An extensive original Second World War uniform grouping which belonged to 320940 Ronald Herbert Gibbins who fought in the Far East with the 10th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.
Gibbins joined the British Army as a private and went into the Queen's Westminsters where he attained the rank of corporal. He then went for officer training (as denoted by the white band fitted to the front of his field service cap) and was later commissioned into the Glosters. I have a list of the various places he travelled through Burma with the 10th Battalion which was made by Gibbins and includes Myitson where the battalion was engaged in heavy fighting. NAMMEIK CHAUNG is also included in the list which is a position held for 4 days by D Company who saw the hardest part of the fighting. This may suggest he was a part of this company. After the war he became a bank manager and died in 1993 at the age of 75 in Saffron Walden.
The grouping is extensive and is housed in a wicker basket which is typical of those purchased by officer's serving in the Far East and bears his initials and surname to the top.
The uniform items include a 1940 pattern battledress jacket which is fitted with two red backed rank stars which denote the wearer as an infantry lieutenant. The jacket bears the original label to the interior which states the size as 10 and bears the issue date of July 1942. The trousers are 1940 pattern (austerity) examples which were made in 1943 and feature chocolate brown coloured vegetable ivory (plastic) buttons. The original label is no longer present but there is a War Department acceptance stamp which is surmounted by the letter 'N' which denotes 1943 as the year of issue. Both items display well but have suffered from some moth damage in places - most notably to the crotch of the trousers.
Gibbins Service Dress uniform is also present and consists of a tunic and two pairs of trousers. The tunic is fitted with regimental pattern buttons and collar badges and two rank stars to each epaulette. The breast features medal ribbons including the Burma Star and a lanyard is fitted to the left shoulder. The jacket comes complete with its matching waist belt. The trousers are the standard pattern often encountered on wartime uniforms. All the items display well although there is again some limited moth damage.
There is also a matching greatcoat included in the grouping which again features Brass regimental pattern buttons. It is the standard pattern worn by British Army officer's throughout the Second World War and is again in good condition with a couple of small areas of moth damage.
Gibbins original peaked cap is also present and features both the bronze cap badge and rear back badge as worn by this regiment. As well as this it has a brown leather chin strap and a leather sweatband to the interior which is marked 'Real Roam Leather'. As well as this, Gibbins original officer's Field Service cap is also included and again retains both the cap badge and the back badge.
Gibbins shirt is also present and is a 'Clydella' brand example as was often favoured by officer's during this period. It is made from a green coloured brushed cotton and features a cotton neckband collar to which collars can be attached. Matching collars are included and the overall condition of the shirt is good with some sign of servicewear and age.
An Indian made cellular cotton 'Aertex' bush jacket also forms part of Gibbins kit and comes with a matching waist belt which has been fitted with a roller style buckle as often seen on battledress jackets. Surprisingly it retains all of its coconut husk buttons which are so often missing on examples found today. The interior features the standard circular date stamp usually found on Indian manufactured items and it bears the date of 1945. The jacket is fitted with printed 2nd Infantry Division 'Cross Keys' formation badges.
One of my favourite sections of the grouping are items which relate to Gibbin's time in the Queen's Westminsters and include his coloured field service cap which is fitted with Rifle pattern buttons. A piece of white material has been added to the front of the cap when he went to officer training to denote that he was an officer in training. Two sets of shoulder titles and two pairs of corporal stripes are also included and these items were most likely kept as a memento of his time with the regiment before becoming an officer.
There are also a large number of personal items included such as his khaki wool gloves, two swagger sticks, three ties,scarf, Sam Browne belt and cross strap. His identity discs are also included as are two pairs of tropical pattern 'slip-on' epaulettes with khaki coloured Indian made rank stars. There is also a limited amount of paperwork which Gibbins kept stored with his uniform for decades.
A fantastic and quite extensive Burma campaign uniform grouping which belonged to an infantry officer who clearly saw action against the Japanese. This would make a superb addition to any collection without a doubt!