Although Other Ranks wore ‘devices’ on their collar from the 1870’s, Officers wore their rank on the tunic collar until an Army Order of 1880 introduced the wearing of rank badges on shoulder cords. This then left the collar of tunics available for Officers to also wear a badge.
Other Ranks of the 65th of Foot are known to have worn the Long Bengal Tiger as a device on the collar of the tunic from 1878. The Tiger has the right front paw pointing upwards and a tail that curved over the back once with the tip pointing slightly upwards. The Tiger stood on a slightly curved field with tufts of grass and was made of brass with brass loops. This badge can easily be confused with a later version of the same pattern. It is the presence of brass loops that identify this pattern of collar badge as being pre 1881.
The 84th of Foot wore a Union Rose as a collar badge from 1873. This was a white metal 5 petal rose with a gilt inner rose.
After the merger of the 65th of Foot and the 84th of Foot in 1881 to form the York and Lancaster Regiment, a new collar badge for both Officers and Other Ranks was introduced and was pattern 9979/1882. This is referred to as the 1st pattern and was sealed in 1882.
The badge chosen was a Tiger as used by the 65th of Foot but this time it was a Royal Bengal Tiger. These were made of gilding metal with copper lugs.
It is worth noting that the Royal Bengal Tiger is similar to the Long Bengal Tiger with the main difference being that the Long Tiger has a shorter tail looped over the hind quarters only once whereas the Royal Tiger has a second loop in its tail.
A second pattern (1514/1888) was introduced in 1888 and was the same as the old 65th of Foot collar badge in that it was a Long Tiger with only one short tail loop. The difference was this time it was made in gilding metal with copper lugs.
This second pattern collar badge was also used as a cap badge between 1893 and 1897. The introduction of the Field Service Cap (FSC) in 1893 led to the requirement for a cap badge that was more appropriate to the new headdress. Until a new cap badge design was agreed in 1897, the York and Lancaster regiment, in line with other infantry regiments, used a left facing collar badge in the cap.
The third pattern (1514A/1896) collar badge was the ‘Tiger and Rose’ type and was sealed on the 28th July 1896. It is the Royal Tiger (two loops to the tail) but this time, the Tiger had a Union Rose on its back and its front paw pointed down. This too was used for a short time as a cap badge.
The fourth and final pattern (18498/1961) was sealed in 1961 and was the same as the third pattern but was made in Anodised Aluminium (Staybright).
Variations of all the above patterns in metals and finishes were used by Officers and Volunteer Battalions some of which are shown in the next section.