Badges of the Regular Infantry 1914-1918
...from Pen & Sword
Title: Badges of the Regular Infantry 1914-1918
Author: David Bilton
Publisher: Pen & Sword
A new book, the result of 30 years of dedicated research from the author. A 302-page harcover book packed to the brim with an unrivalled reference source.
Following the Introduction and Background, the rest is split into Divisional and Brigade signs, then 74 sections for each individual Regiment of the 12 Regular Army Divisions that served Britain during WW1. These regiments are listed in order of precedence, starting with the Guards and completed by the Rifle Brigade. Just looking down the list, such a mix of famous regimental names. The author explains how he gathered the information, where from, and how lucky he was to be able to speak with many veterans over the years, something that is no longer possible for WW1 of course. Such an incredible mixture of badges, some metal, some embroidered cloth and many others simply shapes of coloured cloth. It includes when and where they were worn, and there is some basic history of each regiment along with the detailed descriptions of the various badges. I must add of course that there are hundreds of colour illustrations of so many badges, along with plenty of archive images of troops in uniform. Amidst the notes at the end there is also a useful list of Regimental Museums and Associations.
Not just something to read, this I believe will be a go-to reference for those trying to identify badges on old family photographs, collectors identifying what they have or might want, re-enactors who want to get their uniforms just right, historians and of course modellers who want to paint figure for specific units. There will always be gaps in knowledge, for example by troops removing all badges or ID when taking part in a raid or otherwise not wishing to let the enemy know who was where. The sheer volume of work that has gone into this is obvious from the outset. It is a complex subject but this is really a first class reference, one that I think will soon become a standard reference for anyone interested in WW1.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.