An original British Army Dispatch Riders Waterproof coat clearly dated 1942 and in a rare large size No. 12.
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 to 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 1944 date and the makers name 'M. Fidler & Co Ltd'. The original paper label is also still present inside the coat. These were glued in and are now regularly missing as the glue has often dried out. The label is in excellent condition with all the details being bright and legible. As well as this there is a War Department acceptance stamp which is surmounted by the letter 'M' and denotes 1944 as the year of issue.
The coat 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 - 26 1/2"
Inside arm - 22 1/2"
Outside arm - 28 1/2"
Shoulders - 22"
Length - 55"
The coat is in very good condition as can be seen in the pictures. It shows only limited signs of previous use or wear and is still very fresh and clean in appearance. The belt buckles retain their original leatherwork which is often worn or missing. There are some light patches to the skirt but these are more apparent in the photographs than in person. 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 super rare large example of a Dispatch Riders coat the likes of which are very hard to find today!
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