1960 Pattern Trousers

The British Army had introduced a new combat uniform at the time of the Korean War, of a generous cut this was designed to be worn over battledress in the frigid conditions of the Korean front line. Following the end of the Korean War and the scaling back of the British Army due to the end of National Service, it was decided to roll out a modified version of the 1952 pattern uniform for wear across the army in place of the old 1949 pattern battledress. This new, 1960, pattern uniform was very similar to the 1952 pattern design, but was cut closer to the body as it was not intended to be worn over an under layer and was made of a looser weaved cotton than the ‘sateen’ used on the earlier design. In the past we have looked at the 1960 pattern smock here and tonight we are considering the trousers:imageThe first thing that is very obvious is how similar the design of the trousers are to the 1952 pattern examples we looked at earlier this year. There are many identical features including the reinforced knees:imageFirst field dressing pocket:imageAnd large thigh mounted map pocket:imageThe fly is secured with a heavy duty zip, but the extra button closure of the 1952 pattern design has now been deleted:imageA pocket is provided on the seat, and note also the adjustment tabs and buttons to allow the waist band to be reduced slightly:imageThe inside of the waistband has two large white labels:imageThese date the trousers to 1964 and give some care instructions to help the soldier maintain his uniform. The last point mentions the holes for drawstrings that are provided at the bottom of each leg:imageThis example has clearly been used as the soldier has written his name in black pen on the waistband:imageWhen these uniforms were first introduced it was planned that they would be contract dry-cleaned. As might be expected this was quickly knocked on the head and soldiers had to care for their own uniforms. Soldiers washed their own uniforms regularly and this quickly eroded the waterproofing on the fabric- so when worn in heavy rain or immersed in water the uniforms quickly became saturated and very heavy and uncomfortable! The design of these trousers however cannot have been too bad, as when the DPM camouflage uniform was introduced it was a more or less direct copy of this design, but in the new fabric. As ever with clothing of this period the quality is excellent and the trousers are reassuringly heavy.

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