Button Hole Badges

Cambridge District Scout Archive

In an era when men and boys wore jackets button hole badges were commonplace. They were designed to be inserted in the button hole, not pinned. My father was the proud owner of a full set of football positions issued by The Arsenal. Those above are held in the Cambridge Archive.

BP’s Scouting Games (1926 ed.) includes a game in which one party attach a piece of red cloth to their buttonhole badges or attached to their jackets. As so often with BP the gentle assumption is that Scouts should identify themselves when out of uniform with this marker.

1928 7th Cambridge Court of Honour ‘Speaking of button hole badges Barrett said that on account of the advent of certain badges of a bible class the scout button hole badges were not being worn by certain members of the troop’. The expectation was, clearly, that members of the Troop identified themselves with a button hole badge. There being only one button hole in a jacket lapel conflict occurred.

The poor snap below has a number of modern alternative fittings. These may have been adopted for a combination of reasons. Jackets with a solid button hole became a scarce item of daily wear.. The needs of women, who are rarely routine wearers of jackets, were considered. A greater number of garments for each required a ready way to transfer the badges.

The horizontal pin and back plate is on the back of most of the above. The less attractive sprung pin is perhaps an earlier form.

JWR Archivist Jan 2020