Object Title

Body Armour - British Expeditionary Force (BEF) body armour

Body Armour - British Expeditionary Force (BEF) body armour



Object Number



Purchased at auction Bosley's 15 August 1994, lot 465.

Physical Description

Comprising 'poncho'-style khaki cotton covering enclosing 3 metal plates at the back and 2 at the front. The lowest of the latter plates is deeper than the rest and is accompanied by a plate at each side. A groin-guard of three plates is attached to the lower edge by three buttons, the lowest plate being drawn down to a convex curved edge. A belt is stitched to the outer edges of each side of the lowest back plate, and fastens with a double-tongued buckle. The groin-guard is formed of three plates.

Inscriptions and Marks

Manufacturer's mark
the letters 'B E F', each respective letter encircled by twice-repeated words in the following order: ' 'BULLET PROOF', 'EFFICIENT' and 'FRACTURELESS'. The letter 'E' is enclosed by the words 'TRADE MARK'. Below is printed: 'PATENT NO.15466'
inside of the lowest plate of the groin-guard
stamped in blue ink
Letteringinside of the first back plate
handprinted in black ink
Manufacturer's markinside of the first back-plate
stamped in blue ink
Letteringpaper sticker on inside outer edge of the right side-plate
printed in red ink


Bibliographic References

Dean, Bashford, 1920. Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare, Yale (p.120)


Produced at Willenhall, Staffordshire. 13 percent manganese steel, proof against pistol bullets up to 700 feet per second. F.E.A. Taylor served in London Territorial units before World War I, as sergeant in the 23rd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment in 1919, 7th Battalion London Regiment, in which he was Lieutenant, 1921, Captain, 1929, and which became 5th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment of which he was Lieutenant Colonel by 1941.