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Royal Australian Navy - To Women of Australia - For Duty Done

Date: 1914-1918
Height: 42 mm, width: 28 mm
Medium: Metal; silver, enamel
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Marjorie Thomson
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00046509

User Terms

    This RAN female relative badge features a fouled anchor within a blue enamel circle. A crown sits atop the design with a scroll at the base. Text on the badge reads 'ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY/ TO WOMEN OF AUSTRALIA/ FOR DUTY DONE'. On the reverse is a pin for fastening the badge and the embossed text: 'STOKES &/ SONS/ MELBOURNE/ 18/ STC.SIL'.

    SignificanceFemale relative badges such as this were issued to close female family members of servicemen on overseas deployment during the two world wars. Such badges officially recognised the importance of moral support provided by families to servicemen in their duties and provided a link between those serving and those who waited at home.
    HistoryThis WWI era female relative badge is associated with the family of Joseph Kirkman. Kirkman served in HMA Ships SYDNEY and MELBOURNE shortly after the formation of the Royal Australian Navy and the badge was probably issued to his wife.

    Female relative badges were issued to the closest female relative of those on active service overseas during both World War I and World War II. These badges were instantly recognisable at the time, making the wearer identifiable as having a son or other relative away on active service.

    During WWI two separate types of female relative badges were distributed. The first type of badge was issued to the nearest female relative of soldiers, airmen, nurses and masseuses who had seen active service abroad. The second (exemplified by this particular object) was intended for the nearest female relative of members of the Royal Australian Navy who had served outside of Australian waters during the war. For both types of badges bars could be suspended underneath the main body of the badge to indicate additional male relatives in service.

    In WWII however only one type of female relative badge was issued that encompassed all arms of the defence forces. The WWII female relative badge was available to the nearest female relatives of members of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Imperial Force (including nurses) and the Royal Australian Air Force who were on active service abroad. Similar to the WWI examples, stars on a bar suspended beneath the badge indicated the number of relatives on active service.

    Barcodes inscribed on the reverse of female relative badges correspond to registers held by the Melbourne branch of the National Archives of Australia and can be used to identify the original owner.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Royal Australian Navy Female Relative Badge

    Primary title: Royal Australian Navy - To Women of Australia - For Duty Done

    Related People
    Manufacturer: Stokes & Son

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