Officer's service dress tunic : Prince Zeid ibn Huseyin, Arab Northern Army

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Palestine
Accession Number RELAWM05421.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Cotton, Ferrous metal, Gold bullion thread, Leather, Paper, Superfine wool, Wool twill
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Sinai Palestine 1917: Beersheba
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1916-1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

British pattern, khaki gabardine tunic of wool and cotton with open lapel collar decorated with pale grey/lavender superfine gorget patches, each bearing three raised, seven-pointed stars embroidered with gold bullion, crimson, black, white and green threads over a paper base. Gabardine shoulder straps, lined with khaki cotton twill, each have a single small brown leather button and three pairs of embroidered eyelets for the attachment of shoulder rank insignia. Tunic fastens with four medium leather buttons although there are five buttonholes on the left front. At the front, two patch breast pockets with central box pleat and three-pointed flaps are fastened at each inner edge with a small press stud and small leather button at the centre. Below fitted waist, towards the sides are two expanding pockets with straight flaps and small leather buttons; above each flap at the side seam is an embroidered eyelet for the attachment of a belt hook. Pocket flaps and upper edge of each pocket lined with cotton sateen. All leather buttons are secured with split brass rings. Plain sleeves have pointed cuffs. Back of tunic has a centre back seam that opens from the lower waist to the hem as a vent. Tunic is unlined except for a panel of khaki cotton sateen extending from each shoulder seam, down to the front armhole and tapering to the front facing at the waist. Stitched to the inside of each front side dart is a tab of khaki gabardine with a brass belt hook attached through embroidered eyelets. Just below these, stitched to the top corners of each lower pocket are cotton sateen tabs that form loops. At the back neck is a hanging tab of khaki gabardine.

History / Summary

Tunic worn by Prince Zeid in Palestine during the Great Arab Revolt of 1916 against the Ottoman Empire. Prince Zeid was born 28 February 1898, the fourth son of King Hussein bin Ali and Queen Adila Khanum. Educated at Ghalata Serai and Constantinople Colleges, he also studied at Balliol College, Oxford. Between 1916 and 1919, during the Great Arab Revolt, he was deputy commander of the Arab Northern Army, possibly then with the equivalent rank of captain (Naqib) as represented by the three stars on his tunic. In 1923 he was promoted to a Colonel of Cavalry in the Iraqi Army and subsequently held the rank of Major General.

On 14 July 1958 Prince Zeid became the Head of the Royal House of Iraq after the assassination of King Faisal II, but as Iraq was proclaimed a republic, Prince Zeid, as Iraqi ambassador, returned to live in London with his family. He had married princess Fahrelnissa Zeid in Athens, Greece in 1933 and they had one son, Prince Ra'ad. Prince Zeid died in Paris in October, 1970.

The rank insignia on the gorget patches of this tunic bear three seven pointed stars. The seven points of the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue and aspiration. They are embroidered in the pan-Arab colours of red, green, white and black, the current colours of the flag of Jordan and the Hashemite Kingdom, whose Hejaz flag of the period of the Arab Revolt was the first to use the colours. Although the tunic, which was probably made in Egypt, is configured to take metal rank insignia on the shoulder straps in the British fashion, a photograph of Zeid on, which shows him together with his three brothers in this type of uniform, suggests that they only wore indications of rank on their collar patches and left the shoulder straps plain.