Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Edward53

  1. In about 1970 the British Ministry of Defence stopped including dates in the labels and markings of most military clothing and equipment, a cause of much confusion to collectors of postwar kit. It is nevertheless possible to date these items fairly closely from labels and markings, using the MoD contract number. All British military clothing and equipment procured through official channels was, and still is, marked with a contract number. These followed fairly consistent timelines, with different contract codes such as eg CT2, CT3 and CT4 seemingly using unique numbers from a shared sequence. The CT code in a contract denotes a Section within the Ministry of Defence Contracts Branch - see Post 7 at this link. Luckily some items, mainly NBC equipment, rucksacks, jerseys and a few odd exceptions, continued to be dated after 1970. Matching up these dates with contract numbers enables a date to be inferred for other, undated items with similar contract numbers. This is not an infallible guide, as contracts for different items may have run at different rates, but it is a fairly reliable one. To take an example: suppose we know that an item with, say, contract number CT2A/904 was made in October 1981, and we have an undated item with contract number CT4B/844. We would assume this item was made around the same time as the first one or slightly earlier. Even allowing for different contract running times, CT4B/844 is unlikely to be a lot later than October 1981. Since CT4B/844 is a contract for a windproof arctic smock, and since a smock with this contract number in the Imperial War Museum is known to have been worn in the Falklands campaign, we can more or less confirm this even though we have no other way to date that garment. Early contracts seem to have been allocated to different contract offices according to the type of item contracted for, though not consistently. A/78/CLO is presumably short for Clothing, but whilst some equipment is stamped A/78/G.S. (General Service?), sometimes CLO is also used on equipment, eg. A/78/CLO/47456/CB(CT)2B is a para bergan. The CT series, which follows A/78, uses CT2 for equipment and NBC kit, CT3 for headgear and CT4 for clothing. The SL series is however not ordered in this way, and contract codes remain mixed until the DC series, with DC2 appearing to represent clothing and other items made from cotton-type fabric, and DC1 used for almost everything else. Unfortunately, neither MoD contracts branch nor the Public Records Office have a record of the numbering system for older contracts, or if they do, they are unable to locate it. If enough dated items are arranged in sequence, it can be seen that contract codes changed every few years, with a degree of overlap. Approximately: A/78 - early-mid 1960s to 1979 CT2, CT3, CT4 - 1979 to 1985 SL31 - 1983 to 1990 SL32 - 1985 to 1994 SL33 - 1989 to 1995 SL34 - 1990 to 1994 ST1 - 1994 to 2003 CT34 - 1995 to 1997 CT1A - 1996 to 1997 CC2 - 1996 to 2007 OC2 - 2002 to 2003 CC - 2004 to 2007 DC1, DC2, ESL - 2003 to at least 2010 Some of these contract ranges are very tentative, especially OC and CC for each of which just two dated