BELGIAN CIVIL LABOUR
EMPLOYED BY THE ALLIED MILITARY
1944 - 1946
As soon as the Belgian territory was liberated the Allied military authorities installed a "rear combat zone".
Transit camps, military clubs, leave hostels, military barracks, all those facilities needed civil labour to be run.
At the beginning civilians were employed by the units who needed them.
It is only on December 28 1944 that a first MOU was issued.
|Gent, Belgium, 1945, British Officers Club. Belgian civil employees working as waiters.|
On January 19 1945 the Office of Mutual Aid was instituted by Law Decree.
Its task was to control and regulate all requisitions of goods and labour.
|Photo disc Belgian Civil Employee Camp Top Hat||ID tag of Belgian civil labourer|
Many thousands of Begian men and women were temporarily employed and worked as truckdriver, waitress, typist, clerk, etc.
One of the biggest employer was the US Camp Top Hat in Antwerpen.
|"The history of Camp Top Hat" june 1945 - April 1946||Camp Top Hat, discharge certificate.|
The 21st Army Group and the 12th US Army Group also engaged clercks, translators, etc.
They followed the military into Germany and were employed most often until the end of 1946.
|Certificate of Service 21st Army Group|
BADGES AND INSIGNIA
Several badges existed to make a distinction between the military and the civil employees.
In some cases it was really necessary as the civil labourers wore semi-military uniforms.
British and US, each had their own distinctive badges for their civilian employees.
No specific dress regulations existed.
It is only in January 30 1946 that the US Forces European Theatre issued the "Civilian Uniform Regulations" (circular nr13).
A that time they already employed many thousands civilians of Allied and neutral countries.
It is interesting to note
that as a mark of difference the US civilians,
employed by the US military, wore rectangular badges on the left sleeve.
|Belgian arm badge Civil Labour||Belgian arm badge "Special Service" of the Civil Labour|
|Civil Labour badge||Arm title of a civilian office manager|
|Belgian Truckdriver wearing a Civil Labour badge.||"US" Civil
Labour badge made in Belgium as worn on the uniform
before the issue of the "Civil Uniform Regulations".
insignia worn on both points of the collar
as prescribed in the "Civil Uniform Regulations".
|STEVENOT Gilbert, civilian interpreter employed by the 12thUS Army Group.|
|"US" badge worn on the outer half of the left sleeve||Idem|
|Some of the badges worn by the US civilians.|