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Cumann na mBan

The badge above was worn by women in Cumann na mBan. The design above is usually regarded as the original design but the badges were made to order by several Dublin jewelers and it is just as likely that the design below could be the original design. Cumann na mBan remained in existence long after the Rising and enjoyed several surges in popularity including WW2 and at various time during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. After the Civil War Cumann na mBan were regarded as a hard-line Republican movement.

The badge is still produced and sold as original 1916 badges. Silver and gold versions were produced for women who could afford to have such items made and these were hallmarked.

Founded on the 2nd of April 1914 Cumann na mBan is regarded as the womenís branch of the Irish Volunteers. While it is usually assumed that ĎOn 23 April 1916, when the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood finalized arrangements for the Easter Rising, it integrated Cumann na mBan, along with the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, into the Army of the Irish Republic'. Patrick Pearse was appointed overall Commandant-General and James Connolly Commandant-General of the Dublin Divisioní women were not permitted to join the Irish Defence Forces until 1979. There were no women in the Free State Army or The Dublin Brigade.

Original Irish Volunteers belt with buckle.

Irish Army Belt Buckle

Like the Irish Volunteers buckle this is also much copied, original early examples are hard to find.

I have seen these belt buckles offered as 1916 Rising Irish Volunteers buckles, they are Victorian era London Irish Rifle buckles.

Cap badge of the Dublin Regiment National Volunteers with two lugs to reverse, this example date from circa 1914.  

Circa 1914 National Volunteers button

Dublin Brigade Irish Volunteers cap badge circa 1914. This is an Other Rankís example in bronze.

Dublin Brigade cap badge officers white metal or silver.

The Aud Medal 1931

This medal was issued in 1931 to commemorate the attempt by the Aud to bring arms to Ireland for the 1916 Rising. It is a privately issued medal.

Medal Commemorating Captain Karl Spindler of the blockade runner Libau (Aud) 1916, medal designed by John T. Ryan and manufactured by Godet, Berlin. A translation of the obverse legend reads, Captain Karl Spindler, Commander S.M.S. Libau Helpcruiser Libau, Blockade Breaker to Ireland 8-22 April 1916'; reverse in Irish, 'From the Executive Committee for Freedom in America 1931, for his services to Ireland at Easter 1916. Edge bearing the manufacturer's name, Gebr. Godet & Co, Berlin, the medal measures 1 and a quarter inches across.

The Aud started out as the SS Castro which was a 1,062 ton steam cargo transport built for the Wilson Line of Hull, England in 1907. Castro measured 220 feet (67 m) in length with a beam 32 feet (9.8 m) and a draught of 12 ft (3.7 m). The ship was captured by the Imperial German Navy in the Kiel Canal, at the beginning of World War I in August 1914. Renamed Libau (the German name of Liepāja which is a city in Latvia), she remained inactive until 1916, when designated as the vessel to carry a cargo of arms to Ireland, to aid the Easter Rising. The Aud was an existing Norwegian vessel of similar appearance.