The Battledress pattern was introduced into the British Army in late 1939, and would be a staple of British uniform well into the 50s when it was replaced with a more modern cotton smock. In the early part of the war, around 1941, Britain was looking looking for any way to economise and decide to standardise the uniform across the three service branches. The Royal Navy, despite the popularity of the pattern with its sailors, were not happy with the change to their uniform. Whilst they did eventually concede with the introduction of the No. 5A pattern, this would alway be known as a Working Blouse, and not as Battledress. Given the scale of the Royal Navy, these blouses are remarkably hard to find, especially with the the accoutrement of an officer.
This particular example was made for an officer by Sabre of London, a tailor to senior officers. The hard shoulder boards, made by Gieve, Matthews and Seagrove Ltd (the forerunner to the modern Gieves & Hawkes) show an officer of Commander rank. Along with this are a number of service ribbons that show service in both wars. Top left to bottom right, British War Medal 1914-1920, Victory Medal 1914-1919, 1939-1945 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, France and German Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-1945.
This is in good solid, and very wearable condition. It looks awesome on!! There are a couple of moth nips on the back and to the left of the top button, and the cuff buttons are missing. The hem of the lining is a little frayed.
- No tags, but fits like a modern small/medium
- Pit to pit 21"
- Shoulder to shoulder 18"
- Shoulder to cuff 24.5"
- Collar to Hem 21"