Having accounted for one cap badge pattern, previously attributed to the battalion, as being an unofficial version of the badge, the next pattern of badge would, having studied the available evidence, now appear to best described as actually being a non-25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers version.
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With the number of patterns, and variants of those patterns, attributed to the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) it is difficult to know where to start in describing them but I will deal initially with those that I believe are either unofficial or non-25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers versions.
Having accounted for two patterns of cap badges as being unofficial or non-25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers versions, that leaves a single pattern of badge, albeit with a number of variants, that we have good evidence for as being worn by members of the battalion.
Kipling & King ref.1142
Originally considered to be the earliest style of cap badge worn by the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) this pattern was believed to have been made from Grenadier Guards cap badges with the scroll added in a local garage. The whereabouts of the badge’s manufacture is still open to conjecture but documentary evidence has surfaced which suggests that this version should now be considered to be a later, unofficial issue cap badge, obtainable from Gamages, a London department store and mail-order catalogue business based in Holborn.
The catalogue image shown on the left, although not identified with a definite date can, based on other items contained within, be dated as being no earlier than 1916 and may indeed be sometime after.
Pictorial evidence of this badge being worn by members of the battalion is scarce to say the least. However, a single photograph dating to 1918 is available which appears to show this style of badge being worn by a single member of the battalion. The photograph concerned is a group shot of the battalion’s sergeants on their return from East Africa and my presumption is that the sergeant in question required a replacement badge for the photograph and obtained an unofficial one, from Gamages, for that purpose.
Image courtesy of Stephen White
Image courtesy of David Langley
Image from Frontiersmen Journal 1918
At this time no evidence has been produced in any form to suggest that this style of badge was ever worn by members of the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, officers or other ranks, whilst serving with the battalion. However, pictorial evidence, dateable to 1934, is available which clearly shows this badge being worn by the members of the Imperial Overseas Command, a short-lived breakaway from the Legion of Frontiersmen. This breakaway organisation was in existence for a short period of time only, between 1927 and 1934, and it is to this organisation, not the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, that this pattern cap badge relates.
Kipling & King ref.1144
This pattern of cap badge has regularly been described as being a 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) officer’s cap badge although, in fairness to both Westlake and Kipling & King, neither referred to it as such.
Image courtesy of Stephen White
Image from newsreel “Driscoll Remembered” at http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=5155