Hand generated torch : Sergeant W H Harris, 24 Squadron, RAAF

Accession Number REL32863
Collection type Technology
Object type Technology
Physical description Alloy, Glass
Place made Netherlands
Date made c 1939-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Small hand held olive green pressed alloy torch with two complete securing pins and a hole where one is now missing on the both sides. A black palm and thumb grip to generate light is on top. Set into the front of the lantern is a replaceable light bulb. Each side of the lantern is embossed with seven horizontal lines. On the lower side is stamped 'MADE IN HOLLAND / TYPE 7424' with the Philips logo. Next to the logo is stamped 'IMPORTE / DE HOLLANDE / 2.5 VOLT - 0.4A'. A clear protective cover for the bulb appears to be missing from the front of the torch.

History / Summary

This object is associated with the service of Sergeant William Henry Harris of 24 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). William Henry Harris was born on 16 July 1921 in Gawler South Australia. He was living at Broken Hill, New South Wales when he enlisted into the RAAF on 3 July 1940 and was allocated the service number 28117. He was discharged from the RAAF on 26 February 1946 with the rank of sergeant. The light bulb is turned on by pumping a handle in the top of the lamp and activating a black small generator. There are obvious advantages in using a torch that does not require continual replacement of batteries, especially in the military during wartime where supplies of batteries can be disrupted or stopped completely. Contemporary accounts of these torches in use by both Allied and German forces during the Second World War report these being quite tiresome and noisy to use.