Sweetheart brooches

Although it was technically an offence to wear a military badge unless it had been issued to you officially, these poignant pieces of dress jewellery were tolerated for reasons of morale.

The practice of wearing a miniature badge of your loved one’s regiment began in the late 1880s and reached its peak during the Great War. Some regarded them as a symbol of good luck for the safe return of their sweetheart (or family member) while they were also no doubt worn with a degree of pride that your nearest and dearest was ‘doing their bit’ at the front. For some, they would be treasured for altogether sadder reasons as the war took its toll.

If there is a ‘holy grail’ of sweetheart brooches, then it is surely this LAMB (Light Armoured Motor Batteries) badge. Made lcally of silver, it was made for someone in the Machine Gun Corps serving in the Middle East.