Original WW2 147 RAC Officer's Uniform Grouping

Original WW2 147 RAC Officer's Uniform Grouping

Code: 55691


An original uniform grouping which belonged to138190 John Richard Harding Yeoman. He joined the Infantry Training Centre of The Royal Norfolk Regt on 15/11/39 and was selected as a potential officer. He transferred to 164th OCTU (Infantry) in Wales before being sent to the 100th (Sandhurst) OCTU (Infantry). He was commissioned into The Hampshire Regt on 4/7/40 and joined A Coy, 1/4th Bn. He then transferred again to The Hampshire Regt ITC before moving to the newly formed 9th Bn on 20/8/40. On 17/1/42 the 9th Bn became the 157th Regt RAC and was attached to the 36th Army Tk Bde. In April 1942 he transferred officially to the Royal Armoured Corps as a War Substantive Lieutenant and was promoted to temporary Captain in January 1943. When 157th RAC was disbanded in August 1943, he became a Gunnery Instructor at Sandhurst. On 7/9/44 he moved again, this to the 41st Reinforcement Holding Unit, 21st Army Group Reinforcement Pool at Conisbrough Camp, Lewes, Sussex. On 10/11/44 he went across to North West Europe to join the 147th RAC. He served with 147 throughout the rest of the war and until November 1945 where he then moved to the 111st Military Government Detachment, BAOR until his demobilisation on 4/12/46.

The grouping consists of Yeoman's battledress blouse which is a standard 1940 Pattern (Austerity) example which has had the collar tailored to an open-face style. This was a common modification for officer's during the war. The jacket is an early example which was made in 1942. It features brown coloured vegetable ivory (plastic) buttons which are often associated with early austerity pattern battledress. The jacket is fitted with embroidered Royal Armoured Corps shoulder titles below which are RAC arm of service stripes. Two RAC pattern officer's rank stars are fitted to each epaulette which denote the rank of Lieutenant. Inside the jacket the original label is still present and is bright and legible. It bears the size of 13 and the maker's name of 'Star MFG Co'. Below this is the issue date of November 1942 and the War Department broad arrow marking. 

A matching set of 1940 Pattern (Austerity) trousers are also included in the grouping and date from early 1943. They feature factory fitted steel buttons which are rarely encountered on British Army battledress although some have been replaced by the original owner. Inside the trousers the War Department inspection stamp is present and is surmounted by the letter 'N' which confirms the year of manufacture as 1943. 

A private purchase RAC pattern black beret also forms part of the grouping. It was typical for officer's to purchase their own headwear and this example has clear differences when compared to an ordinary ranks issued beret. It is made from a black coloured spun wool and features a fabric headband, rather than the leather style seen on ordinary ranks examples. The interior is lined with rayon and overall the het feels of a much higher quality when compared with an issue example. There is a maker's label to the interior but it has been worn leaving it illegible. 

Also included in the grouping is an officer's greatcoat and service dress tunic which were both made by 'Hawkes & Co' of Savile Row. The tunic is a wartime economy pattern which features plain patch pockets rather than pleated chest pockets and bellows pockets to the skirt. It is fitted with RAC pattern buttons throughout and officer's rank stars are fitted to each epaulette. The greatcoat is a standard example in every way and in good condition. Both of the items bear the same 'Hawkes & Co' label along with the owner's name of 'B. A. Dench' which has been crossed out in the greatcoat. How these came into Yeoman's possession is unclear although it is not uncommon to find parts of an officer's grouping with another name in. 

Finally is the trunk which appears to be of German origin and has some German information to the underside of the lid. This was most likely acquired whilst Yeoman was fighting in North West Europe or when stationed there in the immediate post-war period. This houses some maps which pertain to Yeoman's time at Sandhurst along with two group photographs from Sandhurst.

A fantastic grouping to a rare regiment.