Indian Button Stick

I have been looking for an Indian Army marked button stick to add to my Indian personal kit for a while now. Whilst I am still looking for one bearing the /|\ over ‘I’ Indian ownership mark, I have found another example with an Indian connection that is in some ways even more interesting. In form this button stick is entirely standard and has the cut outs one would expect to allow it to be used with 1908 pattern webbing:

It is the stamp in the top left of this side that makes it interesting as it is the name of a retailer, J K Dey of Calcutta:

The rear of the button stick has further stamps on it:

At the top is the manufacturer’s mark, here for Bodill Parker of Birmingham, together with a manufacturing date of 1932:

There is also a hand stamped soldier’s number:

The combination of stamps makes me think that the button stick was manufactured in Britain as a private contract for the retailer in Calcutta. It was then sold to the soldier as a private purchase, possibly to replace his issued example that had been lost. This is a very interesting example and its fun how it was made in the UK, shipped to the Indian sub-continent and then at some point it’s made its way back to Britain.

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