Canadian Sweetheart Badge

Over the years I have covered quite a number of different sweetheart badges, the little tokens worn by a soldier or sailor’s loved ones to show they had someone in the forces. These badges were not just limited to British troops and their families, examples can be found for the nations of the Empire and today we have a lovely example that probably dates from World War One for Canada:

The badge is made of a base metal, coloured to look like gold. The design itself has several elements. The horseshoe is a traditional symbol for good luck. Over this is placed a maple leaf. The maple leaf had been used as a national symbol for Canada since at least 1868 and in World War One the Canadian Expeditionary Force adopted a badge consisting of the maple leaf with a Crown superimposed over it and the country’s name in a scroll beneath, almost identical to the design of this badge. This then suggests it was produced for sale to members of the CEF and their families.

The badge was clearly intended to be worn by a woman as it has a pin back rather than a half moon lapel setting:

This badge was a lucky find for £1 in a pile of costume jewellery and other bits of tat, and its in remarkably good condition for a century old.

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