The Empire to Commonwealth Project


This page provides the latest information on the Empire to Commonwealth Project along with items we are studying ....



Latest News 

30th November, 2013:  Thanks to Phillip Evans for contacting the Project again and donating more images for the Rhodesian Armed Forces.

8th October, 2013: Still working on Dennis T's pages - should be finished by mid-December.  I have also received some artwork from Ed Buscall for the Indian Naval Air Arm too.

1st October, 2013:  Some Indian Naval Air Arm squadrons have been added and 3 new ships.  Thank you to 'Battlestar' for your contributions!


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 28th September, 2013: Thanks to a massive contribution from Dennis T, I am currently working on several pages of Australian Army badges. This is the next section to be launched!

27th September, 2013: Links page checked. 6 links dead - now removed. 1 amended. 246 Squadron Association added.

Cap for TS Matabele added to the Cadets Index for Southern Rhodesia.

26th September, 2013: A new page: has been posted. This page is about a collection of badges from Malcolm Beech. Thank you for your contribution to the Project!

Older News Items ->  Click Here

About the Empire to Commonwealth Project

My name is Fr. Anthony, and I started the Project in February 2007 accidentally as a form of 'therapy' following a stroke I had the previous month - sort of like a hobby to help me concentrate.  The Empire to Commonwealth Project is a collection of images relating to the British Empire, nations under British Rule, Protection or Mandate, Commonwealth Realms and Territories or independent nations who have also become members of The Commonwealth. The Project was first published in a 470 page book version in June 2008 - that gave me a huge buzz!   I then started to put the book version on the internet - and that initially took 258 days to upload -  and I've been uploading nearly every day since then! 

I'm Anglo/Irish, born in Aldershot into a Military family, I grew up in Hong Kong which I view as my roots.  My father was in the Sherwood Foresters > WFR > 6th (QEO) Gurkha Rifles.  For many years I was a nurse and even ran a language business for about ten years before my ordination and living in Ireland.  I came back to England to care for my father following my mother's sudden death in 2002 and have lived here ever since.  My hobbies are this site, Boskill Farm (, quilting and history.  If my carer hadn't washed my Hong Kong flag I might not have started this project!

All the images can be downloaded free of charge for non-commercial use. For commercial use you must contact this site where I will forward your enquiry to the Copyright owner. 

I am always willing to try and assist people with their research using The Empire to Commonwealth Project data free of charge.   Simply send your enquiries to me at or use the Contact Us Form and I will be very pleased to help if I can.

Meanwhile - I was delighted the site was voted 'Webs Elite' - that means a lot - so a big thank you!

Finally, could I just ask that if you do send images to the Project, that you are the owner, or have permission to do so!

 + Fr. Anthony

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Research and Development

Cadet Badges

  • If you know of a badge that is not on there - please let us know!

Images are currently being collated for:

  • Pictures of the British Indian Viceroys and the Governors of 'Colonies' and Dominions.
  • Pictures of Youth Organisations (Scouts and Guides, Cubs and Brownies)
  • Pictures of badges from BFES Schools (the services schools)
  • Pictures of the Governor's Houses (sometimes called Government Houses)
  • Malaya, Straits Settlements, Malayan Emergency Badges
  • Pictures of Civilian Airlines used through the Empire
  • Any Armed Forces information for any Colony outside the 'Dominions' or 'Commonwealth Realms'

 Can you help?

If you have any images that you could let the Empire to Commonwealth use, it would be very much appreciated! 

Please send them to with as much detail about them. 

When you write into the project with images, please confirm that you either have the ©Copyright or the person/organisation that does hold it so that he/she/they can be contacted for permission to use it/them within the Empire to Commonwealth Project.  Images used are accredited.

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Mosquito Coast Protectorate

From some research I was able to find two flags for the Mosquito Coast Protectorate that was under British Control, of the territory and of a Royal Standard (shown below).   A question to ask is why is there a Royal Standard for the Mosquito Coast Protectorate?  Did a member of the Royal Family visit?  If there is a Royal Standard for this protectorate, why don't we have Royal Standards for more of the territories within the British Empire?  Were Royal Standards discussed for other countries not listed in the 'Realms' Chapter?


It appears that these flags are both 'unofficial' or 'erroneous'.

 Mosquito Coast Protectorate

 The Royal Standard



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Clicking on this image will take you to a large image on another page.  Simply close the page to return to this.



Clicking on this image will take you to a large image on another page.  Simply close the page to return to this.


