WW2 Hallamshire Battalion 49th Infantry Division


WW2 Hallamshire Battalion 49th Infantry Division

Throughout 1944, it became commonplace in the 49th Division for units to wear their divisional insignia as an all in one patch.

This consisted of the Regimental shoulder title and below it the Divisional badge, in this case a printed 2nd pattern Polar Bear with head up. The Polar Bear badge was first introduced while the Division was in Iceland in 1942 by General Curtis with the Polar Bear having a 'head down' aspect. When the GOC changed to General 'Bubbles' Barker in 1943 he ordered that a new badge be designed that showed a 'more aggressive stance' of the Polar Bear (which is described as the second pattern Polar Bear badge).

Below the Polar Bear is the Brigade seniority strip. On a Divisional badge, one strip represented the senior Brigade on the Division, 2 strips the second most senior and 3 strips the most junior. In this case, in order of precedence the Brigades in the 49th Division were 146 Brigade (of which the Hallamshires were part of), 147 Brigade and 70th Brigade.