In 1966 the British Army introduced its first universal camouflage uniform, for the first time all units would be wearing camouflage clothing in the field. The new camouflage print, DPM, was to be used to produce the army’s existing 1960 pattern combat uniform and contracts began to be placed in 1966. Two years later a new, slightly updated, version of the uniform was introduced in the form of the 1968 pattern. This very small window of production for the 1960 pattern DPM uniform makes it one of the rarest sets of British Cold War combat uniform on the collector’s market, especially as the uniform was well liked and often worn to destruction by troops. Today we are taking a look at a well worn pair of 1960 pattern combat trousers that have been repaired multiple times, indicating the popularity of the design and the desire of the original owner to keep a pair of trousers he liked in service:
The pattern is an exact copy of the 1960 pattern olive drab uniform and has many familiar features such as the dressing pocket on the right hip that can be traced all the way back to the battledress introduced before the war:
A large pocket is sewn to the left thigh, note also the stitched on patch of DPM fabric to repair a rip:
Another patch is top be found on the opposite leg:
Slash pockets are sewn into each hip, which also have button tabs to adjust the waist size slightly:
And on the right buttock is another large patch pocket:
Note also the belt loops sewn around the waist, each with a button at the bottom. The trousers have a zip fly and a full set of lining, which can be found in brown cloth or green as in this example:
The label inside the trousers is white rather than the later green and clearly shows which pattern these are:
Interestingly there are also extensive instructions for using the zip, perhaps a reflection of the relative scarcity of zips in everyday use at this point in time- not every soldier might have been fully familiar with their operation and care.
The 1960 pattern trousers are really hard to find these days and fetch strong prices on the collector’s market. Equally scarce is the DPM 1960 pattern smock which I am still looking out for.