49 Pattern KD Shorts

Although 1949 is most associated with the introduction of a new pattern of battledress for the British Army, it was also the year that a new standardised pattern of KD clothing was introduced for use in the deserts of the middle east and further afield. The shorts for this new pattern had the distinctive criss-crossing belts you might remember from the 1950 pattern jungle shorts we looked at here. The shorts are of a fairly conventional pattern:imageWith a button fly:imageThe two waist bands cross over, with one slipping through a small slit on the opposite side:imageAlthough the side buckles are missing, the button flaps which hold them are still attached:imageThe shorts have slash pockets on each hip:imageAs ever a label sewn into the back of the shorts indicates the pattern, size, manufacturer and year of manufacture:imageA second label indicates that the fabric was pre-shrunk before manufacture so the size for the shorts will not change on laundering:imageThese shorts were to see service throughout the 1950s during various conflicts in the middle east such as Suez. For some reason they were apparently to become a popular fashion item during the 1980s, referred to as Ghurka shorts (although they were not specifically issued as an item of Ghurka kit, but rather for use by all troops).

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