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FID - an unusual badge 7 years 10 months ago #23128

  • mike rowan
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I was sorting through some old badges which I had been unable to identify and came across this badge which was simply a few initials. One has to concentrate to determine what the initials are and then juggle them to come up with a unit that the initials represent. After handling lots of badges and shoulder titles one recognises certain characteristics of manufacture. This badge had the Boer War, Natal manufactured look about it, so I examined it further. After a bit of head scratching I came up with FID. I spoke to fellow badge collector who confirmed that he had a similar badge( in brass) and that the lug type was similar. The lugs are crudely attached.
I can find no similar badge in any of the badge books, but as one gets deeper into collecting badges, you find that none of the books have all the badges ever manufactured.
Has anyone else got one of these ?
Regards
Mike
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FID - an unusual badge 7 years 10 months ago #23140

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Mike,
Yes, members of the FID in uniform normally wore the letters FID on the slouch hat and sometimes the block letters on the shoulder strap, members who were employed as guides and scouts often wore the word "Scout" or "Guide" on the slouch hat too.
This was the norm and there is nothing unusual in particular about the badge, notwithstanding, few have survived in the cypher form, which are certainly very attractive, moreover, they are far rarer than a mere QSA/KSA to this organisation.
Kind regards Frank

mike rowan wrote: I was sorting through some old badges which I had been unable to identify and came across this badge which was simply a few initials. One has to concentrate to determine what the initials are and then juggle them to come up with a unit that the initials represent. After handling lots of badges and shoulder titles one recognises certain characteristics of manufacture. This badge had the Boer War, Natal manufactured look about it, so I examined it further. After a bit of head scratching I came up with FID. I spoke to fellow badge collector who confirmed that he had a similar badge( in brass) and that the lug type was similar. The lugs are crudely attached.
I can find no similar badge in any of the badge books, but as one gets deeper into collecting badges, you find that none of the books have all the badges ever manufactured.
Has anyone else got one of these ?
Regards
Mike

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FID - an unusual badge 7 years 10 months ago #23146

  • mike rowan
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Hi Frank,
As you say, medals to the FID are not uncommon. This is the first FID badge that I have ever seen, whether in a book or 'in the flesh '. It all goes to support the idea that while medals tend to survive, the badges dont. Its all about the value people attribute to the relative object. I believe that most Rolls Royce motor cars ever built are still around. I doubt that any other manufacturers can say that of their product. So maybe medals are like Rolls Royces and badges are like Fords in the public perception.
I have never seen a Scout or an Agent badge. Do you have these ? If so , can you post a pic ?
Thanks
Mike

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FID - an unusual badge 7 years 10 months ago #23149

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Mike
Some years ago I noticed numbers of cast brass shoulder titles "F.I.D." and "I.D."(at least the vendors said they were shoulder titles) on a favourite on-line auction site. They were pretty expensive as far as shoulder titles went. I think I had a reasonable bid on one; missed by a fair margin. In the back of my mind I always wondered why anyone in the field would wear a badge announcing they were in the F.I.D. or the Intelligence Dept. A "desk wallah", OK - but not a field operative.
Thoughts, anyone?
IL.

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FID - an unusual badge 7 years 10 months ago #23151

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Ian,
Most members of the FID were certainly "in the field" other than those members attached to the staff, it was a huge organisation, they were for the most part really quite overt and in no way clandestine, they wore normal uniform, often with their badges of rank too, sadly, so many people just think they must have been like the SOE and SIS of the Second World War, but, nothing could be further from the truth.
Regards Frank

LinneyI wrote: Mike
Some years ago I noticed numbers of cast brass shoulder titles "F.I.D." and "I.D."(at least the vendors said they were shoulder titles) on a favourite on-line auction site. They were pretty expensive as far as shoulder titles went. I think I had a reasonable bid on one; missed by a fair margin. In the back of my mind I always wondered why anyone in the field would wear a badge announcing they were in the F.I.D. or the Intelligence Dept. A "desk wallah", OK - but not a field operative.
Thoughts, anyone?
IL.

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FID - an unusual badge 7 years 10 months ago #23152

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Mike,
Where did you get it and dare I even ask the awful question, yes, I do have some of their badges, I'll have a look as time permits over the weekend, the badges were always far rarer than the medals and it is really the same across the whole SAMIF too, but, they all tended to wear badges of some sort, including the likes of the Bushveldt Carbiners etc.
You have to bare in mind that just because people such as Colin Owen don't illustrate them, it certainly does not mean that they were not worn.
Regards Frank

mike rowan wrote: Hi Frank,
As you say, medals to the FID are not uncommon. This is the first FID badge that I have ever seen, whether in a book or 'in the flesh '. It all goes to support the idea that while medals tend to survive, the badges dont. Its all about the value people attribute to the relative object. I believe that most Rolls Royce motor cars ever built are still around. I doubt that any other manufacturers can say that of their product. So maybe medals are like Rolls Royces and badges are like Fords in the public perception.
I have never seen a Scout or an Agent badge. Do you have these ? If so , can you post a pic ?
Thanks
Mike

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