Home Front Armlets

HOME FRONT ARMLETS

Today, armbands from 1939-1945 are a fascinating area of militaria collecting, providing an interesting overview of Britain’s wartime services. We take a look at their history and profile some of the more collectible examples.

During World the War, Second the armband – or, to give its official name, the armlet – became prominently and widely seen across Britain as an identifier of service. It was not a new idea: indeed, it was used in the previous global conflict and before. However, it saw greatest and most widespread use between 1939-1945.

Despite the threat of imminent invasion in summer 1940, Britons were still able to laugh at the situation. This cartoon gently ribs the lack of uniforms for the new citizen army, the Local Defence Volunteers, which would go on to become the Home Guard.
ALL IMAGES VIA THE AUTHOR

Its use spread to indicate rank, specialist qualification and length of service – armlets were even intended as a lifesaver to prevent their wearer from being shot. As material shortages bit, they acted as a uniform.

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