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Stock No. 5041

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WWII Childs Kapok Flotation Device - Click for the bigger picture

WWII Childs Kapok Flotation Device

This is most certainly a first for us! Whilst clearly stamped to the front 'Child' looking at its diminutive size one almost feels 'baby' would have been a more accurate description! Below is stamped in ink 'MT' and a Kings Crown ; we believe this refers to the Ministry of Transport which was formed in 1941 when it merged with the Ministry of Shipping with responsibility for sea transport. A further stamp appears to read A.M, and is dated of August 22nd 1945 (although could be'49) and finally 'Sunderland'. Whilst only speculation could this have been a vest taken on charge by the Air Ministry for use flying civilian passengers on Sunderland flying boats?Alternatively it could simply have originated from the port town of Sunderland. The back kapok pad carries the logo of a lifebelt and in the centre is marked 'Reverse'.

The condition of the vest is what we would described in designer terms as 'shabby chic', with water stains and storage marks but is in generally good display condition. It remains a bit of an enigma but it almost certainly has a story to tell if only it could talk. If any visitors to the site can enlighten us a little more with it's background please get in touch and we can add to our description. This would make a perfect stage or film prop and an ideal accessory if TV's 'Call the Midwife' ever need to take their young charges to sea!

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