A very rare set of battledress which was worn by an RAF pilot named Taylor whilst serving in Italy during the Second World War.
This uniform was found alongside a matching RAF War Service Dress jacket and a set of RAF Officers Service Dress. All the items belonged to a pilot who served in Italy and are currently available in separate listings. Sadly nothing more is known about the original owner but they are all excellent original wartime used uniforms.
This set of battledress is particularly nice as it is typical of those seen in contemporary pictures taken of pilots serving in Italy. Many of them were issued with green coloured battledress, often manufactured in the Commonwealth or America. This set was made in New Zealand which is typical of uniforms issued in this theatre as many British units ended up with New Zealand made battledress.
The jacket is the standard New Zealand pattern which closely follows the British 1940 pattern uniform. It features stamped brass buttons throughout, all of which are fly covered. The waist belt fastens with a metal slider buckle and epaulettes are fitted to the shoulders. These are fitted with beautiful theatre made 'slip-on' rank slides which are made from khaki coloured cotton drill and bear two rings of braid which denote the rank of Flight Lieutenant, the same rank which is found on his other uniforms. The real stand out attribute of the jacket however has to be the heavily padded theatre made pilot's wing which is just stunning. It is again typical of wings found on uniforms worn in this campaign and is of crude construction which is always encountered on these Indian and theatre made examples.
The interior of the jacket features twin pockets, one of which bears the maker's name of 'Ross & Glendining Ltd ' and the size of 10. The other stamp is the oval shaped date stamp which is usually found on New Zealand made Battledress. It bears the War Department broad arrow marking as well as the date of October 1941 which is very early and would suggest the original owner was in Italy from early on in the campaign.
The trousers are made from the same material as the jacket and again follow the same pattern as the 'British Battledress, Serge' trousers. They feature a single pleated First Field Dress Pocket, a map pocket to the front of the left leg, belt loops around the waist and ankle tabs to the bottom of each leg. All the buttons are horn examples and the original owner has removed the brace buttons.
The set is in reasonably good condition for its age but does have flaws. On the whole, the jacket is in good condition with some signs of service wear etc. Overall it is very good but there are a couple of holes to the collar as illustrated in the pictures. The trousers have suffered from moth damage, mainly around the crotch which is again illustrated in the pictures. Please take time to study these as the uniform is not in perfect condition.
Original green battledress which was worn during the Second World War has always been extremely rare to find. Most pilots did not keep their battledress when they return home as it was considered as a work uniform which they no longer required, being the wrong colour in the UK. This is a rare opportunity to add an original uniform which was used in the Italian Campaign to your collection!