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RNZA Cap Badge

The RNZA cap badge is based on that of the Royal Artillery (RA), with several important differences, notably the crown and the wording.

The crown on the RA badge is that which the current monarch elects to wear when he or she comes to the Throne. From 1901 to 1953, the Tudor Crown with raised arches was used, and from 1953 the St Edward's Crown. Whenever the Crown changes, the British Army issues new badges.

Since the Royal New Zealand Artillery is allied to the Royal Artillery, our mottoes are the same, but on the badge's lower scroll, 'Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt' has been replaced by 'Royal NZ Artillery' to distinguish New Zealand Gunners from other Commonwealth Artillerymen.

The gun on the badge is meant to represent the bronze (often wrongly called brass) SBML 9-pr field gun of the type employed at Waterloo. It was fitted with a wooden carriage; the 'dots' on the trail which resemble rivets are evidently some diemaker's interpretation of shading on the design drawing.

Cap badge

The gun on the badge should not be called a 'cannon', a term dating back to the days when pieces of ordnance were named after snakes, birds of prey, etc. A 'cannon' was a gun of about 8-in (203mm) calibre which disappeared from official inventories around the year 1700. Since then Gunners have defined their pieces according to their nature, ie guns, mortars or howitzers. Unfortunately, laymen who know no better have perpetuated the term which they often use in a derogatory manner.

Before 1832 the RA had frequently used the Royal Cipher or the Board of Ordnance Arms as part of the device on its buttons and badges. The new badge incorporating the Royal Arms, gun, and two mottoes was a large one designed to be worn on the helmet with the old full-dress uniform which became obsolete in New Zealand at the outbreak of World War 1. It was called a 'helmet plate' and is now a collector's piece. On the modern cap badge which dates from 1902 a crown replaces the Royal Arms.

WL Ruffell

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