Collecting Nursing History 67
Nurse Uniforms - Fixings and Fastenings Pt 2
Will Burgess
Early Nightingale School of Nursing Badge Please Note: Whilst every care is taken in checking promoted links, we cannot accept responsibility for your use of third party web links.



Nurse Uniforms
Fixings and Fastenings



Fixing and Fastenings

Well here we go again then, the second part of our article about ‘fixing and fastenings’ used on nursing and hospital badges; belts and buckles. But we need to start with a final safety pin fixing example which I missed last time!


Very, very nice. But the safety pin is the star of this Royal Victoria Hospital Folkstone badge, acting as it does as not only a safety pin. but also as a support for the badge support loop! Complicated perhaps but effective nevertheless.

Next - GNC badges.


Early GNC SRN Badge reverse side -1922 Early GNC RSCN Badge reverse side -1926 Early GNC RMN Badge reverse side -1922 Early GNC RFN/SRN  Badge reverse side -1927/1930 GNC RMND Badge reverse side -1944
   1922 - 1983 / 600,000+ (*) 1922 - 1983 / xxx (*) 1922 - 1967 / 21,505 1922 - 1983 / xxx (*) 1922 - 1983 / xxx (*)
(*)Final numbers not yet available - shown in red.

Unremarkable in essence. Apart from the early SRN and RFN badges which were fitted with a pin/catch of excellent design, although with a very sharp overhang, rather like the first edition London hospital badges, which could possibly inflict accidental stabbing! ( SRN badge above - LH image below).

The RSCN/RMN badges (above) had poor pins and absolutely awful hinges on the rear. They were often replaced by wearer's when they became useless, by using bent paper-clips. A shame on such well designed and cherished badges - as can be seen on the ever present face side - at least until the late 1960's. By the same token the shown RMND horseshoe-shaped lapel fiting, but that was intended to be worn in the lapel. The whole badge was then changed for a base metal chromium plated worse....  *All badges could be ordered from the GNC with any specified fitting - albeit only that available at the time year-wise.

Perhaps the whole question of fixing and fastening, however many variations on the theme were developed, was in essence resolved many years earlier, by the British Services including nursing services, with the provision of slip on arm bands (Brassards); hat bands; epaulette slide loops; and the simple cloth badge (and a sewing needle and thread)! Admittedly sounding more laborious and possibly expensive, but definitely effective. Add to that a well sewn on patch is unlikely to get lost! Likewise a belt buckle which fastens the belt is equally secure. Later methods of attachment include 'Velcro' and even iron-on adhesive patches...

The subject of belts is demonstrated best Here.

But don't get distracted before we finish our article here - there are more superb photographic examples herein. For example This Navy reserve Nursing service badge. Sew on backed wire bullion; very intricate; very desirable. From Sally Bosley's Badge shop. There are many Similar Naval items in silver bullion wire. The RAF is also well represented with bullion wire creations, as is  the army QARANC. Unfotunately I could not find a Royalt free image of the latter... Pity.



Well, safety pins; studs; cross bars; loops; magnets; cloth; brassards (arm and hat); Velcro; straight forward sew it on felt; iron on adhesive (heat); belt fastenings; and yes - the codged up bent paperclip have all graced our nurse uniforms at some time or another. Some have demonstrated that our nurses also belong in the armed services with those wonderful wire-bullion badges, produced with serious dedication for their intended uniform adornment. My one regret in writing this article is that I could not find a (free) British army QARANC badge... But I am  working on it and may well be able to add one shortly. Sign of the times.... Perhaps this photograph will help summarize things....

RAF Photo maybe, but BM Ducat-Amos was a nurse - Air Commandant B. M. Ducat-Amos, Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service.                   Cap badge; lanyard; Epaulettes; shoulder bars; lapel badges; medals; coat buttons; belt; the lot.... Well done marm, so very well done....

Appreciation & Acknowledgements

1. Peter Maleczek - for copyright permissions. 

2. Barry Sutton - SoN.


4. Sally Bosley.

5. Bill@SoN

6. Will Burgess@SoN

Wll B. Copyright Asserted.
May 2022.

Schools of Nursing.

Hospital Photograph Collections.

Nursing and Hospital badges.

Irish Nursing Badges.
Eric Wilkinson.


Nursing Organizations

Statutory Bodies.
Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Professional/Trade Unions.
Royal College of Nursing.

Badge Makers.
Thomas Fattorini.
Marple & Bradley
Brooke (Edinburg)
K&S (Edinburgh)
J.Gaunt (London)
(Stirling Scotland)
Bladon (London)
Toye&Co (London)

Collector links.

Nursing Badges.

Auction/sales sites.

Eg.Tip: Select 'search', 'View Forthcoming Auctions' select 'Search or Browse Lots to be Sold' and enter 'hospitals' in the description field.


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