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Using labels and markings to date postwar British clothing and equipment


Edward53
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Thanks for this informative thread, very useful, not sure how early you are taking this but I've included some from my collection here.

 

Jacket, Bush, (S.C.C. 19) Green. 1947; 6/CLO/N812/7

 

Trousers Protective N.B.C. No. 1 Mk. 2. 1971 (Packed Mar 1972); A/78/CLO/34433/DC69(3)

 

Gloves Inner (For Use With Gloves NBC). Packed Dec 1976; A/78/CLO/50168/CB(CT)2B

 

Gloves Protective NBC (Outer). Packed Jan 1979 (1978, 8 crossed out, 9 written in); A/78/CLO/53062/CB(CT)2A

 

Overboots N.B.C. No.1 Mk. 3 (Fishtail). Packed Feb 1980; CT 2A/237

Edited by SimonLMoore
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Thanks for this informative thread, very useful, not sure how early you are taking this but I've included some from my collection here.

 

Jacket, Bush, (S.C.C. 19) Green. 1947; 6/CLO/N812/7

 

Trousers Protective N.B.C. No. 1 Mk. 2. 1971 (Packed Mar 1972); A/78/CLO/34433/DC69(3)

 

Gloves Inner (For Use With Gloves NBC). Packed Dec 1976; A/78/CLO/50168/CB(CT)2B

 

Gloves Protective NBC (Outer). Packed Jan 1979 (1978, 8 crossed out, 9 written in); A/78/CLO/53062/CB(CT)2A

 

Overboots N.B.C. No.1 Mk. 3 (Fishtail). Packed Feb 1980; CT 2A/237

 

That 1947 one is interesting, shows they were using the system almost immediately WW2 ended. See Post 4 in this thread which refers to an A/6/CLO series used in the 1950s.

 

I'm not going to update the main list any more. My purpose in compiling it was to identity pre-Falklands and pre-Gulf War kit and I've more or less got what I need for that. Anyone wanting this information is welcome to copy it and maintain their own list as they see fit.

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Hi! I can't for the life of me figure out which jacket this is below. Here is a picture of the label. This particular jacket with these labels is made of a different material than other ones. These feel more like smooth soft cotton ripstop and by the rougher, synthetic feeling ripstop, similar to the coats that pucker within the ripstop. Is anyone can give me details on this I would greatly appreciate it. I need a 190/112 size. I've more thing, it also has a label that says DCTA inside.

IMG_3247.jpg

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  • 9 months later...

A wonderful resource for dating post 1960's British army uniforms and other kit.

 

the one that sticks out as possibly out of sequence is the CT1A numbers being dated as late 1990's whilst all the other CT numbers are early 80's.  I have seen a smock parachutist with a NSN of cg 8415-99-132-4019 on what appears to be an early 80's example and also a CT4B with the NSN of cg 8415-99-132-4013 on another early 80's para smock.  both have the green wash & reproof labels typical of the early 80's period.

 

I appreciate other dated equipment with the CT1A contract number was used to place these in the second half of the 90's, but it just seems odd that this is the case.  It has the first aid pouch on the rear of the right sleeve, so it is post 1984, but looks pre Army 95 kit.

Thanks 

label smock para 1.jpg

label para smock 2.jpg

Edited by Jerry B
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That one below looks very familiar...(goes off to check his wardrobe) - yes, still there! It is almost certainly 1979 but might just be 1980.

Obviously I can see how CT1A seems odd considering 2, 3 and 4 are all pre-90s, and we can all have our opinions but for me there isn't much room for doubt. Those CT1A smocks are part of a whole series of mid-90s codes and I've seen no evidence to suggest that early codes were ever recycled. And if it were CT4B/1084 that would place it in 1982 or the beginning of 1983 at the latest, too early for a FFD pocket. Note also the lack of a maker name - another late production indicator. I don't see anything to put these smocks in the early 80s except possibly the shade of dpm, but para smocks don't seem to follow the same rules as combat smocks and windproofs. Anyway there is really only one dpm colour "rule": some colours are only late but no colours are definitely early.

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4 hours ago, Edward53 said:

That one below looks very familiar...(goes off to check his wardrobe) - yes, still there! It is almost certainly 1979 but might just be 1980.

Obviously I can see how CT1A seems odd considering 2, 3 and 4 are all pre-90s, and we can all have our opinions but for me there isn't much room for doubt. Those CT1A smocks are part of a whole series of mid-90s codes and I've seen no evidence to suggest that early codes were ever recycled. And if it were CT4B/1084 that would place it in 1982 or the beginning of 1983 at the latest, too early for a FFD pocket. Note also the lack of a maker name - another late production indicator. I don't see anything to put these smocks in the early 80s except possibly the shade of dpm, but para smocks don't seem to follow the same rules as combat smocks and windproofs. Anyway there is really only one dpm colour "rule": some colours are only late but no colours are definitely early.

I assumed it was post 84, but not as late as post 95, but it was partly because it seemed to run out of sequence that I asked and I appreciate you answering.

I bought a Smock Parachutists today, label is SL31A or B, not sure which and it appears to have no first aid pouch so pre the 1984 introduction of this feature I think is correct, but post 82 as the earliest SL31's appear to be 1983 from your research.  It is  a named type, J Compton Webb and Sons.  I notice that the headdress by them uses a different label from an earlier date, is it known if they had split into two different firms or just used different company names for clothing and headdress?

