Brought to you by Steve Johnson Cyber Heritage: brings Plymouth and our nations heritage to your front room in a "content over style" web page.
Photos of the actual badges taken FROM THE MANY PLYMOUTH PUBS WHO HAVE A DISPLAY IN THEIR BARS - otherwise known as crests, these are beautifully made ICONS reflecting in imagery the name of the ship - made of plaster, resin, and sometimes cast metal, when painted they glow like a jewel!
a stirrup and a key representing HMS Bicester
These badges would be used to represent the ship in a variety of ways, often being especially important in the ceremonial view. Badges would be mounted on the ship's bridge, pinnaces, brow, as well as decor on crockery or bulkheads.
When in harbour their would be a sentry on guard duty and his post would be marked by a ceremonial lifebelt encircling a badge of the vessel.
Given as a "thank you" for hospitality to ship's company when away from home, these are now very collectible. Each vessel would carry a couple of rubber moulds to make the badges. However with budget cuts in the MOD, this practice is not so common as a gift. The days when a local pub would be given a beautiful badge for hosting a darts match or refreshments to the company's football team are fading fast. Very often a badge may be presented to a hospital ward or chidren's home to commemorate the link between the ship's company and the institution, often the ship's company "adopting" the ward and helping it in fundraising via sponsorship and keeping the ward informed of the ships movements in overseas deployments.
The designs are very often very old, basically starting off in a form we know today in 1919, and the badge on a ship today may be virtually identical to that on a vessel of many years ago. The design may only be changed by express permission of the Admiralty. The master design is known as a sealed pattern. The original badge, made to the exact specifications of this sealed pattern would be mad in wood in the Pattern Shop of a Royal Dockyard. The moulds for distribution to the ships etc being cast from this master. All very costly. The building to the right of this photograph is the Pattern Shop of Devonport Dockyard and this photo was taken about 20 years ago or so when the passenger carrying dockyard trains stopped, to be replaced by buses.
this page is dedicated to the memory of Peter, who knew ship's badges inside out
Lets look at some, but by no means all; all vessels are HMS unless otherwise stated. These are all quite small jpeg's. ..to see bigger ones and see the high quality in the workmanship, go to the bottom of the page.
R.F.A. BLUE ROVER
899 NAVAL AIR SQUADRON
R.F.A. FORT AUSTIN
R.F.A. FORT GRANGE
FLAG OFFICER SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN ISLAND
R.F.A. SIR BEDIVERE
R.F.A. SIR GALAHAD
R.F.A. SIR GERAINT
R.F.A. SIR LANCELOT
R.F.A. SIR TRISTRAM
Here are the high quality images - just look at the detail and workmanship:
R.F.A. ORANGE LEAF
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