Christmas Pants

Loving this ‘Christmas card’ – it just oozes South African inventiveness, innovation and that unique brand of dark military humour soldiers the world over share and understand.

The soldier who sent this ‘Christmas Card’ home was Ronald Bidgood, 1st South African Irish, whilst fighting in East Africa during World War 2. Not having much in the way to make a Christmas card in a combat zone, he used a little imagination – his folks must have been quite amused when they received this.

So here is today’s Christmas card historical artefact – enjoy.

Thanks to Stefaans Conradie for the image.

The SAAF’s Fighting Hornets in East Africa – No. 3 Squadron

1941, East African Campaign. Major J D Pretorius, the Commanding Officer of No. 3 Squadron South African Air Force, briefs his pilots in front of a SAAF Hawker Hurricane Mark I at Addis Ababa, during mopping-up operations in Abyssinia.  Note 3 Squadron’s unit badge of a hornet with boxing gloves on the starboard side of the Hawker Hurricane’s nose, this is the original “fighting hornet,” the later version used by the SAAF is a little more refined.

Photo copyright – Imperial War Museum Collection.