When this little mirror popped up on eBay last week I very quickly picked it up to add to my 1944 pattern small kit:As can be seen this mirror is made of stainless steel, polished to make it very relective, with two holes fitted through it. These allow the mirror to be hung up for shaving in everyday use, and allow it to be used as a heliograph if circumstances warranted it. The grometted hole in the centre allows the mirror to be lined up precisely for signalling, with a tight beam of light reflecting off the surface. By tipping the mirror back and forth a flash of light can be created that allows signals to be transmitted using Morse code. This method of communicating was both simple and pretty secure and was frequently used in sunnier climes and mountainous areas where other forms of communication would not be as effective.
The mirror is protected from scratches by a green cotton bag:The only markings on the mirror are a War Department /|\ mark and a maker’s stamp of WTL:WTL seems to be quite a common manufacturer’s mark for these mirrors, but this example is missing the date that often appears beneath the /|\ mark. Although the mirror is designed to be used as a signalling device, I suspect it was of far more use to the average soldier as a shaving mirror, with the British Army preferring it’s soldiers to be clean shaven if at all possible, even in the field.