Overseas Service Badge

During the Second World War those members of the Indian Army, Airforce, Navy who served outside India were entitled to a small bronze pin badge to indicate that they had served outside the country. These badges were circular in shape and featured a crossed pair of Indian tulwar swords, with a crown and a banner reading ‘overseas’:

The rear of the badge had a simple pin fastening, better suited to Indian clothing than a European style lapel badge fastening:

The badge was issued for service between September 1939 and September 1945.  The badges were produced by the Calcutta Mint and a 1944 copy of the Indian Listener newspaper reported:

The Calcutta mint has no refineries. Our principal side-line here is the manufacture of medals for the Government of India, for the army and for the public. This is quite a big undertaking. During the war, for instance, we designed a special bronze badge known as the Overseas Service Badge which is awarded to all Indian troops after their return from abroad. We have already produced nearly ¼ million of these and we have by no means finished yet.

It is not clear how many of these badges were actually produced and how many other factories were involved in its manufacture, although it is not a particularly common badge in the UK although it is easier to find in India.

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