An original Royal Navy Officers uniform dating from the Second World War which belonged to Geoffrey Neame Loriston-Clarke.
The name G. N. Loriston-Clarke can be found in surviving documents from the 1920s and 1930s suggesting that he was in the Royal Navy for many years. During the Second World War he served on the Escort Destroyer of the Hunt (Type 1) Class HMS Southdown as a Commander between 05.02.1941 to 15.01.1942 and as an Acting Captain on the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Canton from 29.01.1942 to late 1942. On the 1st Jan 1942 he was Mentioned in Despatches and on the 28th Nov 1944 awarded the C.B.E. On the 28th May 1946, he was listed in the London Gazette as having been awarded the American "Legion of Merit" (Degree of Legionnaire). He retired in April 1948.
The suit itself quite possibly dates from the pre-war period. The construction inside the trousers is typical of 1920s and 1930s clothing. The sleeves also feature a full rank to the cuff, rather than the half rank which was introduced as an austerity measure in 1941.
This set consists of an officers No.5 Undress Coat (often referred to as 'Reefer' or 'Monkey' coat) and matching trousers, both made from black melton wool. The coat features two rows of four buttons, a notched lapel and turn down collar as well as two welt pockets to the lower portion and another to the breast. The cuff features gold bullion denoting the rank of a Lieutenant serving with the Royal Navy and all the buttons are brass kings crown examples.
The interior of the jacket is fully lined with rayon and features an interior pocket. The tailor's label is still present inside the pocket and states the maker's name as 'Gieves Ltd' and bears the owner's name in ink which reads G N Loriston-Clarke.
The suit will fit a 38" - 39" chest well depending on desired fit. When laid flat it measures -
Chest - 21 1/2"
Inside arm - 20"
Outside arm - 27 3/4"
Shoulders - 17 3/4"
Length - 31"
Waist - 17 1/2"
Inside leg - 31"
Both the jacket and trousers are in good condition with the usual signs of service wear and age. There are no serious flaws and overall the set displays very well. The trousers have been let out in the waist and there is some evidence of where this has been done, although it is only noticeable under close inspection.
A nice original WW2 period officers set which offers the scope of further research.
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