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Formation badge of 81st West African Division, 'Black Tarantulas', 1943 (c).
The 81st West African Division was formed in Nigeria on 1 March 1943. It was composed of units from the Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast (now Ghana). The emblem of a black tarantula spider on a yellow circular background was chosen as their formation badge. The badge continues the long tradition of using animals to represent qualities with which an organisation would like to be associated. The 81st hoped to have the attributes of the mischievous part-spider part-man African folk hero known as 'Anansi'.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, London. Display: World Wars
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