The 68 pattern uniform is well made and fairly thick, however it was recognised that it was still too lightweight for winter warfare and following their experiences in Korea the British Army wanted to make sure its soldiers could easily add layers to their uniforms to deal with colder conditions. Therefore a range of quilted jackets, body warmers and trousers were produced. So far I have just the body warmer in my collection, and it is this garment we are looking at tonight:The body of the liner is made of green nylon, with a diamond quilting to hold the internal insulation material inside:The edges are bound in cotton tape, and the jacket fastens with green plastic buttons:This liner is a later example, as it has metric sizing details on the label:From the label it can be seen that the manufacturer was Kattenburgs, a company that had been making uniforms for the British military since the Second World War. Strangely a second label is also attached to the liner at the bottom hem that repeats the same information. I am wondering if this is a hangover from the manufacturing or stores system and would normally have been cut out before use:The liner is fairly warm and when worn in combination with other elements of uniform would have helped keep the wearer protected from low temperatures. One user recalls:
Wore my sleeveless “liner, combat smock” a great deal on exercise (which frequently involved long hours slaving over an insufficiently hot radio). Still wear it occasionally, as it’s light and warm.
Another wearer noted:
They were very welcome bits of kit in the Falklands in 82.
As with so much of this sort of kit, these liners were manufactured in large quantities and are very cheap to find secondhand- this one cost me just £2!