Volunteer And Territorial Battalions-1897 to 1908


The cap badges worn by volunteer battalions followed the same design of Tiger and Rose badge as their regular counterparts although different combinations of metals were used to identify different  volunteer battalions.

Records in the regimental archive show that from the early 1870’s through to 1898, the company J & B Pease and Co appear to have been the exclusive supplier of badges, accoutrements and uniforms to the 2nd VB of the York and Lancaster Regiment. 

The 1901 Regulations for the Volunteer Force were clear that volunteer battalions should differentiate themselves from their regular counterparts by wearing the same pattern of cap badge but in different metals:

 “Honours worn in line battalions will not be worn by volunteers. With this exception badges of the design worn in the line battalions may be adopted by volunteer battalions. They will be entirely in silver, white metal or bronze, and the number of the battalion following “V.B.” or “Volr. Battn.” will be included in the designation.”

In line with these regulations, 1st Volunteer Battalion badges were made in reversed metals to that of regular battalions i.e. the Tiger, scroll and wreath in white metal with the Rose and Coronet in gilding metal. The 2nd Volunteer Battalion also wore a similar reversed metal badge but this time with the whole badge being in white metal with just a gilding metal centre to the Rose.  
 
The practice of volunteer battalions wearing their own distinctive badges ended when the two volunteer battalions became part of the newly formed Territorial Force on the 1st April 1908 when the 1st Volunteer (Hallamshire) Battalion became the 4th Battalion and the 2nd Volunteer Battalion became the 5th Battalion.  From this time onwards, the 4th and 5th Battalions ceased wearing their own distinguishing cap badges and wore the same standard Tiger and Rose cap badge as their regular counterparts.

Until 1915 when the Royal Army Clothing Department of the War Office took over the responsibility for providing cap badges and shoulder titles for the whole of the Territorial Force, previously, it was the responsibility of County Territorial Associations to provide and pay for such items.

Very few records survive regarding the supply of badges by the County Territorial Association and so it is difficult to provide exact dates when specific badges were produced or used. It is however, possible to estimate date ranges for when badges were in use based on when the Tiger and Rose pattern badge was first sealed (1897) and when volunteer battalions stopped using their own volunteer badges (on formation of the Territorial Force in 1908).