Throughout the life of the York and Lancaster Regiment, a variety of metal badges and insignia were worn on various pieces of equipment. These include belt buckles (or waist belt clasps as they were known), pouch badges and Cross Belt or Shoulder Belt Plates.
Decorations for line battalions tended to be the regimental number, a device and battle honours so for the 65th of Foot, it was the number 65, the Royal Tiger and the battle honours India and Arabia.
For the 84th of Foot, it was the number 84, the Union Rose and the battle honours Peninsula, Nive and India.
Until 1883 when they began to wear the same devices as line battalions, volunteer battalions tended to have a device or title that reflected their locality e.g. Hallamshire, Rotherham etc
Waist belt clasps of the regiment tended to follow the same locket type design throughout. These are made up of a female piece (or circlet) with the words ‘York and Lancaster Regiment’ (or the relevant battalion) around its outside edge in to which fits a separate male piece which has on it the regimental number or the Tiger and Rose.
A variety of pouch badges were used by line battalions as well as volunteer battalions. One thing that often makes a pouch badge stand out from other badges is that the fixings are usually threaded bolts and were used because normal loops were not long enough to fit through the thick leather that pouches were made of.
Volunteer battalions tended to have the greatest variety of ornaments on their pouches and there appears no official sanction as to what could or couldn’t be worn. Most ornaments tended to follow the theme of the Union Rose whilst others were volunteer collar badges adapted to be worn on the leather pouch.
Shoulder Belt Plates (sometimes called Cross Belt Plates) evolved from the leather shoulder belts that swords and pouches were carried on. These eventually became a more decorative piece rather than a functional item but most carried a plate or decoration of some sort that identified the wearers regiment.
This section outlines just a few of these badges