Monday 3 February 2014

Soldiers embroidery industry.... Help needed with information.

Good morning all

Well I have something for you all today.... I found a while ago, in a antique shop, a needle case.  It is probably something like 80 odd years old.  In the back is a label and it reads.

Made by the totally disabled. 42 Ebury Street ( that's in London) and it was made by an injured soldier from the 1st world war!! It is stunning.

I can not find out much about all of this dear readers, so can anyone help me?  I found an article in the news paper archives.
The Spectator, page 17, 30 April 1932

Exhibition and sale of work done by disabled ex servicemen belonging to the industry 42 Princes Gate S.W

Can anyone help with any information about this item and others like it?  I have emailed the new business in that address.  Do any of my readers know anything about this charity or do you have a piece stitched by a soldier with the same label in?  Please get in touch....


  1. I don't know if you ever received any replies but I had (and sold) a bag also by the Disabled soldiers embroidery industry with the same label in. I sold the bag to a lecturer in Northern Ireland who was studying the charity. The little I know about it is that it was founded after WW1, c.1919 and the patron of the charity was Princess Alexandra. It actually continued until c.1950 they produced quite a lot of textile based items and accessories although there is very little material out there about them. I have 3 pictures of the bag (its a brown needlepoint with pond scenes both sides- dragonflies one side and a kingfisher the other, lined in peach satin with the label sewn in the lining. Best Wishes, Naomi

  2. Hi Harriet and Naomi
    I am from Lanark, Ontario, Canada and have recently found a piece of embroidery from The Soldiers Embroidery Industry. It was in a box lot of items from an auction I purchased in August 2014 - there are pictures of this item as well as links to other items and information on '' that may be of interest.
    Do you happen to have the information for the person in Northern Ireland that purchased your item? I would love to show this article to him/her and get more history. If I knew how to post photos on this blog I would send them along. I would also like to see photos of the bag that you sold. Look forward to trading information.

  3. FYI this group, the Disable Soldiers Needlework Industry, was founded by English Actor Ernest Thesiger, who was himself a wounded WWI veteran and avid needleworker. He was given a CBE by the Queen for his work among disabled veterans, many of whom were blind, and went on to write a book on the subject of needlework. He was a great stage actor but is best know in the US for his part as Dr. Pretorious in Bride of Frankenstein.

    1. Thank you! Love the back ground info. I am avidly looking for collectors of WW1 memorabilia so that this piece I have can find a proper home. Please let me know if you have any further information. Lori

  4. I recently purchased a large linen lined cloth with the flowers embroidery and I don't know what to do with it...same label - very disabled solidiers... etc would love to know where to contact... and where it should be... exhibited displayed etc