It has been suggested that this is

a. Northern Rhodesia Rifles

b. Natal Mounted Rifles

…any other offers or proof welcome”

Rhodesian in Orgin

Any ideas?

This image has been supplied by ORAFs.

Rhodesian in Origin

Any ideas?

These images has been supplied by ORAFs







We were recently asked to find out about this badge.  After some initial research we came across the following link:,_WO1_&_WO2.jpg

 Thanks to Geoff Simpson for bringing this to the Project's attention.

From Alan:

As for the Royal Marine's cap badge answered for Geoff Simpson, the badge shown is that of the N.C.O's and O/Rs. There is a slight difference between the W.O's. and Officier's cap badges The laurel wreath is more rounded at the top of the wreath for the W.O's. badge, whereas the Officer's badge the wreath is more pointed.





The Currencies and Stamps Chapter still needs a lot of research to images of stamps of the different countries

If you can help please write to















Do you have any contact with

Defence Forces

of the

Commonwealth Nations? 

The Project needs to make contact with their press offices to enable it to obtain the images for the relevant Chapters. 

If you can help - please write to with any information.












Two badges for HMS Warsprite have been found recently as a result of assisting a visitor to the Project.

 Does anyone have any further details?  If you can help - please write to

From Arthur: 

HMS Warspite's two ship's badges'. The top badge with the ship's gun on a green field is the official or, sealed pattern of 1919. The date was when it was passed by the Admiralty and the Herald was Major. Charles Ffoukes who submitted it.

As for the 'Woodpecker' badge this was the un-official or, the un-sealed pattern of pre 1919 badge for thip.





The gentleman that forwarded this tampion (cover for a ship's gun) thought this belonged to HMS Revenge.  I'm not so sure as the crest is very different from it:

Can you help solve the mystery?  If so please contact

 From Arthur:

HMS Grenville's ship's badge was used by HMS Revenge pre-1919 as an un-official badge [un-sealed pattern].

The first attachment shows the badge without the scroll, and the second shows a letter-head with the Griffen on the 'Cap of Maintenance' this time with the scroll and motto. The badge is part of Sir Richard Grenville's coat of arms and without looking it up I would say that it was the Crest


I am looking for the coat of arms of Queen Victoria whilst she was still Princess Victoria of Kent.

 Can you help?

If you can help, please write to with any information or images.

Your contribution will, as always, be acknowledged. 






















From Dennis de la Mare:

The badge above was found at Haulbowline when HMS Colleen (ex Royalist) was docked at Haulbowline Island naval base.

The only other Cork shore establishments were Admiralty House, a few piers and a sports ground. Colleen was simply a hulk and I'm afraid I've never come across a ships badge or unofficial emblem.

In Monkstown (around the corner from Haulbowline) There were two ships moored for long durations. HMS Emerald
(ex HMS Black Prince 1862) and USS Dixie AD1.

When dredging was taking
place in the 1970's for a new pier a number of items were brought up, mainly brass ingots from USS Dixie. The enclosed ships badge also came up.

Does it look familiar?

If you can help please write to













A 'United Empire' lapel pin

Animals shown represent Australia (Kangaroo), Beaver (Canada), Elephant (India) and an Ostrich (representing Africa) - so no mention of New Zealand! 

One theory is the bird is a Moa (now extinct) from New Zealand but it doesn't look like one having looked it up on Wikipedia!

Any help with this badge or if you have another badge representing the British Empire - would be gratefully appreciated.

The dog on the Union flag was Queen Victoria's dog Dimboola and above was the Imperial Crown.

Curtesy of John Johnston




















 Do you know anything about this image?

This image is from a set of 'Unofficial Badge' images the project has received.  Do you know which ship used it?

If you do, please write to

From Dave Palmer:

The image has nothing to do with a ship, but was produced in the drawing office at Chatham Dockyard.







Can you help locate flag 'gifs'?


If you click on the link above, you will see what a gif is.

Our Member had a pre 1801 Union Jack, as well as the old Canadian flag and a couple of Rhodesian flags, etc., but these have since been lost due to a site closing down..

He picked up a little booklet from 1941- "Flags of Empire" featuring various flags from the war. He has just scanned it and put it on his site, well worth a look!










 Do you know anything about this image?

A Member writes:

I have recently received a badge, it is not military, but I am hoping that you may have a contact in South Africa that could help.

its about the the size of 2 pence piece but oblong and has a ship on it, like the Blue Peter ship on the  BBC1's children's programme.  It is marked on the back "haglund, sterling silver, South Africa "

many thanks ,


 Do you have a better image of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force badge?