Pinning Down History: New Zealand Wartime Badges

During the Second World War, New Zealand aircrew, often serving within the Royal Air Force (RAF), wore nationality badges to signify their origins. The photographs showcase several such badges produced by J.R. Gaunt and other UK makers. These badges served as a mark of identity for the New Zealanders in the RAF.

Among the collection is a unique souvenir card-mounted brooch, featuring sterling silver and inlaid mother-of-pearl. This brooch, designed in the style of earlier Gaunt badges, was a more commercial piece sold during the Commonwealth Flying Training Program, which took place in the relative safety of New Zealand. The training program was a significant effort to prepare aircrew while keeping them away from the direct dangers of the conflict in Europe.

These items are not just pieces of metal but carry stories of bravery and camaraderie, symbolizing the contributions of New Zealanders during a tumultuous period in history. Collectors and history enthusiasts alike can appreciate the craftsmanship and historical value these badges represent.