Royal Observer Corps RAF portable telephone

Royal Observer Corps RAF portable telephone

Code: M24408


W: 31cm (12.2")H: 33cm (13")D: 35cm (13.8")


Royal Observer Corps Telephone, Portable, For Observer Posts.  R.A.F. stores reference 5B/125.  Comprised of an oak cased transit box, approximately 31 x 25 x 22cm, with a green canvas covered top incorporating a brown leather carrying handle. The front face of the box hinges down to reveal operational instructions, an 'Alphabetic Speaking Code' (phonetic alphabet) and diagram showing the correct way in which to store the enclosed headphones, wiring loom and chest microphone.  Inside the box there is also a wooden compartment fitted with two metal bells and an externally mounted generator crank handle.  When the inner compartment removed it is possible to see the telephone components, dry cell battery compartment and another label illustrated with a wiring diagram.

The Royal Observer Corps were involved in the detection, identification and tracking of allied and axis aircraft over Britain.  Observer Posts were established  all over the country, each with a direct telecommunications line to both regional and central control units. This set would have been used to relay vital information that would enable the RAF to be scrambled and intercept approaching enemy aircraft.  This unit is an extremely rare early model operated using the crank handle to generate a charge in order to ring the bells and alert other ROC units on the line.  Communication was then done using the headphones and bakelite chest microphone of the same pattern as those used by WAAF personnel in RAF operations rooms.

The case is in good overall condition.  The canvas top has some damage/soiling and the carrying handle is broken.  The telephone'electrics' appear to be complete and are very clean.  No batteries fitted.  The headphones are very good, the wiring loom and jackplug quite good.  The microphone breastplate was worn suspended by a leather strap, one of the securing  'clips' is absent and the distinctive microphone trumpet is cracked.  All of the solid brass fittings and hinges are good are good.  It could all do with a clean up but nevertheless this is a rare unit and highly collectable.  Please note this item is heavy.  Stock code M24408.