We run the Militaria business in our spare time, and our full-time work often involves working away without internet access. We have made this page to give you a speedier response. 99% of the questions that people ask can be answered by using the information or hyperlinks on this page - please read this page before asking questions by e-mail. Click on the heading in the table of contents to take you straight to the answer.
If you are asking questions about specific items of stock, please include my 6-figure stock number for the item in question. This is a combination of letters and numbers and is the first 6-figures on the relevant line of my catalogue. The stock number consists of 1 letter, 1 number, 1 letter and 3 numbers, for example, D1C726.
Also see my answers to questions about :
In many cases, we have more than one in stock, but do not annotate how many we have; this is because quantities change faster than we can update the web-site, often on a daily basis. If in doubt, ask for the quantity that you want, and we will do the best we can to meet your order.
In the delay between me replying to your question and you ordering, the quantity may have changed. This means that there is little point in asking these questions as the item(s) may have been sold by the time your order arrives. Just order using a limited-value cheque, and give alternative choices as shown on my Order Form. I show the uploading date at the top of all my catalogues and try to keep my online Catalogues as up-to-date as possible. Also see reserving items.
As a small business, we only despatch orders once a week on Mondays (except for Bank Holidays, and provided that we are not away on business or holiday). We can also get swamped with orders immediately following the publication of a Postal Catalogue, but most 'straightforward orders' are sent in the next available Monday mail collection.
The mail is sent very early (about 7.30am) on Monday mornings and we normally stop processing new orders on Saturday evening in order to pack everything for Monday.
Depending on insurance value, mail is sent by First Class post or Special Delivery, both are normally next-day delivery within the UK.
Overseas mail is normally sent by Airmail unless the packet is very heavy and you have requested 'surface mail' to save cost. Airmail usually takes about 3 - 14 days depending on which country you live in.
NOTE: Complicated orders might be delayed until we have time to try to work out what the customer wants. The following are typical reasons for delay:
My order is urgent: do you have a shop, can I collect in person, or do you offer an express delivery service?
Sorry - we do not have a shop and you may not collect in person. Our busy lives mean that we cannot wait here for you to collect from us. The badge business is conducted in our limited spare time, and mail-order is the only way that we can run the business effectively.
We only despatch on Mondays, but we will try our best to help if you pay promptly and tell us that you need an item urgently for an event such as a wedding, funeral or important parade. There is space on our online order form for additional comments.
If you cannot wait until the following Monday collection and we have to make an additional journey to the Post Office just for your order, we may impose a £10 surcharge to cover our time and fuel costs.
Orders over £46 in value are automatically sent by 'Special Delivery' or 'Signed-For' Airmail. This is due to insurance in case of loss, but these mail services also offer priority delivery. Please note that they will need someone present at the receiving end to sign for the packet. You may request 'Special Delivery' or 'Signed-For' Airmail for packets worth less than £46 if you wish, provided that you cover the additional postage cost. Please see the Royal Mail website for more about these priority services.
If you have bought from us before and can quote your customer Client Reference (shown on all invoices, receipts and catalogue labels, you may use our Priority Order Form for Registered Users. Using your Client Reference makes it easier to prepare your invoice, and we tend to deal with these 'easy' orders first.
You should be able to work out the cost of your order without my assistance. Stock prices are in my on-line catalogue. The only extra costs are postage and foreign currency exchange fees if not paying in Pounds Sterling. These are explained on my shipping costs web page and on my payment web page. I do not reserve items, so recommend that you use PayPal or limited-value cheques. Please tell me if you do not understand this, and I will try to modify my website to make it clearer for you and other collectors.
Nearly all items are sold as single items, including collar badges, shoulder titles and rank badges. If any items are sold as pairs, they will be clearly marked "(Pair)".
Sometimes we list items as "Pair Available", this means that we have a matching set in stock, but the price will be based on single items. In other words you need to order 2 if you want a pair.
If in doubt, assume that the price is based on single quantities. We sell items as collectibles, and collectors tend to want only one of a kind, not duplicates.
Some military collar and arm badges are made as "mirror-image" pairs: typically these are badges with animals and they are made to face left or right; usually so that they face forwards when worn on a uniform. We usually sell these as single items and use the following abbreviations:
If a badge is marked FL or FR, it is undoubtedly a single, not a pair.
No - I do not reserve items or 'put them aside'. Experience has shown this to be an unsound business practice. Many items are stocked as single quantities, so the fairest way with orders is first-come, first-served. If you have (or are prepared to open) a PayPal account (a method of paying by Credit Card), you may order online using my online order form.
First look at my Stock List index. This will help you to navigate your way through my huge selection of stock. This search will only tell you which web page to open. You must then open that web page and locate the item using the 'Find' facility on your web browser. For Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Find facility is in the Edit menu. Click here if you still have no success.
