The Duchy’s long coastline, mostly isolated, was felt vulnerable to possible enemy invasion. To help protect exposed and sensitive areas, Volunteer Training Corps contingents were formed in many Cornish towns.
Generally the men of Cornwall's VTC were ineligible for front-line service: old soldiers, essential war workers, members of the clergy. Among other duties they helped protect national treasures, including precious state papers which had arrived for safe keeping at Bodmin Gaol.
The Corps was a national body, the forerunner of the Second World War Home Guard, and given similar tasks. Its members wore a red brassard emblazoned with the initials GR (Georgius Rex), which led to unkind nicknames such as ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ and ‘God’s Rejects. Above is a Cornwall VTC cap badge which has survived from those days.
My book, 'Cornwall In The First World War', is published by Truran. With 112 pages and 100 images, you'll find it in bookshops across the Duchy. It's also available through Amazon: http://amzn.to/19JbtZm