Good afternoon gents,
Following on from this thread;
Any ideas on what P.R.I stands for?
where the discussion began to go off at a tangent to cover the badges sold in PRI shops I wondered if there might be any interest in the subject of private purchase badges?
Some collectors will not entertain these because they are not service issue but I think they are just as relevant as the issue items because so many soldiers (and officers for that matter) have worn them in preference to the issue items that they cannot be ignored.
They exist because;
a. Whilst officers do get an issue of official badges they are often obliged to purchase others privately (whether through grants or not) for use in service or best dress.
b. Other ranks buy them out of preference because they tend to be of much higher quality and therefore far "smarter".
The private purchase phenomenon is not as prevalent today as in recent years during "drawdown" strange as that may seem, the quality of the new badges currently issued has increased enormously by comparison. However, the issue does remain with officers badges.
The main differences are of course in the material and finish which effects the appearance and wear characteristics enormously.
Here is just one example to see if we have appetite for discussion here;
1. The standard issue anodised aluminium Royal Highland Fusiliers (RHF) glengarry badge as worn by Fusiliers and JNCO. A good example because this regiment never had a pre-staybrite badge being an amalgamation of The Royal Scots Fusiliers (RSF gives the grenade) and The Highland Light Infantry (HLI gives the mongram).
2. The private purchase electroplated brass and frosted nickel which may be worn (for may be read is!) by SNCO and officers in barrack and best dress. I personally knew of one CO of 1RHF who had a cap badge made from gold and silver by a jeweller but he was a Scottish laird.
This particular badge really shows the difference even in photgraphs hastily taken. I know which I would rather wear. Any thoughts?