Lifejacket : 46th (North Midland) Division, British Army

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Aisne, St Quentin
Accession Number RELAWM00998
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Canvas, Cotton, Kapok
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Sinai Palestine 1918: Final Battles
Maker Boddy Pty Ltd
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1910-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Cotton canvas lifejacket with kapok filling. Stamped on the front with black ink is 'ADULT OR CHILD / 'BODDY' / LIFE JACKET / FRONT'.

History / Summary

Lifejacket used by members of the British 46th (North Midland) Division in the crossing of the St. Quentin Canal on 29 September 1918. It was found at St. Souplet, 20 miles from the Canal, in November 1918 and had apparently been used as a pillow.

The British 46th (North Midland) Division was a 1st Line Territorial Force Division in the First World War. In February 1915 it was sent to France and served on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War.

On 29 September 1918, the Division used lifejackets and collapsible boats to cross the St. Quentin Canal. They used scaling ladders to surmount the steep gradient of the opposite bank and captured multiple hostile machine gun posts covering that point.

The Territorial Army was reformed in 1921-22 but the 46th Division was disbanded in 1936.