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1914-18 War • Pioneer Battalions

• 4th Coldstream Guards • Crossed Pick and Rifle collar badges indicate a Pioneer battalion

The Crossed Pick and Rifle collar badges indicate a soldier from a Pioneer battalion. 
They were worn as a left and right hand matched pair.
Photographs show some with the rifles pointing inwards, others have the pick in that position.
The guardsman shown left wears a brass Rose & CG shoulder title and she wears a sweetheart brooch of the Coldstream Guards.
Pioneers were a fighting labour force. Each Division included one Pioneer battalion. The only Pioneer Guards battalion was the 4th Coldstream Guards who were part of the Guards Division.
Pioneers were more than just a source of labour. In the static warfare of the trenches, all soldiers dug positions and filled sandbags.
Pioneers worked under fire in battle conditions.Their role was typified in an attack. If an enemy trench was captured the back of that trench would need to be strengthened against and during a counter attack. They recruited men for their strength and stamina.
Pioneer battalions from mining and agricultural areas had an recruiting advantage.

• If you are lucky the Regiment may have only one Pioneer Battalion

23rd Btn Welsh RegtKing's Royal Rifle