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WW2 British Beja Battle badge.
Original unofficial WW2 British Beja Battle badge, stamped out in white metal in the shape of a shield with a raised edge. The centre is covered with a dark red felt and mounted on it in white metal is a Tiger tank pierced by Crusader's sword (the sign of the First Army) and small plate bearing the single word 'BEJA'. The badge measures 2 inches by 2 inches and has a pin brooch fastening on the back.
Created by the C.O. of 172nd Field Regiment R.A., in recognition of the achievement of his men in their baptism of fire where men from the regiment were instrumental in halting and destroying the advance of a German armoured group. In recognition of their courage and bravery he personally designed and subsequently had made by Arab craftsmen in Tunis, a badge to commemorate the battle. It was awarded mainly to those members of the Regiment who were in the gun crews, command Posts and OPs at the time of the battle. The exact number of badges awarded is uncertain but it was less than two hundred although it is known that a few at least were also probably bought from the makers by members of the 5th Hampshire's.
This unofficial badge was worn without too much regimentation either above the right breast pocket of the Battle Dress Blouse or on the right sleeve below the badge of the 46th Division. In good, worn condition, slightly dusty but otherwise excellent. Scarce.