items were available. There is also the unclassifiable oddity SL3 which only occurs only once. Below is a list in date order of dated contract numbers collected from various sources, mostly ebay: A/78/CLO/15578/CT4A – No. 2 dress trousers, H Lotery, 1966 A/78/CLO/16276/CT5(a) – jacket overall, J Smith & Co, 1966 A/78/CLO/16810/CT5(a) – trousers overall, Ashton’s overalls (Marple) Ltd, 1966 A/78/CLO/17450/CT5a – combat smock, J Smith & Co, 1966 A/78/G.S./13101/G.S. 1a(1) – NBC trousers, Remploy, packed May 1967 (1966 date deleted) A/78/CLO/23153/CT5A – NBC gloves, DAC, 1968 A/78/G.S./20148/G.S. 1a(1) – NBC trousers, Remploy, packed Aug 1969 A/78/CLO/32935/DC67 (1) – NBC gloves, packed Nov 1971 A/78/CLO/33893/DC69 (1) – 68 pattern smock, CW Son Ltd, 1971 A/78/CLO/38647/DC69 (1) – 68 pattern trousers, CW Son Ltd, 1972 A/78/CLO/38799/DC67 – respirator case, BHE Ltd, 1972 A/78/CLO/41990/CB(CT)2A – NBC gloves, Dipco, Dec 1973 A/78/CLO/44665/CB(CT)2C – NBC gloves, SG Ltd, 1974 A/78/CLO/41465//M/CB(CT)1C – drawers cellular, Meridian Ltd, Feb 1975 [above is contract no on garment, batch label also gives “Order A/78/CLO/41851/1/M/CB(CT)1C”] A/78/CLO/46903/CB(CT)2C – NBC suit, XAT, 1975 A/78/CLO/47456/CB(CT)2B - rucksack, M.E.L, 1975 A/78/CLO/46905/CB(CT)2C – NBC smock, SPE, Jan 1976 A/78/CLO/50169/CB(CT) – NBC overboots, maker not stated, Jan 1977 A/78/CLO/50662/CB(CT)1C – jersey man's heavy, TWK, 1977 A/78/CLO/52159/CB(CT)2A – sleeping bag, CQC, 1977 A/78/CLO/55654/CB(CT)2B – casualty bag, Remploy, packed May 1978 A/78/CLO/57092/CB(CT)4A - jersey, heavy, Remploy, 1979 A/78/CLO/57761/CB(CT)2B – NBC smock, maker not shown, April 1979 A/78/CLO/57761/CB(CT)2B – NBC smock, maker not shown, April 1979 A/78/CLO/56726/CB(CT) 2B – NBC gloves, S.G. Ltd, packed May 1979 A/78/CLO/57761/CB(CT)2B – NBC trousers, maker not shown, Dec 1979 CT4B/17 – flak jacket, James Smith and Co, 1979 CT2B/232 – respirator haversack, Remploy, 1979 CT2B/436 – NBC Mk3 trousers, no maker, fabric date July 1979 CT3B/566 – lowland spats, Hobsons, 1979 CT2B/339 – casualty protective bag, Remploy, 1980 CT2B/431 – NBC smock, Remploy, 1980 CT2B/496 – S6 respirator haversack, Remploy, 1980 CT2B/544 – NBC smock, James Smith, 1980, Jan 1981 (fabric date 4/80) CT2A/618 – thermal overboots, Remploy, 1980 CT2B/436 – NBC trousers, no maker, Nov 1980, Mar 1981 CT2B/496 – S6 respirator haversack, Remploy, 1981 CT2B/723 – NBC suit, Remploy, fabric 6/81, packed 11/81 CT4A/803 – jersey man's heavy, Remploy, 1981 CT4B/844 - dpm arctic smock, 180/96, GQ Defence Equipment Ltd, 1982 or earlier (IWM – issued to war artist Linda Kitson) CT2A/904 – NBC overboots, LBRCo, Oct 1981 CT2B/895 – NBC gloves, S.G. Ltd, packed July 1982 CT2B/962 – NBC smock, Remploy, June, Aug, Oct. 1982 [fabric Oct 81] CT2B/980 – respirator haversack, Remploy, 1982 CT4A/1000 - jersey, J Pick & Sons Ltd, 1982 CT4A/1001 – jersey, Remploy, 1982 CT2A/1150 – sleeping bag, CQC, 1982 CT2A/1285 - NBC gloves, Dipco, Feb, Dec 1982 CT2B/1202 – NBC suit, fabric date June 1982, packed March 1983 CT2A/1477 – 58 patt poncho roll, CWL, 1982 CT2A/1553 – Arctic rucksack, CQC, 1982 CT2A/2630 – NBC overboots, LBRCo, June 1983 CT4A/1023 – Jersey, Remploy, 1983 CT2B/1202 – NBC