The Buffs Collar Dogs

You may remember that last year I picked up a 1912 pattern home service tunic (here). It had seen post war use and as well as replacing the buttons with brass General Service buttons, I have been keeping an eye out for a pair of collar dogs to finish it off. As the jacket has buff facing, it was the ‘Buffs’ or Royal East Kent Regiment collar dogs I needed. I was therefore very pleased to find a matching pair that had apparently been found in a Birmingham factory as unissued ‘new old stock’ after it had closed down.imageThe collar dogs are a mirror pair of pressed brass dragons, with the regimental name on a scroll beneath:The design of these badges is the same as the regiment’s cap badges, but with a dragon facing the left as well as the right so that when worn on the collar they face each other. The dragon is believed to have been adopted in commemoration of Elizabeth 1st who was supposed to have founded the regiment in 1572- the dragon was one of the supporters of her coat of arms. The use of the buff facings and the name ‘The Buffs’ were standardised by a Royal Warrant of 1751. The buff colour and dragon badge had been dropped in the 1881 army reforms, but the colour of the facings was restored to the regiment in 1887 after the standard white infantry facings had proved unpopular; the dragon badge was readopted in 1894. The back of the badges have two loops on each, which pass through the material to be secured by a split pin on the rear:imageThe badges were worn on the 1912 pattern uniform on the collar, a half inch from the edge:imageI am very pleased to have found this last piece of the puzzle and my uniform is now looking far more complete than when I first bought it.

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