 

10 cropped.jpg

Edited by Jerry B
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My list puts the first SL contract in 1985 and this smock around 1987.  These were often worn in Op Granby, mostly but not always by tank crews. Are you sure the FFD pocket hasn't been removed? Sadly this is sometimes done to deceive.

Edited To Add: the label looks like 31b, which para smocks of this period always seem to be. I think Compton Webb Headdress and J Compton Sons and Webb were different arms of the same company, not certain about that.

Edited by Edward53
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On 18/10/2017 at 10:35 PM, Jerry B said:

A wonderful resource for dating post 1960's British army uniforms and other kit.

 

the one that sticks out as possibly out of sequence is the CT1A numbers being dated as late 1990's whilst all the other CT numbers are early 80's.  I have seen a smock parachutist with a NSN of cg 8415-99-132-4019 on what appears to be an early 80's example and also a CT4B with the NSN of cg 8415-99-132-4013 on another early 80's para smock.  both have the green wash & reproof labels typical of the early 80's period.

 

I appreciate other dated equipment with the CT1A contract number was used to place these in the second half of the 90's, but it just seems odd that this is the case.  It has the first aid pouch on the rear of the right sleeve, so it is post 1984, but looks pre Army 95 kit.

Thanks 

label smock para 1.jpg

label para smock 2.jpg

Assuming it is genuine, you may be able to work something out form the army number of the original owner on the label.  I'm no expert in this field, but I am sure someone on the forum will be.  But, Bray's 8-figure army number starts with 235.  Well 243 was being issued in the early to mid-70s, so 235 should be a number issued in the 60s.  So, assuming the owner served for 22 years ( the maximum likely) he could not have been issued this much after the 1980s I would have thought.

10 68

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11 hours ago, Edward53 said:

My list puts the first SL contract in 1985 and this smock around 1987.  These were often worn in Op Granby, mostly but not always by tank crews. Are you sure the FFD pocket hasn't been removed? Sadly this is sometimes done to deceive.

Edited To Add: the label looks like 31b, which para smocks of this period always seem to be. I think Compton Webb Headdress and J Compton Sons and Webb were different arms of the same company, not certain about that.

perhaps my eyes deceive me but you have the first SL31's in 1983?

Sadly the pick of the reverse of the right arm is poor so I have to wait until it arrives to check if it is there or has been removed.  It has what appears to be a wing shaped velcro patch above the left chest pocket and signs of other removed insignia.  I shall await its arrival.

 

Thanks for helping.

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11 hours ago, 10FM68 said:

Assuming it is genuine, you may be able to work something out form the army number of the original owner on the label.  I'm no expert in this field, but I am sure someone on the forum will be.  But, Bray's 8-figure army number starts with 235.  Well 243 was being issued in the early to mid-70s, so 235 should be a number issued in the 60s.  So, assuming the owner served for 22 years ( the maximum likely) he could not have been issued this much after the 1980s I would have thought.

10 68

the example with the number was one I showed as a comparison and is not mine.  It was the other one I was interested in confirming its age.

Thanks for the idea.

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1 hour ago, Jerry B said:

perhaps my eyes deceive me but you have the first SL31's in 1983?

Jerry,  you are right. I'd been referring to my master list on my PC and I wondered where you were getting 1983 from. Looking again at my original post, I can see that I'd unfortunately made a typo and put 1983 for one of the SL31s instead of the actual date, which was 1985. I've now edited it accordingly. I'm sorry for the confusion this has caused and I hope you didn't buy the para smock purely on that basis.

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2 hours ago, Edward53 said:

Jerry,  you are right. I'd been referring to my master list on my PC and I wondered where you were getting 1983 from. Looking again at my original post, I can see that I'd unfortunately made a typo and put 1983 for one of the SL31s instead of the actual date, which was 1985. I've now edited it accordingly. I'm sorry for the confusion this has caused and I hope you didn't buy the para smock purely on that basis.

Edward,

 

I did buy it, mostly based on the sellers crappy pics and the price of £15, but I had some hopes that it was the version without the first aid pouch on the rear of the right sleeve as I thought it might be pre 84 from the contract code and the dates published online for that contract.

It was cheap and if as it seems it is a post 84 version with the FA pouch, oh well, such is life, still a good smock para to have in my collection.

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  • 4 weeks later...

CW Son is not "Compton Webb"...............it is actually "Clifford Williams & Son Ltd", a rather old manufacturer of Battledress, etc, and having some of the first contracts to manufacture DPM 1968 Pattern smocks and trousers between 1971 and 1972..............

Following this, they don't appear to have manufactured further contracts so maybe out of business thereafter..............they were also the only manufacturer to (usefully) date their smocks and trousers !

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16 minutes ago, wdbikemad said:

CW Son is not "Compton Webb"...............it is actually "Clifford Williams & Son Ltd", a rather old manufacturer of Battledress, etc, and having some of the first contracts to manufacture DPM 1968 Pattern smocks and trousers between 1971 and 1972..............

Following this, they don't appear to have manufactured further contracts so maybe out of business thereafter..............they were also the only manufacturer to (usefully) date their smocks and trousers !

Brilliant, great to learn something new.

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