British Legion Women’s Section Badges

The Women’s Section of the British Legion had its own insignia, just like the regular male sections and issued badges to allow paid up members to be identified. During the interwar period it was typical to produce the male badges with half moon lapel fittings, however broach pin fittings were routinely fitted to badges for women. Women did not always wear a jacket, so the pin badge offered more flexibility and allowed them to be worn pinned to a dress, tie or hat as the wearer preferred. The design of the badge changed over time with the earliest pattern taking the form of a large badge as with that for the men, with a scroll attached above with the words ‘Women’s Section’:

This has the pin backing and is numbered to match the recipients membership number:

The later pattern, believed to date from the 1950s, is smaller and has the words ‘Women’s Section’ in bars either side of the central badge:

Again on the rear face is the pin fastening and the membership number:

In 1971 the British Legion’s Women’s Section received royal status like the main branch of the organisation and the title was updated accordingly and the badge modified to feature a crown above it. Before its amalgamation with the rest of the British Legion, the Women’s Section was largely independent and focussed on the welfare of servicemen’s wives and children. Interestingly it did not receive any funding from the annual sale of poppies, despite being heavily involved in their sale. Instead it had to source its own funding as an independent charity with events such as jumble sales, bingo and whist drives all being arranged at a local level to raise funds. By the early 2000s these funds were sent back to the central organisation and then redistributed across the country as required. 2016 saw the Women’s Section wound up and merged with the rest of the Legion, a decision which was far from universally popular at the time and led to a temporary dip in membership as many members resigned in protest. Five years on and the controversy has diminished and the combined organisation continues its sterling work.

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