The officials who ran the National Savings Scheme at a local level during the Second World War, like many other branches of civil society, wore distinctive badges to identify their role. These badges were originally square and featured a swastika on them, a traditional good luck symbol from the Indian sub-continent. Of course this symbol became co-opted by the Nazi party and a new badge was quickly rushed into service that better suited the times. The new badge was to feature St George slaying a dragon and the new design first began to be used from 22nd November 1939 onwards. The design was used on paperwork, savings books and of course badges:
This badge is enameled in red, with a blue image of St George in the centre and the Royal Coat of Arms at the top. The tag line is ‘Lend to Defend’. The rear of the badge has a broach fastening and is marked with the manufacturer’s name, Tove & Co of London:
The National Savings Movement fulfilled two purposes, firstly it helped the war effort by raising money from the populace to pay for armaments to continue the fight. Secondly it helped suppress the danger of workers with enlarged wartime pay packets going on a consumer goods spending spree and driving prices and inflation upwards.
This badge dates from early in the war as in March 1940 the King gave permission to use the crown in the badge and from April 1942 the badge was replaced with a plastic version to save resources.