Burtons Demob Suit

Contributed by Leeds Museums and Galleries

A demob suit for men leaving the forces in 1946, made by Burtons. © Leeds Museums & Galleries

Before the Second World War Burtons alone clothed 25 % of the male population in BritainAt the end of the Second World War, all servicemen returning home were issued with a set of civilian clothing, including a three piece suit. Many of the suits were made by the Leeds firm of Burtons. This was founded at the start of the 20th century by a Lithuanian Russian migrant Jew, Montague Burton (1885-1952), who initially established shops selling bespoke and ready-to-wear suits in Sheffield and Mansfield. As the business expanded Leeds became the manufacturing centre for the company. Montague Burton was knighted for services to industry in 1931, going on to endow chairs at several universities, including Leeds.
During the Second World War Burton's firm made a quarter of all British military uniforms. After the war Burtons continued as a successful business selling men's suits and clothing.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 08:50 on 19 August 2010, Ella Sharp wrote:

    I'm about to embark on making a Demob suit - scary I know! I'm trying to access the Burton archives (they must be somewhere - not had a lot of joy with the Arcadia - but I am undoubtedly looking in the wrong place) does anyone have any blocks or patterns from the period?
    Many thanks

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