The subject of Body Armour raised many a discussion during the Great War. This letter in The Times dated 17th July 1916, is an excellent example of the debate going on at the time.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir, - I am glad you have taken up the subject of body armour. Thousands of lives have already been wasted, as the steel helmets have proven, could have been saved. The French led the way with steel helmets; let us hope we shall lead the way with steel body shields. I believe experiments have been made with specially prepared metal for this purpose and that there is one at present on sale at all leading stores which the colonial troops are using. I have some letters from soldiers testifying that this shield saved their lives. Surely the Government might supply these shields free to our troops. At present it appears relatives purchase these and send them to the boys at the front. If this matter is ventilated in your columns it is not too much to be hoped that the authorities may be adjured to furnish adequate supplies of reliable body armour.
Edward J. Formby.
De Vere Gardens