General Service Corps Cap Badge
From autumn 1914 the cap badge of the General Service Corps consisted of the Royal Arms (with a King’s crown) was worn by officers on the “General List”. This list first appeared in the Army List in October 1914 and identified “officers who have been gazetted to the General List for service with Service Battalions, but whose allocation is not included in this issue.”
In February 1915, the list was extended to include the names of officers “who are holding other employments.” The list was, in effect, of a pool of officers awaiting allocation to a regiment or corps. In February 1942 the General Service Corps was established for a similar purpose, as a “Reception Corps” to administer recruits, this time of all ranks, before allocation to field force units. They wore the same pattern badge as those on the First World War “General List”, soldiers’ badges being in brass or gilding metal, officers in gilt or bronze. The General Service Corps was primarily intended to deal with the inevitably large throughput of personnel at times of war, but since the end of World War Two it has remained in being for the few officers awaiting allocation at any one time. A version of the badge with a Queen’s crown and Elizabeth II Arms was introduced around 1955
The corps was founded in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I for specialists and those not allocated to other regiments or corps. It was used for similar purposes in World War II, including for male operatives of the Special Operations Executive (female operatives joined the FANY).