An original British Army Middle Parka in a size No. 4 which was made in the 1970s.
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 conflict 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 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. A metal 'CLIX' 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.
Inside the jacket the drawstring located to the waist is still present as is the fish tail which is fastened inside the coat with two buttons. Both the original labels are present with the manufacturer's label stating the size of 4 and the maker's name as 'James Smith & Co (Derby) Ltd'. Below this is the A/78 contract number which dates the coat to the 1970s. The original owner has marked his surname in blue ink which reads 'Lumley'.
The jacket is designed to be worn over a uniform and is therefore cut in an oversize manner. When laid flat it measures -
Chest - 24"
Inside arm - 18"
Outside arm - 24"
Shoulders - 20"
Length at rear - 40 1/2"
The jacket is in good condition with some signs of use or wear. Overall it displays very well and is totally wearable but please take time to study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that it is a vintage, pre-worn item which may have small issues commensurate with age.
A nice original 1970s British military coat which is guaranteed to keep you warm!