We've done some research to find military insignia reference books on the internet - click on the hyper-links to buy direct from Amazon.co.uk. (A number of North American customers have commented that even with shipping costs, Amazon.co.uk can be cheaper than its US partner Amazon.com).
The books listed are ones that we use on a regular basis. In many cases they show insignia reference numbers that we use on our mail-order catalogues. Please note that these books are sold by Amazon.co.uk - not by Ian Kelly (Militaria). A number of books do not have links to Amazon - this is because they are out-of-print. We have kept the details of suitable out-of-print books on my web site so that you can use this bibliography to buy them second-hand from another dealer.

Akers, MA. 1985. British Fire Service Cap Badges - Volume 1 - 1974-1985. ISBN 0951093207: MA Akers
.British Fire Service Cap Badges - Volume 1 - 1974-1985  Click here to buy this book

 Akers, MA. 1989. British Fire Service Cap Badges and Buttons - Volume 2 - 1947-1974. ISBN 0951093215: MA Akers.
An excellent book with full colour photographs of every cap badge in the period covered (1947-1974). Buttons are described but not illustrated.
British Fire Service Cap Badges and Buttons - Volume 2 - 1947-1974  Click here to buy this book

Audax, CE. 1992. Badge Backings and Special Embellishments of the British Army. ISBN 0951434209: UDR Benevolent Fund.
A superb unique reference work - the only book on this subject. Many pictures and information direct from the regiments concerned.
Badge Backings and Special Embellishments of the British Army  Click here to buy this book

Baily's. 2000. Baily's Hunting Directory. ISBN 0953318109: Pearson Publishing.
Describes hunt uniforms and illustrates hunt buttons for the UK, Ireland, America, the Commonwealth and Europe.  The most useful book dealing with hunt buttons.  Click here to buy this book

Bennett, RW. 1994. Badges of the Worcestershire Regiment. ISBN 0952423103: RW Bennett
Badges of the Worcestershire Regiment  Click here to buy this book

Bloomer, WH & KD. 1973. Scottish Regimental Badges 1793-1971 including Commonwealth Forces. ISBN 0853684294: Arms and Armour Press.
Scottish Regimental Badges 1793-1971 including Commonwealth Forces

Bragg, RJ & Turner, R.. 1979. Parachute Badges and Insignia of the World. ISBN 0713708824: Blandford Press Ltd.
Parachute Badges and Insignia of the World

Bragg, RJ & Turner, R. 1985. Parachute Wings. ISBN 0950642622: Peter A Heims Ltd.
This book is one of the major references in the field of military badge collecting. Each badge is numbered and many badge dealers refer to their stock using 'Bragg and Turner' numbers from this book and their earlier similar work. If you are going to buy Parachute Wings by mail order, then you need this book.
Parachute Wings  Click here to buy this book

Burns, KV. 1986. Badges and Battle Honours of HM Ships. ISBN 0907771262: Maritime Books
Badges and Battle Honours of HM Ships  Click here to buy this book

Carroll, W. 1997. Eagles Recalled. ISBN 0764302442: Schiffer Publishing.
Air Force Wings of Canada, Great Britain and the Commonwealth 1913-1945
Eagles Recalled - Air Force Wings of Canada, Great Britain and the Commonwealth  Click here to buy this book

Churchill, C & Westlake, R. 1986. British Army Collar Badges 1881 to the Present - An Illustrated Guide for Collectors. ISBN 0853688958: Arms and Armour Press.
Probably the only specialist book on the subject - unfortunately no longer in print.  Second-hand copies are quite scarce.
British Army Collar Badges 1881 to the Present - An Illustrated Guide for Collectors

Cole, HN. 1993. Formation Badges of World War 2 - Britain, Commonwealth and Empire. ISBN 0853680787: Arms and Armour Press.
Formation Badges of World War 2 - Britain, Commonwealth and Empire

