Royal Marine Sergeant’s Lovat Jacket

A few years ago we looked at an example of a Royal Marine’s lovat jacket. This was the dark green service dress adopted for wear on parade by the Royal Marines in the 1960s as a cheaper and more comfortable option than the traditional blues. It was introduced at the same time as the army’s No2 dress uniform and serves the same purpose. It is however very different in style to that worn by the army, being green rather than khaki in colour and having bronzed rather than staybrite buttons (no doubt deliberate choices to help differentiate the RM from the other service). The example we looked at then has since been joined by another jacket in the collection and today we are going to look at this example which has some rather interesting insignia on it:

One of the first things to note is that the fabric of this jacket is quite different to my other example, being much smoother to the touch and more akin to the No2 dress uniform mentioned above. The other example has a rougher woollen fabric, much more like battledress. Apart form the fabric though, the cut of this jacket is the same with a pair of pleated, square cut breast pockets:

As mentioned above the buttons on the tunic are bronzed and feature the crowned anchor badge of the Royal Marines:

The lapels each have a bronzed wreathed globe:

Whilst the letters ‘RM’ are worn on each epaulette:

The owner of this jacket had been awarded the General Service medal and the ribbon is worn on the breast above the pocket. Note also the two loops of thread to allow the medal itself to be pinned here without damaging the tunic:

The cuffs are scalloped:

And a pair of metal belt loops is fitted, one at either side, to allow a belt to be worn without sliding down:

The sleeve of the lovat jacket has the original owner’s rank insignia, here the three stripes of a sergeant in gold braid. Above this is worn the specialisation badge, here for a clerk 1st class which consists of a ‘C’ beneath a crown and a laurel spray below:

The jacket also has a red lanyard, which indicates was in 45 Commando:

Other Commandos had their own unique colours; light blue for 40 Commando, white for 42 Commando and green for 3 Commando Brigade.

A label is sewn into the back of the jacket and the contract number indicates that this jacket was produced in the late 1960s or early 1970s:

This is an impressive uniform, with a nice set of insignia and was part of a lot of three RM uniforms I picked up for less than £3. We will be looking at the other two uniforms in the coming weeks.

3 comments

  1. There has been a general trend to make uniforms of lighter weight fabrics over the last 50 years, possibly in an attempt to make them suitable for year-round wear. At some point the RM issued one serge (the heavier fabric) and one like this one but only a lot of digging through the dress regulations would reveal when that occurred. Eventually, though, i think the heavier one was replaced by the jersey heavy wool.

  2. I did some research on the Royal Marine’s Lovat Dress. It was announced in 1963, with proposals announced earlier, pending several decisions. Initial issue was to be in 1964. The scale of issue was to be one suit in worsted (the better suit) and one in serge (the second suit). It would replace battledress (both blue and khaki) and the second blue suit. They had previously been issued with two blue suits. There is mention in regulations of “tartan” trousers, meaning a material heavier than serge (not plaid). They would also receive four of the new “all-purpose” shirts, which were khaki drill. I do not know when the stone shirts were introduced.

    Officers received two worsted Lovat suits and other ranks could buy a second suit of worsted if they wished, presumably in lieu of the serge suit.

    The heavy wool jersey was authorized to replace the serge suit in 1974. So the issue became two pair trousers worsted and one Lovat jacket, worsted. In other words, a suit with two pair of pants. But serge trousers were to be issued in place of one pair worsted trousers until stocks were exhausted. Also from this date, trousers were to be made narrower in the leg and with a slide fastener. An improved blue suit was also introduced.

    Prior to Lovat Dress, all ranks received one khaki battledress suit, one blue battledress suit and two suits of blue (tunic and trousers), in addition to all sorts of other items.

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