The Women's Institute (WI) was originally formed in Canada in 1897 and according to the National Archives a badge featuring the entertained WI letters monogram, the motto "For Home And Country" and two maple leaves was designed by Laura Rose. The first British WI meeting was held on 16 September, 1915. The "For Home & Country" badge dates from the 1920s and can be seen worn by W.I. members during the Second World War.
The oval-shaped badge is made of gilded brass with "W” and “I" letters intertwined in a voided centre. On the left a red enamel rose depicts the British organisation and on the right a maple leaf represents the original WI which began in Canada. The motto "For Home and Country" is inlaid with green enamel. The rear has a simple pin and catch.
Several manufacturers made this badge over the years.
Fattorini & Sons made two versions:
Straight maker mark - 'Fattorini & Sons Bradford' used this maker mark between 1908 and 1928. A large number of these badges also have a peculiar pentangle in the centre of the rose. It appears this was a method of fabrication rather than meaning anything else. The shape of this badge is a slightly flatter oval than the badge that followed in the 1930s (see below).
Arched name - 'Fattorini & Sons Ltd Bradford Works Birmingham' used between 1933 and 1939.
W. O. Lewis (Badges) Ltd of Birmingham made a version which is probably the commonest seen nowadays. Not sure of the dates of manufacture for this currently, but given the prevalence of the badge it may be from the highwater mark of WI membership in the mid-1950s.
The type least encountered is that made by Marples & Beasley, again in Birmingham - the date of production is unknown though and the production run appears to have been quite low.
There are also a few unmarked types - one has a small dot on the reverse and another omits this – possibly from two different makers and production dates are un known but again possibly into the 1950s.
A Welsh version of the badge featuring “FY NGWLAD A'M CARTREF” was made by W. O. Lewis and Fattorini. It has the Welsh red dragon in the centre and the red rose and maple leaf as per the other badges. This badge is also known to have been made in sterling silver.
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