Royal Army Chaplain Breast Badge
Rare Royal Army Chaplain Breast Badge | Silver (Marked .800 Silver) with Gold Embellished Enamel | The badge is silver with an enamel centerpiece of a maltese cross with the motto “In This Sign Conquer”
Rare Royal Army Chaplain Breast Badge | Silver (Marked .800 Silver) with Gold Embellished Enamel | The badge is silver with an enamel centerpiece of a maltese cross with the motto “In This Sign Conquer” | Size: 3.5″ | Provenance: Part of a prominent Lifelong Military Medal Collection; Acquired from private Chicago, IL family of the collector | Very Good Condition.
The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (RAChD) is an all-officer corps that provides ordained clergy to minister to the British Army. The Army Chaplains’ Department (AChD) was formed by Royal Warrant of 23 September 1796. Previously chaplains had been part of individual regiments, but not on the central establishment. Only Anglican chaplains were recruited until 1827, when Presbyterians were recognised. Roman Catholic chaplains were recruited from 1836, Methodist chaplains from 1881, and Jewish chaplains from 1892. During the First World War some 4,400 Army Chaplains were recruited and 179 lost their lives on active service. The Department received the “Royal” prefix in February 1919. During the Second World War another 96 British and 38 Commonwealth Army Chaplains lost their lives.
From 1946 until 1996, the RAChD’s Headquarters, Depot and Training Centre were at Bagshot Park in Surrey, now the home of The Earl and Countess of Wessex. In 1996, they moved to the joint service Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre at Amport House near Andover.
There are about 150 serving regular chaplains (commonly known as “padres”) in the British Army; these can belong to one of several Christian denominations, or to the Jewish faith, although currently all active chaplains are Christian. Uniquely within the British Army, the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department has different cap badges for its Christian and Jewish officers.
Army chaplains, although they are all commissioned officers of the British Army and wear uniform, do not have executive authority. They are unique within the British Army in that they do not carry arms. At services on formal occasions, chaplains wear their medals and decorations on their clerical robes (many chaplains have been decorated for bravery in action, including three Victoria Crosses: James Adams, Noel Mellish and William Addison).
The RAChD’s motto is “In this Sign Conquer” as seen in the sky before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Its regimental march, both quick and slow, is the Prince of Denmark’s March, erroneously known as the Trumpet Voluntary.
Chaplains are either classified as Jewish (currently only in the Territorial Army) or as a member of one of the following eight Christian denominational groups:
Anglican (Church of England, Church of Ireland, Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church)
Presbyterian (Church of Scotland and Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
Roman Catholic Church
United Board, incorporating the Baptist Church, United Reformed Church and Congregational Church
Elim Pentecostal Church
Assemblies of God
However, an Army chaplain is expected to minister to and provide pastoral care to any soldier who needs it, no matter their denomination or faith or lack of it.
Chaplains are the only British Army officers who do not carry standard officer ranks. They are officially designated Chaplain to the Forces (CF) (e.g. “The Reverend John Smith CF”). They do, however, have grades which equate to the standard ranks and wear the insignia of the equivalent rank. Chaplains are usually addressed as “Padre” /ˈpɑːdreɪ/, never by their nominal military rank.
Chaplain-General (CG) = Major-General
Deputy Chaplain-General (DCG) = Brigadier
Chaplain to the Forces 1st Class (CF1) = Colonel
Chaplain to the Forces 2nd Class (CF2) = Lieutenant-Colonel
Chaplain to the Forces 3rd Class (CF3) = Major
Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class (CF4) = Captain
The senior Church of England Chaplain is ranked within the church hierarchy as an Archdeacon – he or she holds the appointment of Archdeacon for the Army whether or not he or she is also the Chaplain-General. The Senior Roman Catholic Chaplain (usually a CF1) is sometimes ranked as a monsignor.
Artist / Maker
Royal Army Chaplain Department (UK)
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Royal Army Chaplain Breast Badge