Unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services 

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All the badges of Australia, NZ & Canada

Click for details of the Rising Sun Badge

Click to go to New Zealand's badges

General Service Hat Badges of the AIF and the NZEF

Origins & details of these ANZAC "sweetheart" badges are unknown.



Click to go to the Canadian badges section.

Although Canada was never part of ANZAC there were many occasions, starting in the Boer War and including Gallipoli, when they fought with or alongside the Diggers. They have a very rich military badge history that I try to pay tribute to here. Hat Badges from Canada

  • Badges are a necessary part of the accoutrements for any large group of people who must be broken  up into smaller groups and sub-groups. This is particularly so in the armed services. 

  • There are hundreds of different badges, symbols, emblems, guidons, TAC signs and the like in the history of the Australian Armed Services and the NZ Forces.

  • To the left  is the index to the sub groupings in this category.

  • However, no self respecting history of the Australian Army could start anywhere other than with the Rising Sun, that world famous icon that along with the slouch hat says "Australia".

  • The history of the NZ Onward badge is on the first  page of the New Zealand badges section.

There have been four basic 'crown shapes' on British (and therefore Australian & New Zealand) military badges, though there are variations within each basic shape in the way they have been drawn.

The (Imperial) State Crown made for Queen Victoria (c.1837). This is a square crown. The top is almost flat, with just a suspicion of a dip in the centre. The State Crown was often drawn in a weak, ill-defined style and later illustrators, presumably imagining that it was a badly drawn St Edward's crown, redrew it accordingly.
State  Crown
(Q. Victoria's Crown)

The Tudor Crown (miscalled the King's Crown) has a rounded top. It was introduced by Edward VII in about 1902 and was in use until the accession of Elizabeth II in 1953 when it was replaced by St. Edwards crown.  There is no "Tudor Crown" in real life. It is only an approved design, possibly based on Queen Victoria's small diamond crown.  Image by T F Mills
Tudor Crown
(King's Crown) 

Imperial (State) Crown, 1937 The present crown is about the tenth manifestation since the Restoration. It was originally designed and made for Queen Victoria in 1838 and was used at the coronations of all monarchs since. It was remade with practically the same stones for George VI in 1937.  All monarchs wear the State Crown and the St Edward's Crown at different times.

Imperial Crown

(Imp C)

St Edward's Crown (miscalled the Queen's Crown). This is similar to the State Crown of Queen Victoria's time, but with a much more pronounced dip in the centre of the top. It is the crown used for all coronations from King Charles II onwards (including the coronation of Kings).  All monarchs wear the State Crown and the St Edward's Crown at different times. image by T F Mills
St Edward's  Crown
(Queen's Crown)

More details on Crowns & Cyphers as used on badges & medals

  • WW1 set as issued to all Australian troops.

    • Top. Hat badge

    • Centre. Collar badge (2 issued)

    • Bottom. Shoulder title (2 issued)

  • Badges manufactured from pressed copper, oxidized


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Many Diggers believed that the Colour Patch was the most important badge they wore. All the patches.

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  • An Australian penny, 

  • a pressed penny slouch hat brooch. c 1943-1945 Copper; gold plate and a 

  • Victory badge made from a  penny (reverse side) which has been cut down, drilled out, and filed-down, nickel plated. 

This brooch and Victory badge were made from an Australian penny, the pre 1966 equivalent of 1 cent. 

Australia used a variation of the British Imperial monetary system with a farthing as one quarter of a penny, a ha'penny as half a penny, 12 pennies to 1 shilling and 20 shillings to 1 pound with 22 shillings to a guinea. 

Copper coins were the farthing, half penny, penny, with three pence, six pence, 1 shilling, florin ( 2 shillings) being 'silver'. Notes were paper and worth 10 shillings, 1 pound, 5 pound and 10 pound. Servicemen were paid 6 shillings (6 bob) a day. That equates with 60 cents.

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Bronze medalet with small ring suspension. The obverse has the Rising Sun badge in relief surrounded by the words '2ND TRAINING BRIGADE A.I.F. FOVANT'. The reverse shows the words 'ANZAC DAY 1918' along the top and the makers details along the bottom. The middle has been engraved with 'DRILL 2ND PTE B.J. CONLIN (Conlon was correct spelling)


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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces