Quite possibly the most iconic and enduring piece of British military clothing ever made. The Denison smock's history lies in the early part of WW2. Having seen the success of the German airborne forces in Norway, Churchill ordered Britain's parachute regiment to be formed and expanded quickly. Initially the British copied the German parachute oversmock, called a knockensack, but soon developed their own large overfitting garment known as a Denison smock. The first iteration was introduced in 1942, and whilst there would be small changes, remained largely unchanged into the late 50s.
This is a stunning example of that first iteration. Initially produced in 'handpainted' camouflage and then quickly changed to the printed brushstoke camo, this first pattern is known for its single panel front construction, brass Newey studds, knitted cuffs and free hanging tail (known in the army as the 'under fork'). This is the classic ww2 pattern, produced in 1942 & 43, before the more common second pattern was introduced in 1944. The vast majority of the photos you see of the paras in Normandy or Arnhem has them wearing these first patterns.
What's really unusual about this particular piece is both its early 1942 date, and the combination of printed camo (body and arms), with the much rarer earlier handpainted camo (tail & button placket). Along with this it's been converted to a button neck using handpainted camo material. I've seen a fair few of these converted, but never using the rarer earlier material.
This is a well used example. Whilst the material is solid, there are plenty of repairs and scars from years of use. The epaulettes have been removed, and as mentioned the zip changed to a button front. All the brass newey studs work perfectly.
- Denison Smock:
- Tagged a size 3
- Pit to pit 27"
- Shoulder to shoulder 22"
- Shoulder to cuff 24"
- Collar to hem 31"