Cap Badge/Motto

Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps

As stated in paragraph 6 above the first official badge of the Heavy Branch was the standard Machine Gun corps cap badge. It was not universally worn and even as late as 1923 after the adoption of the Tank Corps badges some officers retained the badges of their original Regiments or Corps. The MGC badges were bronze and brass for officers and men respectively.

The Tanks Corps

This title became effective on 28 July 1917 but a new badge was not approved by the Sovereign until 11 September 1917. Actual issues were not made to other ranks until January 1918. Some badges were on sale at military outfitters earlier as letters of complaint in the War Office file (WO 32/3493 - held in the PRO) show. The request for a motto with the badge was refused on the grounds that such distinctions were only awarded to long established Corps for particularly meritorious service. After the War in 1922 Brigadier Elles, the Colonel Commandant, managed to get a new badge approved together with a motto "Fear Naught". Other suggested mottoes had been discarded - "dreadnought" and "Push on". The new badge and the motto were published in the December 1922 Army List but the Army Order authorising their actual wear was not issued until May 1923 (177/23). The badges were in the same metals as the MGC badges.

The Royal Tanks Corps

The wearing of the new badge by officers was almost coincident with the granting of the "Royal" pre-fix. There appear to have been no issues for other ranks until 1924. The first badges were worn in the peaked khaki service dress hat. They were made in bronze for the officers and gilding metal (brass) for the men. The tank faced in the same direction as on the Tank Corps badge. In late 1924 officers started to wear the beret (when not on parade with troops) and to their general horror it was found that the tank, now in silver, appeared to be retreating over the left ear. As officers bought their own badges the matter was soon put right for them by reversing the direction of the tank. It took a great deal of argument by the Colonel Commandant to get the other ranks badge changed by the time of the general introduction of the beret in May 1925. The men's badge was now white metal but the Band continued to wear the brass badge (with the tank retreating) and brass collar badges until after World War 2. With the introduction of a full dress for officers in the late 1920's came special cap and collar badges with the tank in silver and the rest of the badge in gilt. The collar badges were also worn in mess dress. A hackle of horsehair in the Regimental Colours, green to the right, was worn behind the cap badge in full dress by both officers and the Band.

The Royal Tank Regiment

As the title was not a feature of the badge the only change necessary in 1939 on its change from "Corps" to "Regiment" was the changing of the monogram on the buttons from "RTC" to "RTR". The badge remained unchanged throughout, and after, the Second World War until the adoption of the St Edward Crown on all appointments after the accession of Queen Elizabeth. A new style pattern was sealed on 31 January 1953. However, the new style badge was not generally available for officers until 1956. As usual the men had to wait even longer as Ordnance wanted the large stock of the old design used up before purchasing more, and it was not until early 1960 that issues were made to them. Two years later the first anodised badges were issued. At the same time a dress beret with an embroidered badge was taken into use by the officers. The Band had continued to wear the horsehair hackle until about 1954 when they changed to a feather one which the officers adopted the same year when wearing No 1 Dress. With the introduction of a dress beret for other ranks they too were given a hackle. The only other variation of the badge is that in Ulster they are painted black to reduce the reflection from them at night when on street patrol.

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