The Badges of Kitchener's Army...
... from Pen and Sword
Title: The Badges of Kitchener's Army
Author: David Bilton
Publisher: Pen and Sword
This is one of those books which I can not only enjoy, but simply sit back in admiration for. This is one to keep among any reference collection for detail on British Army Uniforms, particularly in this case for WW1. Following an informative introduction we get the badges of 69 Regiments, with a brief history of each unit along with detail and illustrations of the many different badges and insignia used by each one. Apparently the core of the information was provided by a surprisingly forward thinking request during WW1 by the National War Museum (now the Imperial War Museum) asking for copies of their badges from each regiment which was in action on the Western Front. Despite the demands of the war itself, it seems many were very good at responding to the request. Added to this the information has been gathered from veterans as well as a number of Regimental Museums around the country.
The photos mostly come from the author himself, illustrations of items in his own collection as well as some friends and of course the museums who have enabled him to picture items in their collections. There are metal and cloth badges as well as the wide variety of locally produced insignia used for particular events. Some were commercially produced while others were just bits of cloth, close enough to the colour they needed, simply cut out from material by the troops themselves. There really is a staggering variety.
The author has spent over 30 years gathering all this detailed information. A hardback book with some 350 pages which is just a goldmine of information for collectors of military badges, for re-enactors, military figure modellers as well as for those researching information on old family photographs.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.