Alternative Name(s): Button, Pin

Fundraising badge dating to the World War I era depicting J.J. Virgo.

John James Virgo (1865-1956) was a native of Adelaide, South Australia, and an active member of the Y.M.C.A. At the outbreak of World War I Virgo had settled in England and was the general secretary of the London Central Y.M.C.A. He later became the national field secretary and raised funds to support the work of the Y.M.C.A. throughout the war. A devout Christian, J.J. Virgo also is believed to have addressed two million troops on the Western Front. In 1918 he was appointed a Companion of the British Empire (C.B.E.) and next year became the English representative on the World's Alliance of Y.M.C.A.s. He retired in 1925 but continued to travel the world, including revisiting Australia, before his death in 1956.

The reference to J.J. Virgo as 'Our Jack' indicates a possible South Australian origin for the badge whilst the use of 'C.B.E.' suggests that the badge was sold in 1918 or later. Considering Virgo's strong links to the Y.M.C.A. the badge would most likely have been sold to raise funds for this organisation.

Physical Description

Round, metal badge with thin white outer rim. Dark back- ground with picture of head and shoulders of a male. OUR JACK at the top and J.J. VIRGO. C.B.E. at the bottom. Pin at back fitting into a slot.

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