trousers, Remploy, Oct 1983 CT2B/1238 - Individual Protection Kit, Remploy, 1983 CT2A/1555 – sleeping bag, CQC, 1983 CT2A/1682 – rucksack, CQC, 1983 CT4B/1634 – smock reversible, Vacuum Reflex Ltd, Dec 1983 CT2B/896 – NBC gloves, S.G. Ltd, packed Feb 1984 CT2B/1415 – facelet mask, CQC, 1984 CT4A/1401 – jersey, TWK, 1984 CT4B/1415 – NBC facelet, Remploy, July 1984 CT4B/1895 - PVC trousers, ?, June 1984 CT2B/1528 – NBC suit, Remploy, July 1984, March 1985 CT4A/1610 – Jersey, heavy wool, Remploy, 1984/85 CT2B/1528 – NBC trousers, Remploy, 1985 CT2B/1653 – NBC trousers, Remploy, 1985 CT2A/2061 – rucksack, CQC, 1984 CT2A/2630 – NBC overboots, Leyland & B’ham Rubber Company, June 1985 SL32b/1872 – NBC gloves, S.G. Ltd, packed Dec 1985 SL32b/1900 – NBC smock, no maker, 1985 SL31a/1952 – Jersey, J Pick & Sons Ltd, 1985 SL31b/2385 - PVC trousers, ?, Dec 1985 SL32b/1981 – NBC gloves, Dipco, 1986 SL32b/1987 – NBC suit, Remploy, July 1986 SL32b/1988 – NBC suit, J S & Co (Derby), July 1986 SL31a/2189 – NBC trousers, Supercraft, packed June 1987 SL32b/2091 – NBC gloves, S.G. Ltd, packed July 1987 SL31a/2349 – NBC overboots, LBR, packed July 1987 SL32b/2389 – Jersey Heavy Wool, J Pick & Sons Ltd, 1987 SL32b/2450 – visor cover, Helmets Ltd, 1987 SL31b/2877 – OD foul weather jacket, Mileta Sports Ltd, 1987 SL32a/3754 – NBC personal protection kit, Remploy, 1987 SL32a/3891 - sleeping bag liner, ?, June 1987 SL31a/2441 - chemical casualty bag, ?, packed Dec 1987 SL31a/2442 – chemical casualty bag, Remploy, Jan 1988 SL32a/4058 – bergen, CQC, 1988 SL32a/4261 - various PLCE equipment items, ?, March 1988. SL32a/4296 – sleeping bag cover, CQC, 1988 SL31b/2935 – NBC suit, Remploy, Oct 1988 SL31b/2935 - NBC trousers, Remploy, Dec 1988 SL33b/3773 – NBC gloves, S.B. Ltd, packed Mar 1989 SL33a/4??? – 58 patt pouch, CWL, 1989 SL32a/4661 – Rucksack long, CWL, 1989 SL31b/3205 – NBC trousers, Remploy, Dec 1989 SL31b/3085 – NBC gloves, J North & Sons, 1990 SL33b/4444 – NBC gloves, C.W.S. Ltd, Feb 1990 SL33b/4481 – NBC gloves, S.B. Ltd, Feb 1990 SL32b/5028 – NBC overboots, maker not stated, packed 1990 SL33c/391 – headover/balaclava, VMC, 1990 SL32b/5254 – NBC suit, Remploy, Aug 1990, May 1991 SL3/7/51 – NBC suit, J Compton Sons, packed June 1991 SL34b/0146 – NBC smock, Remploy, July 1991 SL32a/4616 – bivouac bag, CQC, 1991 SL32a/5519 – rifle grenade pouch, CQC, 1991 SL34b series – 1990 to early/mid 90s (ddpm clothing) SL32a/5578 – PLCE side pouch, Remploy, 1991 SL32a/5578 – PLCE frog, Remploy, 1991 SL32a/5788 – compression sack for sleeping bag, A.I.L., 1992 SL34b/0246 – NBC suit, Remploy, 6/92, 10/92 (fabric date 9/91), 3/93 SL34b/0490 – NBC overboots, bp, packed Nov 1992 SL32A/5975 – respirator haversack, CWL, 1993 SL32a/6123 – dpm respirator haversack, Remploy, 1993 SL32a/6174 – rifle grenade pouch, Jacon, 1993 SL32a/6320 – dpm PLCE frog, Remploy, 1994 SL34b/0742 – NBC overboots, LBR, packed Sept 1994 SL34b/0757 – overalls white, Supercraft, 1994 ST1A/1292 – NBC suit, LBRCO, 1994 ST1A/1406 – 2nd patt pre-S95 desert trousers – 1993-1995? SL33b/5489 – NBC gloves, OWR-H, packed Jan 1995 CT/CB 34B/0969 – NBC overboots, maker not stated, March 1995 SL34b/0281 – NBC gloves, James North & Sons Ltd, packed Nov 