An original early WW2 Battledress serge jacket clearly dated 1939 and in a rare large size.
This pattern of battledress is the first pattern to come into service, replacing the earlier Service Dress uniform in 1938. It was worn during the first two years of the war and saw service during the Phoney War, The Battle for France and the Dunkirk evacuation before being replaced with the 1940 pattern in the later part of the summer of the same year. This pattern did still see limited use throughout the rest of the war and was by no means only worn in the first couple of years. Unlined collar jackets were very sought-after, particularly by officers, who wanted to wear the jacket open with a shirt and tie. The unlined collar was perceived to look much smarter than an example with a lined collar.
This example has all the correct early features including the unlined collar, wire waist buckle and twin inside pockets. The buttons are stamped bras examples as usually found on early battledress and the label is again typical of an early example.
The label is still present and stitched to the righthand inside pocket. It states the year of manufacture as 1939 and the maker as 'The Rego Clothiers LTD' who were one of the more prolific manufacturers at the beginning of the war. The label also states the size as 18 which was the largest available size made during the Second World War. It has been altered to fit larger than this though and when laid flat it measures -
Chest - 24"
Waist - 21"
Inside arm - 19 1/2"
Outside arm -26"
Shoulders - 18'
Length at back - 22"
As well as the label the interior also bares the War Department broad arrow marking which is without a letter above it. This is common to find on early battledress and another good feature. The original owner has also added his name in ink to the inside pocket as well as his rank of L/Sgt. This would suggest the original owner was possibly Foot Guards or similar and ties in well with the clear outline of where a stripe has been worn on the sleeve at some stage. A shoulder title was clearly also removed at the same time and can also be seen in the pictures.
The condition of the jacket is reasonable for its age but it does show signs of wear and use, as are to be expected with an issued battledress blouse. The cuff has worn (as detailed in the pictures) and there is general wear all over the jacket. Please remember that this is a pre-worn issued item so may have issues consummate with this.
Early examples of original Battledress serge such as this have become extremely rare to find now, particularly those that still retains clear dates. Furthermore, this example is a very large size which is incredibly hard to find with any wartime battledress, let alone the rare first pattern. A scarce jacket indeed.