Badge, lapel, service



ID: A small silver lapel pin badge. The words 'For King and Empire; Services Rendered' are embossed around the rim. The royal cypher, the letters 'GRI', is monogrammed in the centre. These stand for 'Georgius Rex Imperator', or 'George, King and Emperor' in Latin. There is a small crown motif on top of the lettering. This badge was issued during the First World War to service personnel who were discharged early through illness or injury. It is commonly referred to as the Silver War Badge. It has a pin on the back, so it could be worn as a brooch. Veterans would wear the badge to show that they had been wounded in active service. The most common reason someone would be awarded a Silver War Badge would be if they became permanently physically unfit for service. The badges were numbered on the back, to identify them to the person they were awarded to. This badge belonged to Private Alfred Arkle. Records tell us that he was discharged in September 1917, after being wounded in service. Over two million men returned from the First World War having become permanently disabled during their service. As they recovered and readjusted to life, many wore this badge in public as a symbol of their service. It also distinguished them from others back home who had conscientiously objected to serving in the military, who were often treated harshly by their peers.