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BUTTONS AND BADGES 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry 4 years 8 months ago #56164

  • chebba
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Would the 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry (sponsored by the Montgomeryshire IY) and the 89th Montgomeryshire IY have worn the same buttons and cap badges? Or would all of the different units which formed the Montgomeryshire IY company have worn the same design items? If so, how would each have been differentiated from the other? I'm looking to get some original buttons and badges, but there's no point in looking until I know if the items were unit specific in the Second Boer War.

From what I can see on the internet, it's confusing - as usual! My cousin has found some IY buttons, but I have also seen images of buttons which are clearly unit specific. I suspect that some would be Boer War and some would be either when the IY were reformed circa 1908, or even 14-18 era.... but for the life of me I wouldn't have a clue which was/is which! Help!

TIA

Jo

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BUTTONS AND BADGES 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry 4 years 8 months ago #56172

  • Frank Kelley
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Most members of the Imperial Yeomanry who made up the various special service companies that were raised for the Anglo Boer War simply wore generic IY buttons and badges, some had specific items made and wore them on campaign,, most however, did not.

The Home Service IY became part of the Territorial Force in 1908, generally speaking, their insignia and accoutrements were not worn in South Africa, notwithstanding, I would be a little surprised not to have encountered the odd gilding/white metal "dragon" had I actually been there, out on the veldt, all those years ago.

chebba wrote: Would the 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry (sponsored by the Montgomeryshire IY) and the 89th Montgomeryshire IY have worn the same buttons and cap badges? Or would all of the different units which formed the Montgomeryshire IY company have worn the same design items? If so, how would each have been differentiated from the other? I'm looking to get some original buttons and badges, but there's no point in looking until I know if the items were unit specific in the Second Boer War.


From what I can see on the internet, it's confusing - as usual! My cousin has found some IY buttons, but I have also seen images of buttons which are clearly unit specific. I suspect that some would be Boer War and some would be either when the IY were reformed circa 1908, or even 14-18 era.... but for the life of me I wouldn't have a clue which was/is which! Help!

TIA

Jo

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BUTTONS AND BADGES 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry 4 years 8 months ago #56175

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Thank you, Frank.

Re buttons, I think my best plan, therefore, will be to look for generic IY items and feel myself very lucky if I find any with the correct dragon on them - i.e., the one with all four feet on the ground. (Unless anyone wants to correct me on that, but I'm 99.9% certain, from copious research, that I'm right.)

Re badges, the cap and sweetheart badge appear to be the same throughout the Montgomeryshire IY. However, of the several which are around for purchase, I am concerned that I buy a period correct original and not one which is a re-strike being passed off as such. Apart from my own instinct, have you any advice on how to tell, please?

TIA again

Jo

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BUTTONS AND BADGES 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry 4 years 8 months ago #56205

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I think you are asking the wrong person really, but, for what it's worth, here are my thoughts;
Firstly, I think it is very important to understand that the IY Companies that actually fought in South Africa are a different entity to the Home Service IY force.
Generic IY buttons were just that, they did not have dragons on them, simply just the words Imperial Yeomanry or the letters IY and a crown above.
I suspect that they would have worn the letters IY along with their company numbers, so just with the numerals on tunic shoulder straps and possibly on their hats too, the latter, even on the rosette, but, I have never seen an example and I doubt if I ever will either.

With regard to the MIY cap badge, I am not really a collector of such things, although, like very many schoolboys, I was once.

The MIY cap badges, were die struck, in both gilding metal and white metal, were, certainly from memory, at least, only officially approved after the Anglo Boer War, but, I think that they were actually worn by the MIY from 1901 until 1908, I would have thought, those produced after 1903, would have had a slider, those made before would have had two copper loops.
After 1908 the Home Service IY became part of the Territorial Force and the title Imperial was no longer used.
I am not sure that you would find an erased version of the original MIY cap badge made using the original dies with the letter "I" simply removed, I do know that the Glamorgan Yeomanry did that, they simply filed off, the word "Imperial" these are both distinctive and have not been copied and would be a very safe buy.
There are lots of completely spurious examples and you should take great care before parting with any money.

I would think you would have to be thinking in terms of very little change indeed, from a hundred pounds, or so these days, I mentioned schoolboys before and the problem is, they have grown up.

The sweetheart broaches would actually be somewhat scarcer and be rather more valuable, in particular, those actually made in bullion rather than any base metal.

None of these would have been worn in South Africa though.

If it is the MIY you are interested in, I would get a copy of The Historical Records of the Yeomanry and Volunteers of Montgomeryshire 1803-1908 by Colonel Williams if I were you.



chebba wrote: Thank you, Frank.

Re buttons, I think my best plan, therefore, will be to look for generic IY items and feel myself very lucky if I find any with the correct dragon on them - i.e., the one with all four feet on the ground. (Unless anyone wants to correct me on that, but I'm 99.9% certain, from copious research, that I'm right.)

Re badges, the cap and sweetheart badge appear to be the same throughout the Montgomeryshire IY. However, of the several which are around for purchase, I am concerned that I buy a period correct original and not one which is a re-strike being passed off as such. Apart from my own instinct, have you any advice on how to tell, please?

TIA again

Jo

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BUTTONS AND BADGES 88th Welsh Imperial Yeomanry 4 years 8 months ago #56208

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Thank you, Frank, for your thoughtful reply. Most helpful.

Yes, I know that the IY companies for the Second Anglo Boer War were raised specifically and, indeed, why. I also know that, on return, most, if not all (my knowledge doesn't extend that far) were disbanded. Certainly, from the delving I've done - and, by the way, my brain is extremely 'hurty' as a result!! - the 88th Welsh and 89th Montgomeryshire's were disbanded in 1903 ants were, I have no doubt, the others which made up that company as a whole. Soooo, just to be sure I understand you correctly, are you saying that the buttons for which I should be looking will only have a central IY with the crown above? (Queen's crown, as 'my lot' went out in 1901, before the coronation.) If so, I'm still confused, because.....

.....currently, on KellyBadges, there are some IY buttons which are confusing me as regards your thoughts, Frank. Most are dated 1900-1908 and with one
exception are unit specific. Surely, if any of these are, say, 1900-1903, that would mean there were unit or company-specific buttons? That, of course, might not mean that the MIY would HAD to have had their own buttons, but I hope you can sympathise with my utter confusion! I am still waiting for a response from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers archivists, those who should have information on this. Unfortunately, having been given the email address by Wrexham archives (The 88th were raised in Wrexham) and advised a reply could take 2 months, my patience finally cracked and I decided this week to ask when to expect a reply.... only to receive a copy (not even an email to me!) showing my original missive now being forwarded to somebody else for action. Sigh. I suppose I'm going to have to wait another 2 months! I digress.

Re badges, thank you - the loop fittings sound like a good clue to dating. There is one like this on 'a well known auction site', with top and bottom loops and a pin, and the 'I' is looking slightly indistinct. It is very cheap in price and rather fresh looking, but what do I know? I have no issue with a much higher price if authenticity is guaranteed, authenticity being more important than clean and shiny. The same applies to the cost (Gulp!) of the book you recommend, a volume I have seen at Wrexham archives in fact. Christmas is coming - as I keep telling my husband!

Thank you again, Frank - very much appreciated.

Kind regards...

Jo

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