In an era when all men wore lounge suits in civilian life, lapel badges were common ways of identifying one’s affiliations- military, political or social. The collecting of Home Front lapel badges is an area of militaria that is growing rapidly. Often made of bright enamel and looking as good as the day they were made, lapel badges do not take up much room and are a fascinating niche area. Sadly I have very few of these, but tonight we are looking at one example from my collection. The ‘HG’ or Home Guard lapel badge is a very common badge and consists of a blue oval with gold ‘HG’ letters, all surmounted by a King’s crown:The rear of the badge has a standard ‘half moon’ fitting to allow it to be passed through a button hole on a lapel:These badges seem to have been entirely unofficial, but the large numbers available suggests they were produced in quantity and I would imagine they would have been purchased by local Home Guard units for distribution to their men. The badges served a number of functions; they helped to identify members to one another out of uniform, helped foster a sense of camaraderie and showed others that they were not shirking their obligations in wartime.
The prices for wartime lapel badges vary greatly, badges like this one which are very common fetch a couple of pounds whilst rarer locally produced badges for a factory fireguard or a local initiative can fetch far more.