First Pattern Hand Painted Denison Smock 1942 Size
A beautifully faded first pattern British Airborne Denison Smock, complete with its’ original 1942 dated label and in a very good displayable size 6.
Retaining the often missing and critically important “ape tail”, the smock is in very good overall condition with just minor nicks to the cloth entirely in keeping with combat use.
The right sleeve displays the outline of parachute qualification wings and puncture marks to the shoulder straps suggest this was once worn by an officer.
Both sock cuffs are well executed replacements.
Of interest are two stamps inside the Smock near the all-important 1942 dated label. Whilst research into these is ongoing it has been suggested the initials RPD stand for regiment procurement depot, R.S.R for Royal Sussex Regiment and CLO for clothing, so the clothing depot for the regiment.
1943 the 2nd Battalion and volunteers from the 4th and 5th Battalions The Royal Sussex Regiment were formed into the 10th Parachute Battalion of the Parachute Regiment which was a part of the 4th Parachute Brigade, serving with the 1st Airborne Division. The brigade participated in Operation Slapstick, an amphibious landing on the Italian port of Taranto, as part of the Allied invasion of Italy. They then fought at Arnhem during the disastrous Operation Market Garden in 1944 with the rest of the 1st Airborne Division.
The 2nd Battalion was raised again, after the old one became the 10th Parachute Battalion, and along with the 4th and 5th battalions, which were merged to become the 4th/5th Battalion, was reformed with the 133rd Brigade which was sent to the forgotten theatre of war in Iraq and Persia in 1943 with the 6th Indian Infantry Division where they remained for the rest of the war, the 2nd Battalion joining the 24th Indian Brigade, and the 4th/5th Battalion joining 27th Indian Brigade.
Much liked by the troops that wore these, this Smock displays that wonderful faded combat veteran appearance achieved with the early hand painted examples .