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Sweetheart Brooches

  • History

Today for Armistice Day we wanted to share with you two special items for our personal collection, rather than our stock.

These are two Sweetheart brooches/badges from WW2, one for the Royal Navy and one for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). The Royal Navy one is made from brass and the RNVR one is in Sterling Silver.

Sweetheart Brooches were gifts given by servicemen and women to those they were leaving behind when they were deployed overseas – this included wives & girlfriends (hence the Sweetheart name), but also mothers, sisters, children or other family members. These were worn either as a brooch (such as our RNVR one) or a lapel/button pin (as with our RN one); and were seen as a mark of honor by their wearers.

They originated in the second Boer War where some soldiers and officers had copies of their regimental badges made for those they left behind, replacing the Mizpah brooches from earlier conflicts (more in a future post!).

These regimental brooches became massively popular early into the First World War as many soldiers were deployed to France, with early versions being made from regimental buttons or collar badges. Jewellers and the Army quickly joined in mass producing copies of the regimental symbols for sale to soldiers in their camps and many of the First World War examples are dated 1915 as a result.

These sweetheart brooches are not for sale, but pop along to a market to see what other Sweetheart brooches we have for sale.