94, Apr 95 CC2/1531 – Soldier 95 ripstop smock, 1995-2000 CT32A/6688 – SA80 cover, 1995 CT34B/1036 – NBC overboots, Oct 1995 CT34B/1039 – gaiters GS, 1995 and 1996 CT34B/1060 – gaiters GS, 1995 CT1A/1005 – PLCE belt, Papworth, 1996 CT1A/1066 – NBC overboots, Oct 1996 CT1A/1067 – NBC overboots, Nov 1996 CT1A/1067 – NBC overboots, Acton, Jun 1997 CT1A/1157 – gaiters GS, 1997 CT34B/1154 – NBC smock, Remploy, packed Feb 1997 CT34B/1154 – NBC trousers, Remploy, packed Sept 1997 ST1A/1197 – NBC inner gloves, Nov 99, Feb 2000 CT1A/1103 – NBC gloves, Mar 2000 ST1A/1292 – NBC suit, Remploy, packed Jan 2000; June 2001; Mar 2003 ST1A/1456 – NBC gloves, Feb 2001 ST1A/1467 – parachute helmet, 2001 OC2a/1593 – desert windproof smock, Supercraft (Europe) Ltd, 2002 OC2a/1614 – desert helmet cover, Supercraft (Europe) Ltd, 2003 OC2/1534 – vest CS95, 2003 ST1A/1478 – NBC gloves, 2003 DC1bESL/0010 - desert windproof smock, Armour Products, 2003 DC1aESL/0052 – NBC trousers, Remploy, Sept 2003 CC2/1567 – roll mat, AP Ltd, 2004 DC1aESL/0014 – Mk6 helmet, 2004 DC1aESL/0118 – NBC overboots, Silvertown UK Ltd, Dec 2004 DC1aESL/0156 – PLCE belt, 2004 DC1a/ESL/0127 – NBC smock, Remploy, 2005 DC1a/ESL/0151 – rucksack cover, 2005 DC1a/ESL/0237 – NBC suit, Remploy, Jan 2006 DC2CESL/3129 – desert windproof smock, Cooneen Watts & Stone, 2006 DC1BESL/6004 – gloves, combat, 2006 DC4BESL/1000 – sleeping bag cover, 2006 CC2/1567 – roll mat, AP Ltd, 2007 DC2CESL/3154 – small pouch cover, 2007 DC1BESL/6007 – combat gloves, 2007 DC1aESL/0369 – gaiters, 2007 DC1aESL/0391 – desert sheet, J & S Franklin, 2008, 2009 DC2BESL/1000 - sleeping bag cover, 2009 DC2CESL/3154 – rucksack covers, 2007, 2008, 2009 DC2CESL/3129 – windproof smock, CW&S, 2009 DC2CESL/3129 – desert helmet cover, Cooneen Watts & Stone, 2010 DC1A/1043 – Arctic sleeping bag, 2010 DC2B12514 – vest, 2010
  2. Now that you mention it I do seem to recall DH disappearing and various people wanting to find him. It was a long time ago, it didn't affect me, I had more important things to remember both then and now and I've completely forgotten what if anything I heard. Badges and Equipment was one of the first stores to go, must have been in the early to mid 80s. I remember those piles of camo windproof trousers at Laurence Corner. At the time trousers were cheap and plentiful but there were very few smocks anywhere. L Corner also had quite a bit of 08, 14 and Slade Wallace equipment in their basement. Dave? who ran the place was a decent guy and would allow collectors to ferret around. At the time I had no interest in post 1918 kit so don't know what other goodies there might have been. The little shop opposite was indeed an outlet for Silvermans, selling mainly electrical equipment but also some militaria. The last old-style surplus goldmine to go that I know of was Anscombes in S Wimbledon. The old git who ran it had piles of 08 and 14 patt equipment and even some odd WW1 boots in the basement, but he was very moody and you could trek down and either come away with a bonanza or get curtly dismissed. He definitely enjoyed his hold over collectors, but his son had no interest and sold the shop and contents after the old man died some time in the 90s.
