A very rare pair of early Second World War British Army Anti Gas Over Trousers dated 1940 and in very good condition.
These trousers are made from the same light tan coloured rubber backed cotton which was used for anti-gas capes at the very beginning of the Second World war. Examples of these rubberised gas capes are now very hard to find and this is the first pair of trousers I have come across. They feature a drawstring waist which features brass eyelets let into the string to aid with handling when wearing anti-gas gloves. These, along with the rest of the pattern, is identical to those made in the more common linseed proofed material.
Inside the trousers the original War Department acceptance stamp is still present and is bright and legible. It is surmounted by the letter 'Q' which denotes 1940 as the year of issue.
There is no size marked anywhere, most likely because they were only made in one size. The drawstring waist allows them to be pulled into any size and the cuffs would be worn tucked into boots. When laid flat the trousers measure -
Waist - 24"
inside leg - 24"
The trousers are in very good condition for their age. There is some staining but overall they display well. Crucially they are still extremely soft and pliable and can be rolled up as shown in picture 11. There are a couple of very small areas of hardening but overall these would be very hard to better.
A very rare piece of WW2 British anti-gas clothing which is almost certainly missing from most collections. A must have for the serious collector!
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