KEH BADGES - OVERVIEW


There are three different patterns of the King Edward’s Horse headdress badge. The first and second patterns differ in the style of the crown on a large shield badge and the third pattern is a small circlet design referred to hereafter as the circlet pattern. These three patterns of headdress badges were all worn with pairs of matching collar badges as shown on this page (Figures 307-09) with the badges described and depicted on the following pages.

The first and second pattern King Edward's Horse headdress badges were in gilt for Officer's Full Dress, in bronze for Officer's Service Dress and gilding metal for Other Ranks. These are large badges which depict a shield of the Royal Standard to the centre of a wreath of oak and laurel that bears the names of the Commonwealth countries involved, surmounted by the Royal Crest. Beneath the Crown there is a scroll bearing the title and to the lower edge the motto and tablet "KODR" for the King’s Overseas Dominion Regiment (KK 1506).

The first pattern headdress badge shown being worn in Figure 307 is surmounted with a distinctive ‘spikey’ Saxon Crown not found on any other headdress badge worn by the British army. This badge was referred to as the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths pattern by collectors from the 1940s as the trial badge for this pattern was made by Goldsmiths & Silversmiths of London as noted in the collection of W. Y. Carman (labelled as badge 14 in Figure 171). This badge was worn with a matching pair of Saxon crown collar badges of the same design as the headdress badge.

Figure 307: The first pattern King Edward’s Horse Other Ranks headdress badge (KK 1506) in gilding metal worn by Private Jim Kerr, 379 circa 1914 (Peter Nemaric collection).

The crown on the second pattern headdress badge (Figure 308) is a regular Imperial crown synonymous with the period 1902-1952 and is generally referred to as the King's or Imperial crown. This headdress badge was most often worn with first pattern collar badges but I have a single collar badge in the second pattern with an Imperial crown.

Figure 308: Portrait photograph of Private John (Jack) Ryther Steer Bowker, 8 showing the second pattern King Edward’s Horse Other Ranks headdress badge (KK 1507) © Imperial War Museum (HU 118517).

The third pattern King Edward's Horse headdress (Figure 309) and collar badges were only worn by Officer's and was for wear on Service Dress. These headdress and collar badges were small circlet badges bearing the KEH cypher surrounded by the Regimental motto and were only produced in bronze for officer's Service Dress.

Figure 309: Major Humphrey Swann of King Edward’s Horse wearing an Officer’s circlet headdress badge (KK 1509) with a pair of second pattern collar badges in non-voided bronze ©Imperial War Museum (HU 118798). 

The first pattern headdress badges were worn from the re-naming of the Regiment to King Edward's Horse in 1910 until at least 1916. The second pattern headdress badge was worn from 1916 by Other Ranks and the circlet pattern by Officer's from 1916.