An original British Army Dispatch Riders Waterproof coat dated 1943 and in a large size No. 12 - The largest size produced.
This pattern of coat was introduced in 1942 and replaced the earlier short jacket and leggings used in the early part of the war. Made from a proofed cotton canvas designed to keep out the wind and rain, these coats saw widespread issue to motorcyclists throughout the rest of the Second World War.
The coat features a double breasted front and a waist belt that has two buckles. The first fastens the outer flap of the coat to the inner whilst the second is attached to the opposite end of the belt and takes the remaining length which has been passed through the first buckle. Buckles and straps can be found inside of the coat which allow the wearer to fasten a portion of the coat around each leg. More pop studs can be found at the cuff and brown painted brass eyelets are fitted under each arm which act as vents. A large angled map pocket is located on the chest and two more flapped pockets are located further down with leather reinforcements to the edges. They all fasten with pop studs. A storm flap is located on the right shoulder and the collar features a tab and buckle to allow the wearer to fasten the coat tightly at the neck.
Inside the coat the original stamps are still present. The size of 12 is clearly legible above which is the 1943 date and the makers name J. Weinberg & Sons Ltd'. The original paper label is no longer present although there is clear evidence of where it was previously attached. Adjacent to this there is a War Department acceptance stamp which is surmounted by the letter 'N' and denotes 1943 as the year of issue.
The coat is the largest size produced and is cut large as it is designed to be worn as an outer, waterproof layer over the top of a uniform. When laid flat it measures -
Chest - 27"
Inside arm - 22 1/2"
Outside arm - 29"
Shoulders - 22 1/2"
Length - 55"
The coat is in fantastic condition as can be seen in the pictures. It shows next to no signs of previous use or wear and is still very fresh and clean in appearance. All the metalwork is bright and in good condition. The only small flaw is the front of the press stud which fastens the storm flap is missing although the rear is still present and this could be repaired. Please study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a pre-worn vintage item which has some small issues commensurate with age.
A fantastic example of a Dispatch Riders coat in the largest size produced.