Identity Disc; 005/075b
Identity DiscAbout this object
This round identity disc was one of two discs issued to Leo de Saxe. The disc has been stamped with Leo's name, service or regimental number, religion, and unit. As Leo de Saxe enlisted in the first months of the war, he was issued with an early version of the identity disc.Medium and Materials
42mm high x 35 mm wideSubject and Association Description
Until the katter part of 1916 all sevicemen were issued wiith a single aluminium identity tag. Introduced by the British in 1907, this identity disc measured about 42mm high x 35 mm wide (there is some slight variation in size from item to item). It was worn about the neck and was stamped or sometimes engraved with the soldier’s details.
In late 1916, Australian soldiers were issued with two fibreboard discs, one round and one octagonal. The octagonal disc, sometimes coloured green, was to remain with the body of the soldier to aid in identification should the body need to be exhumed.
The circular disc, sometimes coloured red, was used to identify the belongings of the soldier and be sent home. Folklore has it that these colourings were to aid soldiers in remembering which tag went where: red meant blood and was to be taken, since the soldier was dead; green meant grass and was to stay with the body.
Understanding Australian Identity Discs Part 1 : First World War
Australian War Memorial Blog
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