3rd February 2018

The article transcribed below was from The Weekly Times on 16th March 1929, as part of a children’s section called the ‘Campfire Club’. It describes how fundraising buttons, uniform buttons and badges, and trench art were becoming items of interest to collectors, even then.
WAR RELICS
Badges and Buttons
‘Revival of interest in souvenirs of the Great War has led many persons, not all of them returned soldiers, to begin collecting war relics. I have received inquiries concerning the value of all manner of objects, from coins dug up in Palestine to regimental buttons. The true collector doesn’t bother about values; his interest is centred in the souvenirs themselves.
As regards medals, the collector is restricted, and rightly, in my opinion. It is against Defence regulations, I believe, for anyone to possess British naval or military medals, the winners of which are still living, without premission from the authorities. The collector may apply for a permit.
But I am not now dealing with medals, war relics are of so many kinds that the collector has a wide choice. Badges and buttons are popular. When I was serving with the A.I.F. I met many keen collectors. The usual method was to fasten the buttons and badges to your money belt, or a special belt of leather. Some of the belts I saw were covered in souvenirs. As much as £5 was paid in the field for a belt collection of regimental buttons.
Badges appeal to me more than the buttons; they are little works of art, in many cases. Look at the illustrations of two British regimental badges!
Some collectors mount their badges on a board covered in black or dark blue velvet — pin them to the material, which makes an effective background. Others keep the badges in small cardboard boxes lined with velvet or some other soft material.
It is very interesting to learn the meanings of regimental devices, and the Latin mottoes, as “semper fidelis” (always faithful), “celer et audax” (swift and bold), and “omnia audax” (to dare all).
Cartridges are included in collections of war souvenirs ; but they belong to the section weapons of war, regarding which I may give some notes later, if I find that Campfire
Club members are interested in the subject. I should like to hear from any of you who have collections of war relics. Give descriptions of any item o which a story is attached.
Button days are fairly numerous -hundreds have been held in Australia since the “war series” began, and collections of the buttons sold for war funds and charities have no lack of variety in their field. Buttons of this class, of course, are much less interesting, generally, than military buttons, though many  of them are attractive to the eye. Those of the war period are becoming
scarce, at least some of them are, but may have no special value.’
The writer may have been surprised at the value of fund-raising buttons now!

 

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