Jewish Brigade

The Jewish Infantry Brigade Group was a military formation of the British Army that served in Europe during the Second World War. Although the brigade was formed in 1944, some of its experienced personnel had been employed against the Axis powers in Greece, the Middle East and East Africa. More than 30,000 Palestinian Jews volunteered to serve in the British Armed Forces, 734 of whom died during the war.

The brigade and its predecessors, the Palestine Regiment and the three infantry companies that had formed it, were composed primarily of Middle Eastern Jews. The brigade was nevertheless inclusive to all Jewish and non-Jewish soldiers so that by 1944 over 50 nationalities were represented. Many were refugees displaced from countries that had been occupied or controlled by the Axis powers in Europe and Ethiopia. Volunteers from the United Kingdom, its empire, the Commonwealth, and other "western democracies" also provided contingents.

Source: Wikipedia


Decorations

As they were soldiers of the British Army, the Jewish Brigade members were first of all entitled to the British campaign and service medals.

The Israeli recognition for the WW2 volunteers knew several stages:
 

Badge of the Jewish Brigade

  During the first years of the IDF, sometimes the volunteers badge of the Jewish Brigade Group was worn, however this was no official Israeli decoration.

 

   
War of Independence Ribbon with Jewish Brigade clasp Many former Jewish Brigade soldiers took part in the struggle for independence of Israel. If they were entitled to the War of Independence Ribbon, some placed a small Jewish Brigade clasp on this ribbon.
 

Volunteers ribbon

In 1961 the Volunteers ribbon was instituted, among else for citizens or permanent residents of Israel who during the Second World War, voluntarily served in the British army before 8.11.1944. In case the voluntary service started on or after this date, a minimum period of 6 months service is required.

Fighters against Nazis Ribbon

Any citizen who voluntary served in the Allied Forces during the Second World War is also entitled to the Fighters against Nazis Ribbon, instituted in 1967.

Medal of Fighter against the Nazis

The medal that was instituted after the ribbon. On the back appears the symbol of the State of Israel and the text: Fighter against the Nazis - veteran of the Second World War. 

In 1968 the Decoration of State Warriors. was instituted in recognition for all kinds of service in the defence of the Jewish people or the struggle for independence of Israel, including the service in the Jewish Brigade. This decoration exists in 2 versions: a civilian and a military. The military version is a clasp to be mounted on the War of Independence Ribbon.
 

Decoration of State Warriors - civilian version

Decoration of State Warriors on War of Independence Ribbon

civilian version

military version

 
Sample pictures:
 

 
In closeup:

Top line: ribbons for War of Independence, Sinai Campaign, Six Day War
Second line: ribbons for War of Attrition, Yom Kippur war,Volunteers ribbon
Third line: Fighter against the Nazis medal, 5 miniature British medals -
1939-1945 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal and at the right of this the Commemorial medal for 60 years to victory on Germany 1945-2005.

 

with thanks to Tal Inbar

 

Sample 2:
 
On the picture below we see two Jewish War Veterans. The man at the left wears on his chest the following badges, ribbons and medals:

Top: Decoration of State Warriors.

Second line: ribbons for Fighter against the Nazis, Yom Kippur war,Volunteers

Third line: ribbons for War of Independence, Sinai Campaign, Six Day War, Hagana

Fourth line: Miniature British medals - General Service Medal, 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal

Below this two medals: Commemorial medal for 60 years to victory on Germany 1945-2005, Fighter against the Nazis medal.

The man at the right, wears the Jewish Brigade badge and the 5 British medals.

 

Jewish Brigade Veterans