Pre-WW2 1936 RAF OA Air Ministry Ankle Boots
An exceptional pair of Pre-War RAF Other Airmans black leather ankle boots, dated 1936 and in a size 8. These boots were issued to all non-commissioned airman before and during the war; prior to the pattern changing in the post war era. These boots have become very scarce in recent years with genuine Air Ministry examples becoming very difficult to find.
This pair feature nine lace holes as per the Air Ministry pattern, unlike the Royal Navy pattern that was slightly shorter at seven lace holes. These boots retain their original leather soles and heels, along with all Air Ministry and maker stamps. They were made by 'T.E.B.Butt & Hall Bros Ltd' of Raunds in Northamptonshire, the traditional home of leather boot makers. As a result the leather and craftsmanship is of the highest quality. The matching maker marks are present on the tongue of the boots, along with the date of 1936 in the centre of each. The inside of each boot bears the size stamp '8' and the accompanying fit size '6'. this is repeated on both soles. The inside also bears Air Ministry acceptance stamps in black with the code '5' below; this is also present in both boots. The size stamps have once more been stamped in yellow ink inside the top of each ankle section. The ankle of each boot features cotton pull tabs for ease of putting them on. The boots are complete with a pair of matching leather laces.
The condition is excellent, with only the soles showing any real wear. Despite this, the soles and heels have not been worn down or damaged in any way, retaining all heel studs and nails. The heels and soles are original and have not been replaced. The leather itself is incredibly soft and supple despite their age, there appears to be no drying out. The only area of leather to have any wear is the inside of one boot along the lace holes and a small area of the tongue. This would likely blacken and polish out if desired, though would undoubtedly be hidden when laced up for display. There is very small crack to the surface leather at the rear of one ankle as pictured, this is barely perceivable however. Aside from this, there are only some minor surface scuffs to the toe caps which would polish out if desired. At present no conservation has been done on them.
Overall a very scarce item of Pre-War RAF footwear; more so than flying boots it would appear. They are in excellent little worn condition and nicely marked and dated. They would be a credit to any RAF colection.
Mid 20th Century, WW2