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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.
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.