  3. Henry The "P" above the WD broad arrow dates it to 1941. I believe this is the denim version of the windproof smock, rather rarer than the standard drab version and so worth rather more. I wouldn't care to try and value it, but on ebay with a proper description it should find its level. You'll probably find out more about it if you search on here. Cheers, E.
  4. Mike Ross is no longer with us but I believe Badger is alive - at least I hope so. Also departed are Mick Boniface (car accident many years ago) and Baz Thomas who worked there part time (died a couple of years back from long-standing health problems). I believe Dave Humphreys moved to France. Danny ran Flak in Kensington Market for a while and I think he is still around, though I don't know where or what he's doing. My info came from Baz who I kept in touch with after he finished there, so hopefully it's excusable if it's a bit out of date. QMs was a great store, and if you gained their confidence they'd allow you to roam around the top floors and pick out what you liked. Nobody knew that the days of such places were numbered. Happy Times!
  5. The usual Silvermans bargain prices! :pfrt: I remember the regulars testing this kit when I was in the TA and the consensus IIRC was that everybody hated it. Re the large pack question, I have a 1975 dated para bergen by MEL, the makers of some of the Silvermans kit and wonder if these were made in preference to the large pack? There is no other obvious reason for none of the large packs to survive when everything else has. Para bergens earlier than 1982 are also extremely rare, but presumably by virtue of most available stock going to the Falklands and the remainder being issued as replacements soon afterwards.
  6. The story seems plausible, as there is no contract number on the label which there would be for an MoD purchase. But why would temperate dpm be needed in Oman?
  7. The one in Islington was indeed QMs At The Angel, a cross between a militaria shop and a surplus store, sadly long gone (as are two of the staff :-(). I reckon that's the one you are thinking of as it fits the description perfectly. The old style surplus store is an endangered species and there can't be many left in London. I recall seeing one in Hackney with jackets etc hanging outside, but IIRC that was on a main shopping street not a side road. That was long ago and I very much doubt that's still there, or if it is, that they have anything of any great age. Shermans in Vallance Road, Whitechapel, had loads of interesting stock but I'm going back a good 25 years, and this is its sad fate. Those wonderful musty old places with "junk" stacked tantalisingly on high shelves or in tea chests were plundered years ago. Finding an undiscovered surplus warehouse piled high when in funds is every collector's dream, but highly unlikely to happen now.
  8. As can e-mail addresses. "Mr Bob Green" is probably resident in China, Nigeria or Russia.
  9. Good point - could it have been made for an Asian or South American country? Would they have used temperate dpm?
  10. I'd put this at some time in the 80s, possibly nearer the latter end, as that's when Dashmore Clothing seem to have been most active. There is no contract number on the smock which means it's a private purchase example. These were made, often by the same companies supplying the Armed Forces, for sale to people who wanted a para smock but wouldn't normally be issued one, either service personnel or private individuals. Alternatively, some companies made visually identical garments but using better quality materials for those wanting "Gucci" kit.
  11. Both 100% certainty 68 pattern smocks, between about 1972 and 1985 when the 85 pattern came in. Easily identifiable by the pre-metric sizes and the button cuffs - later types had velcro. I agree with the previous poster that the bluer zip one is likely to be earlier.
  12. I honestly can't see why that should make things difficult for you. All you need to do now is get a suit of OG 60 pattern, ditto 68 pattern, hoods for both, suit of tropicals, a good dpm field cap, bush hat, puttees, boots DMS, nice MkV helmet with scrim, both patterns of SAS windproof, arctic windproof, foul weather clothing, a decent set of 58 pattern, SAS 58 pattern add-ons, a GS bergen, a para bergen, para helmet, early parka, liners for 68 smock parka and windproofs, early sniper smock, denison smock, dpm para smock, both types of 70s jersey, shirt KF, poncho, face veil, Mks 2 and 3 NBC suits, NBC gloves and boots, S6 respirator, 58 patt sleeping bag, entrenching tool, various berets and a deac SLR. Where's the problem?? :???
  13. Not made for them perhaps but the 68 pattern hood fits fine.
  14. Sorry - I'd read "spent some pocket money" as a slightly ironic term! A well-used Size 4 jacket recently made £45 on ebay, which is not unusual. You would have to pay considerably more for a much scarcer and more wearable Size 6 in excellent condition and with matching trousers, allowing of course for ebay unpredictability. I wouldn't be at all surprised at £100+, so that was a good score! ETA: I say "wearable" but this set is much too nice for that.
