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An original British Army Dispatch Riders Waterproof coat clearly dated 1943 and in a size No. 7.
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 7 is legible and the makers name and date read 'C & L 1943'. There is evidence of where the original paper label was originally glued in although it is no longer present.
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 - 23 1/2"
Inside arm - 20"
Outside arm - 25"
Shoulders - 21 1/2"
Length - 49"
The coat is in good condition with some stiffness as is common to find. Both the leather covered buckles only retain a small amount of their original leatherwork leaving the metal underneath exposed. There are some marks and stains and overall wear. Please study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a pre-worn vintage item which has some issues commensurate with age.
Altogether a reasonable example of a Dispatch Riders coat with lots of great details and a nice clear date.