Congdon, P. 1985. Behind the Hangar Doors. ISBN 0951013904: Sonik Books.
Written by a serving RAF Regiment officer, this is an interesting and wide-ranging book covering history, heraldry and etiquette of the Royal Air Force.  There are excellent sections on insignia.
Behind the Hangar Doors

Corbett, DA. 1980. The Regimental Badges of New Zealand. ISBN 0908596057: Ray Richards, New Zealand.
An excellent book suitable for both beginners and advanced collectors.  Cap badges, collar badges, shoulder titles and buttons.  320 pages with photographs of over 1000 badges.  An illustrated history of the badges, mottoes and battle honours of the Regular and Volunteer units of the New Zealand Army from the 1840's to the 1970's. 
The Regimental Badges of New Zealand  Click here to buy this book

Cossum, JK. 1994. Australian Army Badges - A Collectors Reference Guide - part 1 - 1930 - 1942. ISBN 0949530115: JK Cossum.
Australian Army Badges - A Collectors Reference Guide - part 1 - 1930 - 1942

Cossum, JK. 1994. Australian Army Badges - A Collectors Reference Guide - part 2 - 1900 - 1930. ISBN 0949530123: JK Cossum.
Australian Army Badges - A Collectors Reference Guide - part 2 - 1900 - 1930

Cossum, JK. 1994. Australian Army Badges - A Collectors Reference Guide - part 3 - 1948 - 1985. ISBN 0949530131: JK Cossum.
Australian Army Badges - A Collectors Reference Guide - part 3 - 1948 - 1985

Cossum, JK. 1986. Australian Army Badges - The Rising Sun Badge. JK Cossum.
Australian Army Badges - The Rising Sun Badge

Cox, RHW. 1982. Military Badges of the British Empire 1914-18. ISBN 0510000827: Naval and Military Press.
An excellent book with photographs of over 3200 First World War badges.  This is one of the few books to cover British Empire badges in depth.  Out of print, but second-hand copies are well worth buying.
Military Badges of the British Empire 1914-18  Click here to buy this book

Davis, BL. 1993. British Army Uniforms & Insignia of World War Two. ISBN 0713717378: Blandford Press.
British Army Uniforms & Insignia of World War Two

Davis, BL. 1988. NATO Forces - An Illustrated Reference to their Organization and Insignia. ISBN 185409159X: Arms and Armour Press.
NATO Forces - An Illustrated Reference to their Organization and Insignia

Davis, BL. 1987. US Army Cloth Insignia 1941 to the Present. ISBN 0853688508: Arms and Armour Press.
US Army Cloth Insignia 1941 to the Present

Edwards, TJ. 1981. Regimental Badges. ISBN 0510000835: Benn.
Excellent line-drawings of British Army Cap Badges.  Click here to buy this book

Edwards, D & Langley, D. 1984. British Army Proficiency Badges. ISBN 0950942707: Wardley Publishing.
British Army Proficiency Badges

Forty, G. 1998. British Army Handbook 1935 - 1945. ISBN 0750914033: Sutton Publishing.
An impressive 369 pages covering mobilization & training, command structures, weapons, equipment, vehicles, tactics, abbreviations, signals codes, badges and medals.  The text is backed-up with over 300 photographs.  The author spent 32 years in the Royal Tank Regiment, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.  He later became the Curator of the Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset.
British Army Handbook 1935 - 1945  Click here to buy this book

Froggatt, DJ. 1986. Railway Buttons, Badges & Uniforms. ISBN 0711016496: Ian Allan Ltd.
Railway Buttons, Badges & Uniforms

Gaylor, J. 2002. Military Badge Collecting. ISBN 0850525241: Leo Cooper.
6th revised edition of a photographic reference covering 800 military badges from the period 1881 to 1996, with an explanation of the evolution of military badges, and advice on the acquisition, mounting and storage of badges.  Includes sections on tartan badge-backings and feather hackles.
Military Badge Collecting  Click here to buy this book

