Australian Forces Side Plate

About ten years ago the Australian military cleared out some warehouses and there were stacks of crockery sold off by militaria dealers in Australia for pocket money prices. Despite this, pieces of crockery with the Australian Military Forces badge on them are more unusual over here in the UK so it has been very nice to pick up an example of the side plate, made in heavy duty white china with blue decoration:

The body of the plate is very reminiscent of the heavy duty tableware you received at school as a kid or that which is used in hospitals. It is designed for regular use over long periods of time without breaking or chipping easily and so is ideally suited for service with the military in canteens and mess halls. The only decoration is the badge of the Australian Military which has been applied as a transfer before the plate was glazed and fired:

Oddly, this plate was actually manufactured in the UK, presumably because Australia did not have the home grown industry to manufacture in the quantity needed at the time of its procurement. It was made by Maddock and is ‘vitrified’:

Vitrified porcelain is widely used in the commercial world as it is very strong and resistant to chipping and breakage in a way that domestic crockery is not. The process involves heating the ceramics up to such a temperature that the surface fuses together and becomes glass like in appearance and very strong.

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