First Pattern Regimental Headdress Badge - Genuine & Copy


The first pattern Regimental headdress badge is in the form of the complete arms of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (St Edward's Crown) above his motto Ich Dien (I serve), above a title scroll reading "The King’s Colonials" (KK 1370) in gilt for Officers and gilding metal for Other Ranks. This badge was only worn on the front crown of the first pattern Regimental felt hat from 1901-1904. An interesting observation about this badge is that it is adorned with St Edward's Crown and motto which is appropriate as the Prince of Wales was the Honorary Colonel of the King's Colonials, however, several badge reference sources incorrectly describe it as being the Queen Victoria Crown and hence the wrong period for a post-1901 badge.  

A genuine example of the first pattern Regimental headdress Officer's badge (KK 1370) is shown in Figure 175. It is a die-struck Officer’s headdress badge in gilt with east-west positioned copper loops.  The loops lack broad feet and have gold braze running down their stem and into their base. The badge retains its original rich gilt finish which is a glowing golden hue. It is beautifully made with a very crisp strike with sharp details to all the features with no blurring of the margins of the garter strap letters for example. This was the actual badge used by Arthur L. Kipling and Hugh L. King’s as KK 1370 in their book ‘Headdress Badges of the British Army. Volume I; up to the end of the Great War’ (Frederick Muller Ltd., London, 1978).

The first pattern Regimental Officer's headdress badge would be expected to be the least abundant of all of the King's Colonials headdress badges given the short date range it was worn together with the limited numbers of Regimental Staff Officers who would have worn it.

Figure 175: A genuine first pattern Regimental King’s Colonials Officer’s headdress badge in gilt (KK 1370) worn 1901-1904.  

A genuine example of the first pattern Regimental headdress Other Ranks badge (KK 1370) in gilding metal is shown in Figure 176. It is a die-struck Other Ranks headdress badge in gilding metal with copper loops positioned east-west again without broad feet and similarly with gold braze running down the stem and into the base of the loops. This badge is a very crisp strike with sharp details to all the features with no blurring of the garter strap letters.

Figure 176: A genuine first pattern Regimental King’s Colonials Other Ranks headdress badge in gilding metal (KK 1370) worn 1901-1904.  

Copies of the first pattern Regimental King’s Colonials Other Ranks headdress badge (KK 1370) can be found in either white or gilding metal. An example of a copy badge in gilding metal is shown in Figure 177. There are no genuine examples known in either silver of white metal. The majority of copies have footed loops and the Unicorn's tail is often non-voided. They are a poorer strike than genuine badges and lack the crisp detail of the chain and lettering on the title scroll and garter strap. There are clear differences in size and weight between genuine examples and copies of the first pattern Regimental King’s Colonial headdress badge.

Figure 177: A copy of the first pattern Regimental King’s Colonials Other Ranks headdress badge (KK 1370) in darkened gilding metal with footed loops and non-voided Unicorn's tail (KK 1370).