BREAST POCKET BADGE
 BELGIAN ARMY
IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

 

 

The Belgian Army in the United Kingdom, the Royal Navy Belgian Section, the RAF Belgian Section,
they all wore British uniform with British rank insignia.

The only way of identifying someone as "a Belgian" was the "Belgium" arm title they were supposed to wear.

Therefore the Belgian Government in Exile decided that a badge was to be created which could be worn by everyone,
and which would clearly identify everyone as a "Belgian".

By Ministerial Decree n° 157/7238 of November 24 1942, a metal badge was created.

Military personnel of all ranks was authorised to wear the metal badge, as well on the Battle-Dress blouse as on the Service-Dress jacket.

The metal badge had to be worn on the right breast pocket.

Only those present in the Belgian Armed Forces in the United Kingdom before the Liberation of Belgium (September 1944)
obtained the permission, after the War, to wear the badge permanently.

 

 
London 1943.
Left : Air Commodore WOUTERS,
C.O. of the Belgian Aviation in the UK
Right: a sergeant wearing the Breast Pocket Badge.
  Preston, Engineer School, 1943.
Soldiers of the Engineer Company of the 1st Independant Group.
The men on the left are wearing the Breast Pocket Badge.
The 1st Independent Group was commanded by Colonel PIRON.

 

Due to a misapprehension the Belgian Military Command
took the English word "Army"  for the Armed Forces.

 The word "Leger" in Flemish (Dutch), and "Armée" in French ,
 is used as well for "Armed Forces"  as for "Land Army".

So the most logical translation for "Armée - Leger", for the Belgian Military Command,  was "Army".

Consequently the official badge of the whole of the Belgian Armed Forces in the United Kingdom
received the inscription "Belgian Army in the United Kingdom"
instead of "Belgian Forces in the United Kingdom".

The error was rectified after the War when the veterans association modified the name of their association
into "Veterans of the Belgian Forces in the United Kingdom 1940 - 1945".

 

BREAST POCKET BADGE

 

A Belgian heraldic lion facing to the left, surmounted by the Belgian King's crown,
and surrounded by a scroll wearing the inscription "Belgian Army in United Kingdom".

 

 
Breast Pocket Badge 1st production.
Front
  Breast Pocket Badge 1st production.
Back

 

 
Breast Pocket Badge later production.
Front
  Breast Pocket Badge later production.
Back

 

 
Breast Pocket Badge "GAUNT" production.
Front
  Breast Pocket Badge "GAUNT" production.
Back

 

 
Breast Pocket Badge
Test specimen production DE GREEF
Brussels, Belgium, 1944.
Front
  Breast Pocket Badge
Test specimen production DE GREEF
Brussels, Belgium, 1944.
Back

 

 
Breast Pocket Badge production DE GREEF,
Brussels, Belgium, 1944-19??.
Front
  Breast Pocket Badge production DE GREEF,
Brussels, Belgium, 1944-19??.
Back

This is the version that is still found.

 

 
Breast Pocket Badge production DE GREEF
Still produced for the Veterans Association.
Front
  Breast Pocket Badge production DE GREEF
Still produced for the Veterans Association.
Back

 

 

   
Different Lapel Badges worn on civilian clothing

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