end of the war some of the reinforcements details were made up of relatively small numbers of men. Consequently these later reinforcements had fewer badges presented. To-day badges from these later details are much sought after as collectors pieces, and cause much interest when they are presented for auction or sale.
The 17th Reinforcements badge - shows a mounted rider enclosed inside a stirrup.
Visible on the right hand side of this 33rd Reinforcements Pegasus "High-tail" badge are the letters 'RD' (Registered Design), followed by the number 942. This number allowed the Army to recognise the manufacturer for quality control and reordering purposes.
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variations of reinforcement badges
Low Tail 47th Reinforcements badge.
The 40th, 41st, 42nd and 43rd were the last reinforcements to leave New Zealand during the Great War. Departing on the 11th October 1918 and arriving on the 22nd of November after the Armistice had been signed.
Roman numeral XIV signifying the Badge of the 14th Reinforcements
A 34th Reinforcement badge. This particular badge made in Sterling Silver and fitted with a brooch pin - known as a "Sweetheart Badge" - soldiers had these made as gifts for their girlfriends or wives. This badge was made from a 24th Reinforcement badge and a disc with the number '34' welded over the original 24 disc. Badge on display at the Lakes District Museum, Arrowtown.