Vintage WWII Era British ARP Lapel Badge 1st 1936 Sterling Silver Air Raid Precautions


Brand Etsy

This is a vintage British ARP lapel badge that was issued to citizens who volunteered for various Air Raid Precautions services. The badge was designed by sculptor Eric Gill and first issued in 1936. It appears that the British were already preparing for the eventuality of WWII. The first order was in August 1936 for 250,000 badges that were to be produced by the Royal Mint in sterling silver. Although the date letter of A, standing for the year 1936 appears on this pin, the pins were only available as of April, 1937. They continued to be made in sterling silver until 1940 when they began to be made in nickel silver (not silver at all) by commercial manufacturers, no longer by the Royal Mint. Production was ceased in 1943.
This badge is hallmarked with the Royal Mint mark RJ (for Sir Robert Arthur Johnson, Deputy Master and Comptroller of the Royal Mint from 1922 to 1938), the lion mark denoting sterling silver quality, the leopards head denoting the London assay office, and, as mentioned, the date letter of A for the year 1936. Although 250,000 of this first issue were made, Im sure that many were lost or melted - most of those offered appear to date to 1938.. The badge has the half-moon lapel fixing. The badge is in very good condition with nice patina - I have not cleaning or polished it.
Interesting WWII era British badge - nice addition to a collection!