Insignia

Rank & Appointment Insignia

Chris Brooker's CEF Guide

Cap Badges

Crowns

Corps & Services 1939-1945

Mounted Units 1939-1945

Collar Badges

1920-1952

 Metal Shoulder Titles

 Slip-On Shoulder Titles 

Buttons 1939-1945

Formation Patches
C.E.F. Troops  
1st Canadian Army

Canadian Military HQ

1st Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps

Atlantic Command

Pacific Command

1st Canadian Division

2nd Canadian Division

3rd Canadian Division

4th Canadian Division

5th Canadian Division

6th Canadian Division

7th Canadian Division

8th Canadian Division

1st Armoured Brigade

2nd Armoured Brigade

3rd Armoured Brigade

Misc. & Foreign 1939-45  
Postwar .

Nationality

Miscellaneous Insignia

Active Service Badges

Good Conduct Chevrons

Instructors Badges

Tank Badges
Lanyards
NCO Corps Badges
Service Chevrons
Wound Stripes
National Insignia

Special Distinctions

 

Active Service Badges

The Canadian Government had begun the Second World War with a "limited liability" outlook, but events in the summer of 1940 changed that. Public opinion swayed the Cabinet War Committee to to put "every able-bodied man" into some phase of the war effort.1 The National Resources Mobilization Act became law on 21 June 1940, the same day that Hitler visited the Compiegne Forest to choreograph the surrender of France.2 Initially requiring men to submit only for 30 days of military training, in April 1941 these trained men had their service periods extended indefinitely.3 Until 1944, these conscripts were used only for service in Canada. A special insignia was created in order to distinguish soldiers that volunteered for "Active Service" (employment outside of Canada) as a small incentive.

General Service Badge

The "G.S. Badge" was a small black disc one-inch in diameter with the letters G.S. embroidered upon it. Beginning in 1942, the badge was worn on the left forearm of battledress blouses, Service Dress and Khaki Drill jackets. Once the soldier had qualified for the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal the badge was to be removed. The badges were also worn only in Canada. The badge was placed 5-1/2 inches from the bottom of the sleeve, or else directly above any rank, service chevrons or good conduct badges.4

 

Mars Badge

Trained soldiers in Canada were designated by a cloth badge depicting the zodiac sign of Mars, the Roman god of war. The badge was rendered in red thread on a circular khaki background matching the Battle Dress two inches in diameter, and was worn with the arrowhead facing the the 45 degree position on the right forearm, either 4-1/2 inches from the bottom of the sleeve, or immediately above any other insignia worn on the lower right sleeve. The badge was worn by private soldiers (only) once they had qualified by training for the second increase of pay.5

 

Notes

    1. Stacey, C.P. Arms, Men & Governments: The War Policies of Canada 1939-1945 (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1970), p.33

    2. Evans,  Martin Marix (2000). The Fall of France: Act of Daring. (Osprey Publishing, Botley, Oxford, UK, 2000), p.156

    3. Stacey, Ibid, p.33

    4. Canadian Army Routine Order 2671/1942

    5. War Dress Regulations for the Officers and Other Ranks of the Canadian Army (1943), XII/202


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