A fantastic original 1941 dated British Army first pattern denim battledress blouse in stunning condition.
Introduced at the beginning of the Second World War as a replacement for the earlier fatigues issued in the Great War and interwar periods, it closely followed the design of the Battledress introduced in 1940 but was made from denim and has removable buttons.
This jacket is an early issue example which was only made prior to 1942 when it was superseded by the austerity pattern. The most obvious feature of the first pattern jacket is the pleated chest pockets. The material is also a different hue to post-war manufactured items. This example is a fantastic vivid green which is not washed out or worn as well as a selvedge to the centre seam. A huge stockpile of these jackets was left behind in France following the evacuation from Dunkirk. They fell into the hands of the Kriegsmarine who used them during the rest of the war.
The jacket features a chromium plated waist buckle which is held on with stamped brass buttons as are often found on early manufactured items. As well as this the jacket is fitted with a variety of revolving shank buttons which are all held in place with the correct period brass split rings. The rings are old and have clearly been on the jacket for many years, so may be original to the jacket.
The original label is still present inside the jacket and is in fantastic condition. It bears the title of 'Overalls, Blouse, Denim No. 2 and the size of No. 3 which is designed to fit a 34" - 36" chest and a 30" - 32" waist. The maker's name is 'Milford Clothing Co Ltd Belfast' and there is a purple issue stamp with the date of February 1941. Curiously, the War Department acceptance stamp is surmounted with the letter 'Q' which is normally associated with 1940 manufactured items.
When laid flat the jacket measures -
Chest - 22"
Waist - 17"
Inside arm - 17 1/2"
Outside arm - 23 1/2"
Shoulders - 17"
The jacket is in fantastic condition and could be new old stock. It shows no real signs of wear or use and would be very hard to better. It is a vintage item however so please study the pictures before purchasing.
A hard to find early war example which is in fantastic condition. Not only this but it still retains its original issue label which is in virtually perfect condition. This would be very hard to improve!
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