The Nizam's Hyderabad Army Signal Section
Cap Badge mid-late 1930's to 1946
The full, correct title is His Exalted Highness, The Nizam's Hyderabad Army Signal Section. The date this badge was first used appears to be unknown. It is likely that it was first used in the mid to late 1930’s and was replaced by the second and last version of the Hyderabad Army Signals badge in 1946-47.
This badge is similar to the 1934 Indian Signal Corps badge design and both are similar with the British Royal Corps of Signals 1921 badge design. It is a cast bi-metal construction and consists of a brass roundel with the figure of Mercury atop a globe in white metal in centre. The roundel is inscribed “Army Signal Section” and the serrated frilled ribbon below bears “H.E.H. The Nizam's H.A.” (His Exalted Highness The Nizam's Hyderabad Army). At the top of the roundel is the Shahi Dastra which is the Royal Turban is a common feature through the Hyderabad military badges.
The first Nizam ruled from 1724 and the hereditary title continued a further six Nizam’s. India gained independence on 15th August 1947, the Nizam declared his intention to remain independent rather than become part of the Indian Union. The Hyderabad State Congress, with the support of the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India, began agitating against Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam VII.
[Colin Hodgkins collection HYD 0003]
Indian troops moved into Hyderabad in an invasion codenamed Operation Polo on 13th September 1948. On 17th September that year, the Indian Army took control of Hyderabad State. With the defeat of his forces, Nizam VII capitulated to the Indian Union by signing an Instrument of Accession, which made him the Rajpramukh (Princely Governor) of the state. Mir Osman Ali Khan was the last Nizam of Hyderabad and was reputed to be the richest man of his time. He was said famously to have used an ostrich-egg sized diamond as a paperweight, he died aged 80 in 1967.
Cap Badges 1950 to current
The Indian Signal Corps was re-designated Indian Corps of Signals on the 26th January 1950. Several Indian State Forces (ISF) were not part of the Corps. On 31st October 1956 the Princely State of Hyderabad was divided into the Indian States of Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The Hyderabad Army Signals Section remained an autonomous Non-Indian State Force with its own cap badge.
This second version of the cap badge retains the Shahi Dastra at the top of the badge. The roundel and Mercury are replaced with a wreath and antenna mast with four guy lines, from the antenna are four lighting bolts. The serrated frilled ribbon below is replaced with a scroll inscribed H.A. SIGS (Hyderabad Army Signals).
Right is an example cast in ‘Native Silver’ of an officer’s cap badge.
[Colin Hodgkins collection HYD 0001]
Below are OR’s cap badge, both the officer's and the bras OR's badges have lug fixings cast with the badge. The cast white metal OR's badge below right has wire loop fixings, perhaps later versions.