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Betty White's Jacket

Betty White's Jacket

She gathered a collection of more than 100 military badges and buttons...

In June 1944, at the time of the D-Day Landings, five year old Betty White lived in Gosport, Hampshire.

Troops on their way to the fighting in Normandy (who included Canadians, Americans and other nationalities as well as British) often parked their vehicles outside Betty’s house while they waited to embark on landing craft that would take them across the English Channel.

Betty asked many of these men to give her a spare badge or button from their uniforms. She gathered a collection of more than 100 military badges and buttons, which her mother sewed onto an old blue coat.

This coat was kept by the family for 65 years, until it was donated to the D-Day Museum in March 2009.

Quick Facts

  • Accession number DD/2009/43
  • Badges collected for jacket 1944
  • Donated to the museum March 2009
  • Owned by Betty White
  • Made of textile

Facts

  • The various buttons and badges represent a cross-section of the Allied units who were stationed in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight during the Second World War, and who left from this area for the fighting in France in 1944.
  • The D-Day Landings were a turning point in the Second World War, and are of major local, national and international significance.
  • The touching story of a young girl meeting soldiers who were on their way to the heavy fighting in Normandy also illustrates the relationship between the soldiers and the civilians at home, and will stir many memories among local people of the wartime generations who witnessed similar events themselves.

Did you know?

The Hampshire/Isle of Wight area, and particularly Portsmouth and Gosport, played a huge part in the D-Day Landings, which is why the D-Day Museum is located there.

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