The Artist Rifles cap badge always attracts attention because of it’s name and the hint of something different.
The Artists Rifles cap badge, shown here in brass was worn by soldiers who had previously been, artists, architects, musician, actors and other creative souls. They were a volunteer unit formed in 1860 in response to a potential threat from the French.
- Established in 1860
- Recruits came from a wide range of creative backgrounds
- Fought in the Boer War
- Attracted people from public schools and universities
- Many from the Artists Rifles were selected to become officers
- It was a very popular unit and of the 15000 who served in WWI, 10,000 became officers
- They suffered higher losses in WWI than most other units
- The first commanders of the Artists Rifles were Henry Wyndham Phillips and Frederick Leighton, the artist who was President of the Royal Academy from 1878 – 1896 and bearer of the shortage peerage, having died only one day after succeeding to his hereditary peerage and leaving no sons.
- Consider the wealth of creative and intellectual talent all coming together, what a force that must have been.