An extremely rare British Army Hospital Blue Shirt dating from the Great War.
Hospital blue uniform was issued to men of the British Army who were convalescing in hospital from the Crimean War period all the way through to the early 1960s. The various uniform items are now very hard to find, especially of Great War vintage. Without a doubt however, the shirt is one of the rarest items which are missing from many collections.
The shirt is a simple cotton article which features a half placket front as was commonly seen during the first half of the 20th Century. It is cut wide in the body and at the shoulders to allow it to easily be put on a wounded man. The attached collar is also of particular note as it is notably large and soft unlike most shirts of the period which featured stiff detachable collars. These collars are clearly visible in original period photographs, sometimes worn with a collar pin and other times are notable by how large and untidy they look. The shirt retains all of its metal buttons throughout which are typical of the era, save for one which is a period replacement. There are no dates or maker's markings but the collar size is present to the inside of the collar and reads 14 1/2" although it measures at 1" bigger.
When laid flat the shirt measures -
Chest - 23 1/2"
Inside arm - 18 1/2"
Outside arm - 21"
Shoulders - 18 3/4"
Length at back - 36"
Collar - 15 1/2"
The shirt is in good condition considering its age and it displays well. There are no real signs of wear but there are some light marks and staining as well as a small hole (to the front right of the placket as viewed) which are evident in the pictures. Please take time to study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a vintage, pre-worn item which may have small flaws commensurate with age.
A very rare piece of militaria which is missing from most collections.