An original British Army Middle Parka in a size No. 5 and dating from the 1960s.
During the Korean War it became evident that the British Army needed more suitable cold weather clothing. The greatcoat in issue at the beginning of the Korean War was not sufficient for the extreme cold temperatures faced by soldiers in Korea leading to the development of the Middle Parka.
Officially designated 'Parkas, Middle (Without Hood), this pattern of parka takes some of its influence from the American Army 'FishTail' parkas used during the Korean War. The design is typical of British military wear of the 1950s featuring large light green-grey coloured buttons and the same extended pockets which fold back on themselves under the flap which are also found on the Ventile Parka and Ventile Smock. The main body of the jacket is made of green cotton sateen and features a thick fur lining. An 'NZ' branded zipper and button fly fastens the front whilst epaulettes can be found on each shoulder. A pen pocket is located to the left breast pocket and the cuffs feature straps which can be used to pull the sleeve tight around the wearer's wrist. The unit the coat belonged to has been added in ink to the reverse of the fly and reads 38 Squadron 'RCT WKSP' denoting a Royal Corps of Transport Workshop. 38 Squadron did two tours of Northern Ireland in 1979 and 1980.
Inside the jacket both the original labels are present. The manufacturer's label states the size of 5 and the maker's name as 'James Smith & Co. (Derby) Ltd'. The A/78 Contract number is also present. There is a second label to the interior which bears details about how to wear the coat.
The jacket is designed to be worn over a uniform and is therefore cut in an oversize manner. When laid flat it measures -
Chest - 26 1/4"
Inside arm - 18"
Outside arm - 23"
Shoulders - 21"
Length at front - 32"
Length at rear - 40"
The jacket is in very good condition and does not show any real signs of use or wear. Overall it displays very well and is totally wearable but please take time to study the pictures before purchasing.
A nice original British military coat which is guaranteed to keep you warm!
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