Topic: AIF - Badges
The Australian Light Horse
AIF Order 937
The "A" Anzac Badge
Light Horse Officer with Anzac "A" Badge and 1914 Leave Rosette
[From: Cossum, Australian Army Badges, p. 57.]
Routine Orders throughout the Light Horse Regiments in the field during January 1918 produced lists of men to be furnished to AIF Headquarters with the aim of gazetting of all those men who were qualified to wear the "A" Anzac Badge in the prescribed manner.
AIF Order 937, 6 November 1917.
The initial authority for this for the issue of the "A" Anzac Badge originated from AIF Order 937, issued on 6 November 1917. It reads:
AIF Order 937
937. Badges - Gallipoli Service.
The following Military Order, issued by the Department of Defence, Melbourne, is published for information:-"Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli will be entitled to wear over their Unit 'Colour Patches' on both sleeves of the Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter 'A' as an indication that the wearer had taken part in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula."
The provisions of the above will apply in all units to all members of the Australian Imperial Force who come within the scope of the Order.
OC Units will indent on ADOS Administrative Headquarters, AIF, 130 Horseferry Road, London, for necessary supplies.
(Authority: DAG, AIF, 15/86 of 29.10.17.)
It was seen that the description was too limiting as many men were exposed to similar dangers when assisting the troops at Anzac. Men who were involved in supply or medical work and other hazardous activities required to support the men at Gallipoli itself. In response AIF Order 1084, 25 January 1918 was issued to widen the scope of men entitled to wear the Anzac "A" Badge.
AIF Order 1084
1084. Badges - Gallipoli Service.
AIF Order 937, dated 6th Nov 1917, is amended by the addition of the following after the word "Gallipoli" (2nd line):"or the islands of Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos, or who served on the transports or hospital ships at or off Gallipoli or those islands or in AIF lines of communication units from Egypt."
(Authority: Defence Cable WV 430 of 9.1.18.)
At the same time, a certain amount of confusion as to whom would qualify arose. For example: If a person was a reinforcement and landed at Lemnos on 4 December 1915 but was not taken on strength till 28 December 1915, would he be entitled to wear the Anzac "A" badge? Or if an unattached soldier was by way of circumstances forced to remain at Gallipoli for a day until the night ferry was able to remove him, would he be entitled to wear the badge? These questions received clarification with the publication of AIF Order 1068, 18 January 1918.
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1068. War Medals, &c.
The following Army Order, dated 30.12.17, is published for information:-VIII - War Medals, &c. -
It has been decided that officers or soldiers no definitely appointed on the establishment of a unit serving overseas are not, by virtue of a visit to any theatre of operations for a temporary purpose, to become eligible for war medals or for the "crossed swords" entry in the Army List.
(Authority: DAG, AIF, 15/98 of 8.1.18.)
In essence, a person had to be on the nominal roll of a formation in service at Gallipoli or the surrounding islands, or involved in supply and communications work. While this broadened the scope of the badge, it also restricted its use to the nominal roll of the formation.
Medals and Badges awarded to the Light Horse
Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: AIF Orders regarding the Anzac "A" Badge