This is such a neat piece of history, British and WWI history. The 'silver' metal screwed onto this wood plaque is actually based on a Cap Badge from WWI. It is probably comprised of a white bi-metal, but it polishes like silver.
Shown on this plaque are the Prince of Wales Plumes Coronet and Motto ("Ich dien" meaning, "I serve"). Below the Sphinx is superscribed EGYPT and above the plumes a scroll inscribed SOUTH LANCASHIRE. Below the Sphinx is inscribed PRINCE OF WALES'S VOL. Branches of Laurel connect the ends of the scrolls.
BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers) was a regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1958. Their role in the army was in the Line Infantry. In 1938, it was renamed the South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Volunteers) and in 1958 was amalgamated with The East Lancashire Regiment to form The Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers).
The 1st Batallion was in Ranikhet, India, when the regiment was formed. It shipped to Aden in 1884 and to Britain in 1886 where it remained until the outbreak of the Second Boer War. After service in South Africa, it returned to India and garrison duty up to the outbreak of the First World War. The 2nd Battalion spent the years between 1881 and 1914 on garrison duty throughout the Empire, returning to England in 1903. The 3rd Battalion (previously the 4th Royal Lancashire Militia) was raised in 1899 for service in South Africa from 1900 to 1901, when it was disbanded.
(The battalion was the basic tactical unit of the infantry of the British army in the Great War of 1914-1918. At full establishment, it consisted of 1,007 men, 30 of whom were officers. It was had a Battalion Headquarters and four companies.
ABOUT THE OFFICER IMAGES IN THE GALLERY, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
1) A colour party of the 4th Battalion outside Warrington Town Hall, circa 1912. Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post.
2) Drum Major Sergeant D. Gaten (6'4" tall) & Drummer Boy Jones (3'8" tall), 2nd Battalion The South Lancashire Regiment, Kamptee, India, 1897.
3) Men from the 12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers in Castle Street, Shrewsbury, on their return from the Boer War in 1902.
4) General Henry Buller launched an offensive against the Boers in the early phases of the war (in South Africa) but after a series of defeats, culminating at Colenso, he was replaced by Earl Roberts.
5) Lord Kitchener was one of the most controversial British Generals in the war. Kitchener took over control of British forces from Lord Robers and was responsibile for expanding the British response to the Boers guerrilla tactics.
6) Lord Alfred Milner was the British High Commissioner of Southern Africa. He was partly responsibile for the start of the war and also had a role in the eventual peace process and the future creation of the Union of South Africa.
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