In this article we look at a selection of Commonwealth Shoulder Titles for sale
We have to start off by saying that this is a vast subject, so it is one we will be revisiting regularly. Most, if not all, of the Commonwealth units wore shoulder titles. During the First World War, standard practice was to wear titles manufactured from brass, but as such materials became more expensive and difficult to find, the natural development was to create the same titles in cloth.
In more modern times, after WW2, many countries adopted the Staybrite material and they stopped wearing cloth badges altogether. Over the years these regular changes in style have created a fascinating and almost never ending area of collecting for both the experienced collector and the beginner.
Below is a brief selection of badges on the market today.
First up is this rare pair of printed Malta WW2 shoulder titles.
These show signs of having been taken off a uniform and they would have originally been folded into a square and then sewn onto an epaulette. On the reverse you can see where the ink has slightly bled through the material, creating the ghost of an image in reverse.
As Malta is a small island, it is likely that not many of these shoulder titles exist today, which is inevitably reflected in their worth. They are for sale from World Military Collectables priced at £45 for the pair.
Royal West African Frontier Force slip on cloth shoulder title
During the Second World War the use of simply-made cloth shoulder titles became widespread. This example has the lettering RWAFF (Royal West African Frontier Force) machine-sewn onto the front. On the reverse there is a small strip of cloth which would be slid over the epaulette and then it would be buttoned down. The simplicity of this design not only saved on precious metals like brass, but it also allowed the wearer to change jackets or shirts with relative ease
This is one of the more unusual slip-on titles and it is for sale from The Khaki Colonel priced at £18.
Canadian Royal Winnipeg Rifles Cloth Shoulder Titles
Canadian forces during WW1 predominantly used brass shoulder titles. However, postwar and during WW2, like many of the other Commonwealth countries, they switched to cloth shoulder titles. The shoulder titles were used to indicate the unit the soldier was serving with. Often they carried the word ‘Canada’ underneath to indicate the country of origin.
This matching pair is for a member of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. Available from MilitaryTour in Canada priced at $59.
Matching South African Titles and Collar Badges
This pair of shoulder titles comes along with matching regimental bronze collar badges. Both sets were issued to a member of the South African Air Force and are complete with all rear fixing loops. They are for sale as a set from Battleflag Militaria in the UK. Priced at £55.
Gilt metal 4RSLR (4th Royal Republic of Sierra Leone Regiment) shoulder title
Another style of shoulder title is a gilt metal variation. This shoulder title for sale belonged to a member of the 4th Battalion, Republic of Sierra Leone Regiment. This type of shoulder title has a tendency to be in more modern in Staybrite metal and presents a good starter item for the less experienced collector.
The following example has the familiar rear fastening loops, but has a bright, modern gilt finish. These were created to stay clean and bright and unlike brass, it does not need to be cleaned all the time.
This one is for sale from The Militaria Shop priced at £9.99.
A pair of Canadian Winnipeg Light Infantry shoulder titles
Finally, a decorative matching pair of left and right-facing Winnipeg Light Infantry brass shoulder titles. Depicting a Canadian oak leaf and acorn design, along with the letters WLI.
This pair are from Relic Militaria and they are priced at £35.
Interested in seeing some more badges? CLICK HERE to see more.
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