South Africa Womens Auxiliary Army Service 1940 - 1946
Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0134]
These are examples of badges for the South African Woman’s Auxiliary Army Service 1940 to 1947 period.
South African women have long been in service in the military, serving in auxiliary roles during WWI and WWII and taking active non-combat duty roles after 1970. The South African Army established a volunteer nursing service in 1914. It is recorded that 328 nurses went to serve with South African troops in Europe and East Africa in WWI.
The Women's Auxiliary Army Service began taking women recruits in 1916. The women volunteers assumed clerical duties and other roles within the Army previously occupied by men. Official estimates state that some12,000 men were relieved for combat duty during WWI by women volunteers.
Women’s Auxiliary Army Service (WAAS) badges shown here are from the WWII period. The badges are handed left and right with a left collar type being worn as the cap badge. The badge is a shield divided into four with each quarter depicting a role in which the WAAS were employed. Book for clerical work, Ambulance for nursing and transport, Mercury (‘Jimmy’) for Communications and Ammunition for munitions. In the half circle at the head of the shield is symbol, dare I say like a cooking utensil, which I would like to understand rather than assume represents catering. The legend scroll reads WAAS (Women’s Auxiliary Army Service) and the Afrikaans equivalent VLHD.
Below: A brass cast set Cap, Right collar and Left Collar of a less fine detail than the above brass badge SA 0134.
Below: A blackened bronze Officers right collar badge and a bronze title badge.