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New Zealand Imperial Camel Corps hat badge


This is an unofficial First World War bronze New Zealand Imperial Camel Corps hat badge. The badge features a camel facing left, with the Kings Crown on the hump and the letters 'NZ' in the centre of the body. Reflecting its origins as a wartime ad hoc unit the Imperial Camel Corps was never officially issued with cap and collar badges of its own. The New Zealand, Australian, British and Indian soldiers who served in the Camel Corps were expected to just continue wearing the badges of the units they had belonged to before joining the Camel Corps. 

This state of affairs proved to be an unsatisfactory one for many of the cameliers, most of whom came to take great pride in the unique status of the Camel Corps and its successful exploits as the war went on. So the cameliers took matters into their own hands and designed their own badges which they then got local Egyptian craftsmen to manufacture for them. These badges were usually designed to reflect the national identity of the wearer (New Zealand, Australian, etc) and could also vary from company to company (the Australians in particular producing a number of different designs, as befitted their having the largest number of camel companies in the Corps).

The first four camel companies of the Imperial Camel Corps were formed in early 1916 to help suppress the Ottoman-backed Senussi raids on British and Egyptian outposts near the Libyan-Egyptian border. Later on that year the Imperial Camel Corps was expanded in size and re-organised to field a complete brigade which took part in the campaigns against Ottoman Turkish forces in the Sinai Peninsula and Palestine. Two New Zealand camel companies (No's 15 and 16) were formed as part of this expansion and served with the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade until it was disbanded in June 1918.


National Army Museum Te Mata Toa
Accession Number: 1982.88
Permission of the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

How to cite this page

New Zealand Imperial Camel Corps hat badge, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated