There were four types of RLI Officer’s insignia. During the pre UDI period and from
1961 till approximately 1970 there was the Officer’s Beret badge and Collar badges.
There were also the Officer’s Mess Dress Collar badges. These were all made from
solid Silver and were made in England. The top of the badges also displayed the Queen’s
After Rhodesia became a Republic in 1970 the RLI Officer’s insignia were made by
Werner Reuteler in Rhodesia. These were the Officer’s Beret badge and Collar badges
and the Mess Dress Collar badges. These were also made from Solid Silver. However
the Queen’s Crown on the top of the badges was replaced with a ribbon bow. These
were worn through to 1980 when the RLI was disbanded.
An explanation of the role of the bugle in Light Infantry badges
The bugle is incorporated into the badges of all Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments
as a reminder of their original role. The bugle as a musical instrument evolved from
the horn of the bugle, which is the old name for the European wild ox and thus correctly
the badge of the Light Infantry is known as a ‘bugle horn’. In all these bugle horn
badges the horn is suspended by cords tied with silk ribbons, hence the ribbon bow
at the top of the badge.