Staybrite (electro-plated Anodised Aluminum) began to replace the traditional metals used for British military uniform clothing buttons from about 1950 and is still used for modern buttons. King George VI died in 1952 so buttons with a King's Crown (KC) are relatively scarce. These Staybrite (...
Staybrite (electro-plated Anodised Aluminum) began to replace the traditional metals used for British military uniform clothing buttons from about 1950 and is still used for modern buttons. King George VI died in 1952 so buttons with a King's Crown (KC) are relatively scarce. These Staybrite (Anodised Aluminium) uniform buttons are available to buy and are listed alphabetically by Unit. Numbered regiment buttons are at the beginning.
In the British Armed Forces, buttons tend to be permanently sewn onto uniform, but some uniforms that require more frequent washing have detachable buttons that are fastened using metal k-clips or button-rings. This might apply to tropical uniforms or chefs' whites.
Screw-fit buttons are made for the shoulder boards of ceremonial uniforms and are fastened to uniforms using special shoulder shanks, which are sewn onto the shoulder of the uniform. Please note that manufacturers have used different sizes of screw-fitting over the years and we cannot guarantee to have the correct size on stock, particularly for very old screw fit buttons. If you need shoulder shanks, it would be easier to order them at the same time as ordering the screw-fit buttons as we will try to enclose the matching size.
Due to established practice and customer preference, our stock is sold without fastenings such as button rings, k-grips or shoulder shanks for screw-fit buttons, however these are (usually) available separately.
British Army buttons are as varied as cap badges. Each unit has its own unique regimental button, often with a crest and sometimes a crown. Some regiments have a second design for use on cap buttons. Most fall into 3 size categories:
|Small||about 14mm diameter||for the cap and mess dress waistcoats (vests). This size is also used for gorgets (red tabs worn by Generals on the collar).|
|Medium||about 19mm diameter||for pockets and shoulder straps (epaulettes) of most parade uniforms, also the front-fastening of Other Ranks Khaki No.2 Dress jackets.|
|Large||about 25mm diameter||for the great-coat and the front fastening of Guards' scarlet tunics and Officers' khaki Service Dress jackets.|
Some units have a different range of sizes, such as about 16mm diameter for cuff buttons. We used to annotate these as 'Very-Large', 'Large-Medium' or 'Medium-Small', but for greater accuracy, we now use diameter sizes in millimetres, measured to the nearest half-millimetre.
In British military dress regulations, the diameter of buttons is often measured in 'Lines' or 'Lignes' (abbreviated to 'L'). 40L = 1 inch = 25.4 millimetres.
We prefer to use millimetres because very few people have a way of measuring Lignes. Lignes rarely have an exact equivalent in whole millimetres, which is why we round the measurement to the nearest half-millimetre when describing button sizes.
There are fewer Officers than Other Ranks, so Officers' buttons are more scarce. Some sizes of button are rarer than others. Medium-sized buttons are the most common, and the following is a guide to the rarity of other sizes of British Army button -
Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th & 33rd/76th) 19.5mm - Screw-Fit Anodised Aluminium Staybrite military uniform button
Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th & 33rd/76th) 26mm - Gold Colour Anodised Aluminium Staybrite military uniform button
Yorkshire Volunteers 14mm - Gold Colour Anodised Aluminium QC. Staybrite military uniform button
Yorkshire Volunteers 19.5mm - Gold Colour Anodised Aluminium QC. Staybrite military uniform button
Yorkshire Volunteers 25.5mm - Gold Colour Anodised Aluminium QC. Staybrite military uniform button