The Silver War Badge was first issued in September 1916 by the British government to service personnel who had been discharged because of the severity of their injuries or sickness. The decision to award the distinction was made by the soldier’s regiment, and the badge itself was numbered for the individual soldier, and it was made of sterling silver, to be worn on the right breast of civilian clothes only. In fact, it was illegal for it to be worn on a military uniform.
I have heard that it was intended to dissuade people from giving white feathers (for cowardice) to injured soldiers out of uniform, mistaking them for healthy malingerers. I am not sure of this, but it was certainly recognition for a soldier whose service had come to an end because of crippling injury or sickness. He could wear his Silver Badge to show he had done his service to the full extent of the government’s expectation of a British soldier.
Because of this list, we have the names of WW1 soldiers who, although very sick or very injured, did not die of their war wounds so they have no CWGC grave and no other history that would record their part in the war.
A highlight of the list is Herbert. He was so injured, he was in Napsbury Hospital near St Albans and he was discharged with the Silver War Medal. In spite of his injuries, he joined the YMCA and worked with injured servicemen, earning the British Medal.
James Tearle of Preston, the man buried in Wales, did die of his war sickness, and he does have a CWGC grave.
Here. then, is the list: Annotated WW1 Silver War Badge