The National Archives
Search our website
  • Search our website
  • Search our records

The interactive parts of this resource no longer work, but it has been archived so you can continue using the rest of it.

Propaganda: Personalities

Home FrontProduction - SalvageAllied UnityThe Fighting ForcesPersonalities

"Major General ‘Boy' Browning" Artist unknown, 1942. Gouache and ink on board

Major General ‘Boy' Browning

"Major General ‘Boy' Browning" Artist unknown, 1942

Catalogue ref: INF 3/72Links to the Catalogue

A colour image of Major General ‘Boy' Browning, described by the Americans as a ‘supercilious English aristocrat'. Browning was the father of Britain's modern airborne forces and created the 1st Airborne Division.

Browning felt that the ‘Paras' should have their own distinctive headdress rather than wearing that of their previous regiments or corps. Legend, probably falsely, attributes the colour of the distinctive maroon berets worn by the Paras to his wife, the famous author Daphne du Maurier. Browning also assigned the artist, Major Edward Seago, to design an emblem for the Airborne Forces. The result was the famous insignia, taken from Ancient Greek myth, of the warrior Bellerophon riding Pegasus, the winged horse.

This portrait in its striking colours was designed for South America and Portugal. The text on this image is in Portuguese. Its text refers to the North African/Tunisian campaigns of 1942.