You've mentioned that before Taff, hence my comment about "some argument"
Nearest thing I've seen is an original helmet with the "patch" painted on the side, which could of course have been done at any time, and no clear MGC connection at that. However, as I understand it the patches we used are supposed to have been based on an original in (I think) Jay Hendy's collection (could be wrong). He would be the one to ask. Either way, I remain neutral, and wear them as society uniform regs state they be worn with MGC kit.
PS, if you have a copy of the 33rd Bat. MGC history I would love to borrow it at some point - I have been looking for a copy for a long while, but cannot justify in a single book the several hundred pounds any half-way decent copy seems to fetch on Ebay!
I think it would be good if the society could find any photographs of the patch being worn at the time by the 33rd Battalion, MGC. Otherwise you are collectively guilty of misleading the public and creating another myth - and the Great War has enough of those to be going on with!
I'm sure that some of the collectors on the Forum would have popped up with the evidence by now in other threads if they were worn as a patch.
I have a red circular patch with "ATN" embroidered in gold. These were not worn by the 18th Division but I have seen them sewn to the brassards of Divisional Staff Officers.
Likewise, there are quite a few well known patches such as the 40th Division patch with the bantam cock and the acorns, and the 52nd Lowland Division patch with the letter "L" and the shield, which were worn after the end of hostilities.
Whichever War Office bod is responsible for the upkeep of your uniform regs really should redraft them. You wouldn't dream of inventing your own Gun Drills would you?! Remaining "neutral" just means that you are improperly dressed.
You are welcome to borrow the 33rd Battalion History as long as you look after it. As you say, they are pretty expensive to replace now. Remind me next time we are likely to meet up and I will bring it along.
Here are a few photographs from the book:
Men of 100 Company, MGC taken at Arras, March 1917. Captain Seaton-Hutchinson, A&SH, in command. Before the merger of the three Companies into 33rd Battalion, MGC there is no sign of any insignia on the jackets except rank and one Sergeant with an Instructors MG badge above his stripes.
Battalion Scouts. The green cuff bands are clearly visible and you should be able to make out the brass "I"s on the collar points. One of Seaton-Hutchinson's paintings near the end of the History shows a Scout Sergeant with the brass Scout badge above his chevrons.
Finally, a close-up detail of a group photograph of all the men in the Battalion who were entitled to the Mons Star, taken 4th August, 1918. The brass "I"s are clearly seen on most of the mens collars. Plenty of GC chevrons, overseas service chevrons and ranks but no MG qualification badges at all. This is common among all the photographs in the book.
Other photos show many of the Officers wearing 'wind up' jackets in the front line (although usually with MGC collar badges) and many officers have an MGC cap badge sweated to their Brodies.