British body armour, 1917. The first official attempts at commissioning body armor were made in 1915 by the British Army Design Committee, in particular a 'Bomber's Shield' for the use of bomber pilots who were notoriously under-protected in the air from stray bullets and shrapnel.
1917: British Body Armour “The ‘EOB’ armour was designed by the Munitions Inventions Board, worn with a protective collar, made of layers of compressed silk padded within canvas. Weighing in at 9 ½ pounds, the system would stop pistol rounds, shrapnel and grenades.”
Body Armour, EOB Type: British (rigid hard variety) Front, back & abdomen plates. A three-piece set of body armour comprising metal plates sandwiched between tan coloured canvas with leather straps and buckles that permit the front and rear plates to be secured to upper body. To the reverse of the front plate is buckled a single lower abdomen protective plate.