Each record includes a transcript.
The amount of information listed varies, but the Silver War Badge roll records usually include the following information about your ancestor:
Unit from which discharged
Badge number (number of Silver War Badge)
Date of Enlistment
Date of discharge
Cause of discharge
Whether served overseas
Date of issue (the date the Silver War Badge was issued)
There are 882,667 records of Silver War Badges issued to men and women who were honourably discharged due to illness or injury during World War One.
The badge was first issued in 1916, and could be applied for by all of those discharged since the start of the war. Approximately half of the almost two million men and women who were eligible to wear the badge applied for it.
The small circular silver badge bears the initials of the King and a crown and is inscribed with the words ‘For King and Empire, Services Rendered’
The Silver War Badge was introduced in response to continuing actions of the white feather movement. The Order of the White Feather was founded in August 1914 by Admiral Charles Fitzgerald, with the support of well-known author Mrs Humphrey Ward. The idea was to shame men into enlisting in the British Army by getting women to hand men who weren’t wearing a uniform with a white feather – a traditional symbol of cowardice.
The movement was joined by many prominent suffragettes and feminists including mother and daughter Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. In addition to handing out the feathers, the Pankhursts also lobbied for an involuntary draft of men and compulsory national service for both sexes.
The campaign proved very effective and became more widespread but also became widely feared. Feathers were handed to serving soldiers in civilian clothes as well as those who had been invalided out of the army many of whom had been decorated for their service.
When the white feathers continued to be handed out, even after conscription was introduced in 1916, public opinion began to turn against the women who continued the campaign. Later that same year that the Home office introduced the Silver War badges. There was also a similar lapel badge for those working state industries to show that they too were serving the war effort.