Gordon, DB. 1998. Tommy - Volume One. ISBN 1575100428: Pictorial Histories Publishing.
A useful, well-researched hand-book covering WW2 British uniforms, equipment. weapons and vehicles- written by a re-enactor for re-enactors.  Lots of illustrations.
Tommy - Volume One  Click here to buy this book

Harfield, AG. 1982. Head Dress, Badges and Embellishments of the Royal Corps of Signals. ISBN 0902633813: Picton Publishing (Chippenham).
Head Dress, Badges and Embellishments of the Royal Corps of Signals

Hobart, MC. 2000. Badges and Uniforms of the Royal Air Force. ISBN 0850527392: Pen & Sword Books.
Recently published - excellent book on Royal Air Force insignia - includes Royal Observer Corps and Air Cadets.  This is the only specialist RAF badge book still in print.
Badges and Uniforms of the Royal Air Force  Click here to buy this book

Kipling, AL & King, HL. 1995. Head-Dress Badges of the British Army - Volume 1 - Up to the end of the Great War. ISBN 0584109474: Muller, Blond & White Ltd.
An excellent book with black and white photographs of nearly 1900 cap badges. Each badge is numbered and the numbers are used by dealers and collectors as the 'industry-standard' to refer to cap badges. If you are going to buy cap badges by mail order, then you need this book.
Head-Dress Badges of the British Army - Volume 1 - Up to the end of the Great War  Click here to buy this book

Kipling, AL & King, HL. 1994. Head-Dress Badges of the British Army - Volume 2 - From the end of the Great War to the Present Day. ISBN 0584109482: Muller, Blond & White Ltd.
An excellent book with black and white photographs of many cap badges. Each badge is numbered and the numbers are used by dealers and collectors as the 'industry-standard' to refer to cap badges. If you are going to buy cap badges by mail order, then you need this book.
Head-Dress Badges of the British Army - Volume 2 - From the end of the Great War to the Present Day  Click here to buy this book

Linaker, D & Dine G. 1997. Cavalry Warrant Officers' and Non-Commissioned Officers' Arm Badges. ISBN 0951060333: Military Historical Society.
Cavalry Warrant Officers' and Non-Commissioned Officers' Arm Badges

Loughran, JL. 1995. Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World. ISBN 0851746349: Brown, Son & Ferguson
Useful for identifying Merchant Navy buttons and insignia - 1088 illustrations of shipping company liveries.
Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World  Click here to buy this book

May, WE; Carman, WY & Tanner, J. 1974. Badges and Insignia of the British Armed Services. ISBN 0713613440: A & C Black Ltd
An excellent book with 6 colour plates, 39 black 7 white photographs and 765 line drawings.  The book is in 3 sections to cover the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force.  The authors were senior directors of the national museums of the respective services.  It is a particularly good reference for Royal Naval branch & trade insignia.  Unfortunately no longer in print, it contains much information unavailable elsewhere.  Try to get a second-hand copy if you can.
Badges and Insignia of the British Armed Services

Mills, J. 1997. Doing Their Bit - Home Front Lapel Badges 1939-1945. ISBN 0952811405: Wardens Publishing
'Doing Their Bit' is a superb unique reference work covering lapel badges worn during the Second World War 1939-1945. The badges are illustrated in colour, together with dates and history of each badge. The badges were worn on civilian clothes to denote that wearers were 'doing their bit' to contribute towards the war effort. This is the only book on the subject and is also a useful research reference regarding the many short-lived organisations that appeared during WW2.
Doing Their Bit - Home Front Lapel Badges 1939-1945  Click here to buy this book

Mills, J. 1993. A People's Army - Civil Defence and Uniforms 1939-1945. Wardens Publishing
A People's Army - Civil Defence and Uniforms 1939-1945

