Up until 1938 Warrant Officers Class II in the British Army wore a large crown on their sleeve to indicate their rank. In 1938 a new rank of Warrant Officer III was created which took over the simple crown badge and the Warrant Officer II were given a new badge of a crown in a pair of laurel leaves which some appointments have retained to this day. The Warrant Officer III appointments were platoon sergeant major, troop sergeant major and section sergeant major and the rank was dropped in 1940 so was very short lived. After 1947 the use of a single crown returned to use by Warrant Officer IIs and today both insignia are used alongside one another.
Today we are looking at an embroidered Warrant Officer’s crown that dates from around World War II, although exactly dating these badges is difficult and as can be seen from above, even determining exactly which rank it represents causes difficulty. This rank badge is embroidered on a khaki patch for use of service rather than ceremonial dress, as always the quality of embroidery is excellent:
The drab colours of the embroidery helped to camouflage the wearer’s rank from the enemy in combat- senior NCOs were an obvious target for enemy snipers as by killing them, much unit cohesion could be lost without that leadership.
The rear of the badge has a cotton backing to protect the embroidery threads from damage and to make it easier to sew to the uniform:
This particular badge has never been sewn onto a uniform and is completely unissued.