Yes - click here - Dictionary and Beginners Guide
If you are using my electronic search box, simply type a few words describing
what you are looking for in the entry box, then click [Search]. The more words
you type in the box, the more matches you get.
To narrow your search, enter searches for the names of units such as 'Royal Marines' rather than generic headings such as 'Marine Insignia'. Please make sure that you are using British-English spelling and the same abbreviations as I use.
Remember that this is a fairly basic search and will only tell you whether the item is listed and which page of my website to open for further details.
You then need to open the relevant web page and do a second search using the search function on your Web Browser. If using Microsoft Internet Explorer you can search the relevant page by pressing 'Ctrl' and 'F' together.
If you still have no success and are looking for British and Commonwealth military and police insignia post-1881 you are in the right place - please try again in a couple of weeks - I have over 4100 different items for sale and my stock is changing all the time.
If you are still having no success, then ask me but keep your questions short and simple so that I can give 'yes or no' type answers. I have other commitments apart from badge dealing and my time is limited. Click here to send an E-mail message to me. I will be more sympathetic if you say that you have tried my online catalogues with no success.
In 1990 our business started as a purely Postal Catalogue before the Internet boom. We still have many postal customers from pre-internet days, and owe these regular clients a debt of loyalty. Although we update our fresh stock web page on a regular basis:
Please see - How to Order Insignia from Ian Kelly Militaria
You may not order by telephone because we cannot accept payment by telephone. There are other reasons as explained on our telephone and fax policy page
We deal in collectable insignia, and in the nature of the hobby, some items are scarce and patience is required. We deal in original items, and cannot predict what we may get as future stock, or when we might get it. We cannot just go to a warehouse or fellow dealer and pick items from a shelf.
The badge business is run in our spare time, and the amount of time and effort to search for specific items is not usually cost-effective. We regularly update our website with fresh stock and you can sign-up to a free e-mail notification system to tell you when we update web pages.
With over 11,000 collectors on my books, I find it difficult to remember individual requests. To help you, I have added a 'Change Detection' feature to all my online stock pages.
'Change Detection' electronically monitors specified web pages and sends you an e-mail message if the specified page changes. If you want to see what 'Change Detection' looks like, go to the bottom of this Frequently Asked Questions page.
To use 'Change Detection', take an educated guess at which web
page you think the item will appear, then go to the page and use the 'Change
Detection' box on that page. See my stock
index page to help you find a suitable page to register with 'Change
We do not do valuations or appraisals. We cannot tell from an internet image whether an item is genuine or not.
Beware of confusing rarity and value.
If you want to know what something is worth, look on our online catalogue. If it is not there, then we are sorry: we cannot help.
Please see our purchasing policy.
Over 99% of our stock is already pictured on our website. To see a picture, click the "View Picture" icon at the start of each line of our online catalogues. This might appear as a pop-up window, so you might have to set your web browser to 'accept pop-ups' from our website. The other solution to problems with pop-up windows is to hold down the 'CTRL' button on your keyboard whilst you click on our camera icon with your mouse.
If you ask us to for a picture of a catalogued item that is not yet online, this will have to wait until we have spare time and may take several weeks. We do not reserve items, so the effect of this delay is that the item may be sold to someone else before we have time to scan it. The easiest way to see what an item looks like is to order it - you may send it back if it is not what you wanted.
If you still want a picture, please quote our stock number for the item.
Probably not. Attached images can contain viruses and we have set-up our message form so that it does not accept attachments. Please also see -
You may assume that items I sell are in good condition unless otherwise stated in my catalogue. My criteria for inclusion is 'Would I have this in my personal collection?' If the answer is 'no', then I do not offer it for sale.
If any item I send you does not meet your standards, then I am happy to take it back. Please see my returns policy.
Collectors sometimes make long lists of items that they are searching for, called 'Wants Lists', and circulate these lists around several dealers.
Collecting is about hunting and the excitement when you eventually track-down a rare item. These pleasures do not come through asking someone else to do the searching for you.
From our point of view, it can take a long time to deal with 'Wants Lists'. Our time is limited and it is usually faster to look at our catalogues instead of sending Wants Lists.
Also see my answers to the following:
Sorry - we do not deal in medals. These are outside our specialist field. We deal in badges, patches and buttons. For other dealers, try Windrow & Greene's Militaria Directory & Sourcebook 1998.
Please see my PayPal solutions page.
Items on our catalogue sell faster than we can update our catalogues, and customers sometimes try to order items that have already been sold. If they have sent a cheque, this will often mean they have paid too much.
Whilst personal banking in the UK is usually free of charge, because we run a business, our bank charges us business rates on our bank account. We pay a fee every time we pay money in or out of our account. This means that it costs us money to send you a refund cheque.
