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Original British WWII 21st Anti-Tank Regiment Commander Lt. General Geoffrey K. Bourne 1950s Uniform Tunic with Photos - Formerly Part of the A.A.F. Tank Museum

Regular price $2,395.00

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is a lovely 1954 dated Khaki Uniform tunic, owned by Geoffrey K. Bourne, who during WWII was a brilliant staff officer, as well as commander of the 21st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery and the 152nd (Ayrshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. After his WWII service he continued to serve in the armed forces, rising to the rank of full General after the war, and also in 1964 was created a life peer with the title Baron Bourne, of Atherstone in the County of Warwick.

This 1950s uniform tunic and pictures came to us from the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance Memorial Museum. The AAF Tank Museum was a living memorial dedicated to the Tank and Cavalry soldiers of the world. Before 1981 some of the artifacts that make up the AAF Tank Museum was a private collection belonging to Mr. William Gasser. Mr. Gasser felt that his collection would be beneficial in educating present and future generations to the sacrifices made and the technologies gained during war. Therefore, in 1981 the AAF Tank Museum was established as a non-profit charitable organization, and Mr. Gasser donated his private collection to the Tank Museum. Mr. Gasser is still active as Volunteer Director and Curator of the Tank Museum and his knowledge of military history has been a great asset to the museum. Unfortunately after 20 years of operation it had to close its doors, which is when this was acquired.

Despite being worn, the uniform was well-maintained and are in great condition. The original insignia are all still in great shape, as are the buttons, and there is just a bit of oxidation on the bullion insignia on the collar and shoulders. As expected for any uniform of Bourne's, the right arm is shortened and sewn to the uniform, as he did not have a right arm. The uniform still has the original tailor tag on the inside of the right shoulder, which reads:


Lt. General G.K. Bourne
Feb. 1954.

The uniform has quite the impressive medal bar, which actually has some U.S. awards on it as well, as Bourne was working with U.S. Forces during the pre-war period, and during part of the war.  There are also some thread loops on the left chest pocket, and some above the other ribbon bars, probably from another configuration of his many awards.

Included with the tunic & tie are the following additional items:
The original painted metal display placard used when the uniform was owned and displayed by the A.A.F. Tank Museum.

Two Prints of Period Photographs acquired from the British National Army Museum in 2008, both of which show Bourne in uniform. We assume one is from his WWII service, and one may be post war. These are marked with the asset numbers of the AAF Tank Museum.

A lovely WWII set that will make a great addition to any collection! More than ready for further research and display.

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to sleeve: 26”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16.5”
Chest width: 20"
Waist width: 20"
Hip width: 24"
Front length: 32"

General Geoffrey Kemp Bourne, Baron Bourne, GCB, KBE, CMG (5 October 1902 – 26 June 1982) was a British Army officer. Commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1923,[2][3] Bourne, promoted to lieutenant in February 1925,[4] served in Hong Kong from 1930 to 1932, in Gibraltar from 1933 and 1934, as a student at the Staff College, Camberley in 1935 and 1936, during which time he was promoted to captain,[5] and in Colchester in 1937.[2] In 1938 and 1939, he was a General Staff Officer at the War Office.[2]

During the Second World War, Bourne was a member of the Joint Planning Staff between 1939 and 1941, and a member of the Joint Staff Mission in Washington, D.C. in 1942.[2] In 1944, after commanding the 21st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, throughout most of 1943,[6] and serving for six months as a staff officer with South East Asia Command, he was commander of the 152nd (Ayrshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, fighting with the regiment in Italy, before serving with I Airborne Corps as a Brigadier General Staff (BGS)fighting in Belgium.[2]

Between 1945 and 1946, Bourne was Commander, Royal Artillery with the 5th Indian Division in Java, and worked at the Imperial Defence College in 1947.[2][6] He was Head of the British Mission to Burma in 1948 and Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin from 1949 to 1951.[2][6] Between 1951 and 1953 he commanded the 16th Airborne Division, was General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command from 1953 to 1954, and General Officer Commanding Malaya from 1954 to 1956.[2][6] Bourne was Commander-in-Chief, Middle East Land Forces in 1957 and Commandant of the Imperial Defence College from 1958 to 1959.[2] He retired in 1960.[2][6]

Bourne was also Aide-de-Camp General to The Queen in 1959 and 1960, Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery from 1954 to 1967 and Honorary Colonel, 10 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, Territorial Army from 1960 to 1965.

On 11 July 1928, Bourne married Agnes Evelyn Thompson, daughter of Sir Ernest Thompson.[7] The couple had one son, the Hon. Michael Bourne (1937–2013) and one daughter. Lady Bourne died in 1990.

Bourne was invested as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.[8] On 22 August 1964, he was created a life peer with the title Baron Bourne, of Atherstone in the County of Warwick.

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