Badged World War II battledress blouses are very collectible and frequently demand high prices when they come up for sale. The battledress blouses of the post war period are far more affordable, although they are becoming more popular with collectors as the years pass. Examples can still be found for pocket money prices however and today’s example was picked up for just £5 showing that bargains are still out there for the canny collector.
The battledress we are looking at today is an example of 1949 pattern battledress which was introduced four years after the end of war and was designed to smarten up the uniform by allowing men to wear a collared shirt and tie with the uniform rather than having it button up right to the neck. These uniforms were worn by officer and men alike and this example is for a captain:
It is the insignia which is of most interest here and it consists of the three pips of a captain, together with the shoulder title for the Royal Artillery and the divisional badge for the 42nd Division:
The 42nd Division was a territorial army formation and was formed in 1947 when the 42nd East Lancashire and 55th West Lancashire divisions were amalgamated to form the 42nd (Lancashire) Division. The red and white diamond of the formation badge came from the old 42nd Division, whilst the red rose came from the 55th Division. The unit remained until 1967 when there was a cutting back of TA units and the division was disbanded.
This battledress has a label inside that indicates it is a size 6 and was manufactured by J Harvey Ltd in 1955:
These badged battledress blouses are getting scarcer, so if you do come across examples at good prices I would urge you to pick them up as they are only going to get scarcer and more collectible as the years go on.