We prefer that customers pay using Limited-Value Cheques. A Limited-Value Cheque is one that you sign and date, but instead of writing the exact value of the cheque, write “Not More Than £_____ only”
For example, if you work out that your order and postage comes to £25, write across your cheque “Not more than £25 only”.
If an item you want has been sold before we receive your order, we will complete your cheque for a lower amount. If the cheque is lost or stolen in the post, no-one can complete it for a higher amount than you specified.
Please see the example below:
This method of payment is a simple, effective way of reducing banking costs. It DOES work - my customers and their banks (UK and overseas) have been happily using this method since I started business in 1990.
Sorry - we run a small business in our limited spare time and simply do not have time to deal a lots of requests for information. We have made a Beginners Guide page which is a good starting point to help you in your research.
For old British military photographs, try the combined brain-power of the BritRegiments Archive - they have a link on my web site and deal with this type of question all the time. Membership is free using the box on my links page. Be careful when you sign-up to specify in the 'Read Mode' box that you want messages as a 'Daily Full Digest' rather than individual e-mails - otherwise you will be flooded with e-mails about interesting military trivia which may not be relevant to your enquiry.
When posting your enquiry to their message board, please keep to short plain-text messages (no HTML) and do not e-mail large image files to the message board as it clogs up the system and annoys others. Instead you can post images to the BritRegiments 'Vault' or post a link to an image on your own web site.
For identification of buttons, try http://www.britishbuttonsociety.org/ButtonIdentification/index.htm
Please see my Beginners Guide page - as well as a section on buttons, this has helpful advice regarding identification using the materials and colours used, also using the design including dating the badge or button using the shape of the crown.
For identification of military cloth patches, try The Military Heraldry Society
For identification of modern badges and non-British items including weapons and equipment, go to my links page and try the Militaria Collectors Network. Membership is free and they have an online identification section. They have a message section similar to the BritRegiments Archive - the same sign-up and image-file size advice applies as above.
The book Army Records for Family Historians may also be useful.
Please be specific about what you want - remember that I do not deal in medals, bulky equipment or complete uniforms - just insignia. Do you want cap badges, collar badges, buttons, etc? Look at my online catalogue index - it will give you an idea of what types of insignia are worn.
Please see my Help for Beginners page.
You also need to know your relative's unit, approximate dates of service and whether or not he or she was an Officer.
If you don't know exactly what you want, then ask me, but please keep your questions short and simple so that I can give 'yes or no' answers - I have other commitments apart from badge dealing and do not have time to read entire family histories. I am quite happy to answer 'yes or no' questions such as -
The book Army Records for Family Historians may also be useful.
In short, NO. Here is the background to this business policy decision -
I think that you will find the prices on my lists very reasonable anyway.
We specialize in authentic British and Commonwealth Military and Police insignia. We do not deal in knives, g uns or German NAZI items and cannot recommend anyone who does.
We prefer not to recommend other dealers unless we have known them a long time and trust them implicitly. For other dealers, try Windrow & Greene's Militaria Directory & Sourcebook 1998.
Try my Recommended Books page. This includes details of the main books that I use.
Probably not - for reasons and more details, please see our telephone and fax policy page.
For answers to questions on British regimental history, please try Land Forces of Britain, The Empire and Commonwealth this is an amazing source of historical reference - far better than my humble offerings. If you cannot find the answer here then try posting a message on the members message board of the BritRegiments Archive
Regimental Museums are listed in Windrow & Greene's Militaria Directory & Sourcebook 1998.
See Roots Web - http://www.RootsWeb.com
Try the British Army Website
To give you confidence in buying by mail order, everything we send is 'on approval' - if the item you receive is not what you want, simply send it back well-packaged, within 7 days of receipt. We only sell items that we believe are original and in good condition, and we ask that you pay postage costs both ways so that we are not out of pocket. Despite you paying the postage, mail order is still a lot cheaper than driving to a militaria fair, auction or shop in town.
Refunds. Our bank charges us a fee for every cheque we issue. Most of our customers are collectors who return time and again for more insignia from us. Unless you request otherwise, we prefer to hold small refund amounts as a credit against your future purchases. The exception to this is if you originally paid via PayPal, in which case we will send you a refund via PayPal.
Thank you for working your way through my Frequently Asked Questions - the following e-mail link WILL send a message to me and I will try to help when I get the time. The response may not be immediate as I go away quite often. Click here to send an e-mail message to Ian Kelly (Militaria).
If you want to buy an item, I suggest that you order it rather than wait for me to respond to your questions - I might only have one in stock and the delay caused by asking questions may result in the item being sold to someone else. If the item is not what you expected, you can always return it to me.
99% of the questions that people ask me can be answered by using the information or hyperlinks on this FAQ page - please re-read this page before asking questions by e-mail.
Ian G Kelly (Militaria)