WW1 Cardboard Badge West Riding Volunteers

WW1 Cardboard Badge June 1916 to July 1918.

This badge is made of cardboard and is meant to be a temporary measure to identify new members of the West Riding Volunteers who were undergoing training. The battalion number, along with the name of the recruit, was written in the spaces provided. 

The elastic bands allowed the badge to be worn on the arm of the recruit who presumably would not have been issued a uniform at this stage of their training. The rear of the badge states that the badge must be handed back to the Orderly Room once training was complete. 

It is assumed that due to the fact that cardboard was used which was not long lasting, very few of these badges would have survived and that this badge should be considered as being a rare survivor.

This badge was issued to Arthur Makin of A Coy 17th Battalion which became the 1st Battalion Sheffield Volunteer Defence Corps and eventually the 3rd Volunteer Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment.

The VTC in South Yorkshire (which relates directly to the York and Lancaster Regiment) went through several changes of names. 

In August 1914 in Sheffield, men who were over the age of 38, those who were not medically fit or too young to enter the armed forces were grouped into the Chief Constable’s Civilian Corps (CCCC). They were drilled and trained in military skills by Police instructors (who were ex army) during their 2 evenings of ‘drills’ each week.

The CCCC along with the ‘Old Boys Corps’ made up of members of the Boys Brigade and the  ‘Athletics’ Club Section’ made up of members of the city’s sports clubs, paraded together at Redmires Camp in Sheffield in October 1914. 

In just a few months, the group had become so large that it required reorganisation and in January 1915 the different groups were amalgamated into the Sheffield Volunteer Defence Corps (SVDC).

On 16th June 1916, the Rotherham Corps and the Sheffield Corps were brought together under the title of the Sheffield Group of the West Riding Volunteers (WRV) and were designated as follows:

  • 16th Battalion West Riding Volunteers (Rotherham)
  • 17th Battalion West Riding Volunteers (1st Battalion Sheffield Volunteer Defence Corps) (SVDC) 
  • 18th Battalion West Riding Volunteers (2nd Battalion Sheffield Volunteer Defence Corps) (SVDC) 
  • 19th Battalion West Riding Volunteers (Doncaster)
  • A final change took place on the 11th July 1918 when the WRV’s became volunteer battalions of the York and Lancaster (not to be confused with the pre 1908 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions). The battalions stayed with these designations until they were disbanded in 1919 and were as follows:
  • 2nd Volunteer Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment (Rotherham) which was the 16th WRV.  
  • 3rd Volunteer Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment (Sheffield) which was the 17th WRV
  • 4th Volunteer Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment (Sheffield) which was the 18th WRV.