Sopwith Camel brooch : W E Betts, Royal Air Force

Place Europe: United Kingdom
Accession Number REL/21630.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Metal, Paint
Maker Betts, Walter Edwin
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1916-1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Gold coloured handmade brooch in the shape of a Sopwith Camel biplane. The plane has a rotating propeller. The wings are painted with blue, white and red roundels (although some of the white paint has flaked off) and the tail has also been painted blue, white and red. A pin and hook have been soldered beneath the lower wing.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of Walter Edwin Betts. Betts was born on 1 June 1898 in the United Kingdom. He served with the Royal Naval Air Service and then the Royal Air Force during the First World War. During his service he made small Sopwith Camel brooches to give to his female relatives. In 1923 he emigrated with his wife, Muriel, to Australia. During the Second World War he enlisted in the 2nd AIF, serving with 2/2 Army Field Workshops in Egypt and Greece. Betts was captured by the Germans in Greece and imprisoned at Stalag 18A at Gratz, Austria. As a private he was able to be put to work by the Germans under the Geneva Convention. One of his jobs during his captivity at Stalag 18A was to work as a handyman for the Gratz tramways. Betts returned to Australia and was discharged on 9 April 1946. He died on 13 November 1981.