Morgan, JLP & Thurman, T. 1997. American Military Patch Guide. ISBN 1884452337: Medals of America Press
American Military Patch Guide  Click here to buy this book

Nevill, T. 1999. The Scottish Regiments. ISBN 1861262841: Crowood Press
A colour guide to the legendary Scottish regiments of today's British Army. The regular units covered are: The Scots Guards; The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards; The Royal Scots; The Royal Highland Fusiliers; The King's Own Scottish Borderers; The Black Watch; The Highlanders; and The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The text details the units, their organization, equipment, weapons and vehicles and their uniforms and insignia. Illustrated with more than 100 colour photographs of Scottish soldiers in combat dress, training and working in the field, and on parade, this book is part of the "Europa Militaria" series
The Scottish Regiments  Click here to buy this book

Owen, CR. 1990. The Military Badges and Insignia of Southern Africa. ISBN 0620154381: Chimperie Agencies
.The Military Badges and Insignia of Southern Africa

Parkyn, HG. 1956 (re-printed 1986). (Military) Shoulder-Belt Plates and Buttons. ISBN 0950853054: Ray Westlake
.(Military) Shoulder-Belt Plates and Buttons

Seaman, P. 1994. Arm Badges of the British Cavalry Regiments. ISBN 0952426102: P Seaman.
Arm Badges of the British Cavalry Regiments  Click here to buy this book

Taylor, MB & Wilkinson, S. 1995. Badges of Office - an Illustrated Guide to the Helmets and Badges of the British Police 1829 to 1989. ISBN 0901718521: PICA GB.
Badges of Office - an Illustrated Guide to the Helmets and Badges of the British Police 1829 to 1989  Click here to buy this book

Taylor, P. 2000. Allied Special Forces Insignia 1939 - 1948. ISBN 0850525829: Leo Cooper.
Allied Special Forces Insignia 1939 - 1948 Click here to buy this book

Taylor, P. 1998. Collecting Anodised Cap Badges. ISBN 085052637X: Leo Cooper.
This book lists nearly every anodised cap badge which has ever been used by the British Forces.  Black & white line drawings of badges.
Collecting Anodised Cap Badges  Click here to buy this book

Thomas, C & Endean Ivall, D. 1976. Military Insignia of Cornwall. ISBN 0903686147: Penwith Books.  Click here to buy this book

Thomas, M & Lord C. 1995. New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991 - Part One. ISBN 0473032880: Thomas & Lord, New Zealand.
New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991 - Part One

Thomas, M & Lord C. 1995. New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991 - Part Two. ISBN 0473032899: Thomas & Lord, New Zealand.
New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991 - Part Two

Thompson, L. 1999. Badges and Insignia of the Elite Forces. ISBN 0713713291: Blandford.
Badges and Insignia of the Elite Forces  Click here to buy this book

Thornton, WM. 1997. Submarine Insignia of the World. ISBN 0850525365: Leo Cooper.
Submarine Insignia of the World  Click here to buy this book

Westlake, R. 1997. Collecting Metal Shoulder Titles. ISBN 0850525055: Leo Cooper.
This is an excellent book with black and white photographs of over 1800 British Army metal shoulder titles, and descriptions of many more. Each badge is numbered and the numbers are used by dealers and collectors as the 'industry-standard' to refer to shoulder titles. If you are going to buy British Army shoulder titles by mail order, then you need this book.
Collecting Metal Shoulder Titles  Click here to buy this book

Whittaker, LB. 1990. Stand Down - Orders of Battle for the units of the Home Guard of the United Kingdom. ISBN 1871167140: Ray Westlake Military Books.
An excellent book on the Home Guard, including locations, dates, insignia and unit commanders.
Stand Down - Orders of Battle for the units of the Home Guard of the United Kingdom

Windle, D. 2000. Badges and Insignia of the Royal Air Force. ISBN 1854095293: Cassell Military.
Badges and Insignia of the Royal Air Force  Click here to buy this book