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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Kolar gold field Battalion from 1903 to 1947

A few scarce badges fall into this category. Although arguably these could be better classed as items of "militaria" they never the less have a strong mining connection. The bulk of this badge grouping comprises cap or "sweat heart" badges issued to/by men serving in the various Sappers & Miners or Tunneling companies of the Royal Engineers Corps. during the Great War of 1914-18. During the First World War miners from all over the United Kingdom were drafted into the Royal Engineers in huge numbers to form special "Tunneling" or "Mining" companies. These companies were involved in the comparatively little known but highly important work of under mining and then exploding huge charges below the enemy trenches. German miners were similarly employed on their own side of the trenches and there are many accounts of miners from both sides engaging in under ground hand to hand fighting on those occasions when their tunnels accidentally met.
The rare cap badge illustrated above is from a very obscure British Empire unit (The Kolar Gold Field Battalion - in service from 1903 to 1947) formed presumably from British expatriates and local miners who worked in the lucrative mines of the Kolar Gold Fields near Bangalore, Southern India.

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