  15. Very nice indeed, a matched suit in good condition and a good size like that is hard to come by and I am not surprised you had to spend a bit on it. I have a very similar suit in Size 8, which was not cheap. These were only briefly in production as a stopgap while the Army was in transition from the OG 60 pattern to 68 pattern. I would put the date at 1971 or possibly 1972.
  16. I think a stock of these must have turned up, as several different sellers seem to have them. The usual herd of dimwitted bidders seem to be out in force, nibbling up the price to ridiculous sums long before the end of the auction. Evidently ventile is "in", "retro" or whatever you want to call it, and the mere mention of the word, especially in conjunction with the name Nigel Cabourn, is sufficient to cause a sort of mass hysteria, resulting in a crazed stampede and one deluded owner with a lighter wallet at the end of it. Clerkenwell and Hoxton must be awash with people wearing them by now. No need to worry though, because they'll all be back on ebay in 18 months time when they are "so last year, darling!"
  17. I don't have the answer, but didn't J Compton Sons and Webb (I think) make some suits in ddpm to the US pattern for the US army? I seem to recollect seeing one listed at a preposterous starting price on ebay a few months ago.
  18. I know this place well - we live not far off and go to the samphire beds on the marshes here in summer. It is not somewhere I would imagine many people wanting to live. This is a bleak and lonely spot down a remote, bumpy track 800 yards from the nearest neighbour, another mile from the next one and another to the nearest shop. It's isolated and vulnerable, and you'd want a guard dog and a shotgun to feel at all secure. The "views" are mudflats one way and featureless fields the other, and it's bitter in winter. I hope no-one buys this place sight unseen hoping for a rural idyll, as they'll be in for a rude awakening. It would suit a fanatical birdwatcher and that's about it.
  19. Both black and brown boots were worn, but the official colour for Army boots (bearing in mind that the RFC was a corps of the Army) was brown.
  20. I have what must be the hood from the OG version of this jacket, sadly just the hood not the jacket itself. If anyone has the OG jacket minus the hood, get in touch.
  21. Great, thanks Paul! It was a bit of a struggle as it really didn't want to go, but the jacket now looks a lot better.
  22. This early aircrew dpm came off ebay not long ago for what I thought was a very moderate sum. It's well-used and has one or two marks, but far from scruffy. I'm told the spring arrangement on the arm pocket is an early feature, apparently a penholder though I can't see how it would have been much use, as it floats all over the place and seems to be made that way. Main zip is NZ, the small ones are Opti.
  23. You're not alone. I've seen the IWM revamped three or four times over as many decades, and each time they've managed to spend a lot of money on spoiling it. Many years ago one of the staff told me that they were funded by the Dept of Education and Science and their brief was therefore to educate and inform. I suggested that this was a task for schools and the IWM's job was simply to present the exhibits and let the visitors make up their own minds, but he wasn't having any of that. From what I've heard, the latest incarnation seems to be the usual politically-correct focus on in-yer-face audio-visual interactive claptrap devised by Marxists to indoctrinate schoolchildren, with all those nasty grubby exhibits tucked away slightly shamefacedly into a corner. But perhaps I am doing it a disservice as I haven't actually seen it myself, only heard reports. I have however seen their online section, whose exhibits appear to have been photographed and catalogued by slightly subnormal thirteen year olds. One can only pray that this fate doesn't befall the NAM. Sadly, the same kind of ruination is being inflicted on museums all over the country, both military and general. Dover Museum, once hauntingly atmospheric and wonderfully cluttered, is long gone, relocated and turned into "The White Cliffs Experience", ffs. The once excellent, sprawling Reading Museum suffered a similar transformation some time ago, as did the Castle at Norwich. The only truly unspoilt museum I know of is the excellent Wisbech and Fenland Museum, which the do-gooders haven't got their hands on. Yet. It even has a (very) small military section. Oh dear. End of rant. Sorry if I've gone political or off topic.
  • Create New...