1916/17 Great War Royal Engineers Officers Service Dress Jacket
A fantastic example of a Great War Royal Engineers officers service dress tunic, in a medium weight olive green whipcord. It is complete with bronzed Second Lieutenant rank pips and collar titles, along with a full complement of King George V brass RE buttons.
This tunic has the usual false belt used to disguise the waist seam that is typical of Great War construction, complete with a concealed ticket pocket. The lower pockets are of typical deep bellow construction. There is faint evidence of cuff rank having been removed from each cuff and rank insignia consequently having been moved to the epaulettes. This appears as a common conversion, seeming to appear around 1916. This tunic has shortened epaulettes that do not extent under the collar, an indication of pre-1917 construction. The jacket is complete with 'Hawkes & Co' tailors label to the base inside of the collar, the lack of a number in the London address is further indication of pre-1917 construction. There is a name handwritten on the label, however it is largely obscured and worn over time. It may be possible to gently renovate however nothing has been done. The lining is partly lined with a pale green polished cotton. The lower skirts are unlined, while the sleeves are white cotton. On the front lower skirt is a First Field Dressing pocket, lined with white cotton and concealed within the seam.
The condition is fantastic overall, with no moth damage evident and only some light wear and pulls to the material. There are two small grubby marks under the left sleeve as pictured, though these are very slight. There is some slight bobbling under the arm pits, a common source of wear on whipcord jackets. It looks possible that the underarm sections have been replaced at a later date, as the material is more barathea type in these sections. There is one small period repair to the left bellow pocket that measures a little over half a centimetre square, though it is very subtle however. The polished cotton lining is in good shape overall aside from discoloration and staining from perspiration and wear, with some light holing. There appears to have been little serious use in its life, it has likely been preserved as a 'best tunic'. Curiously there is evidence of another pair of collar badges having been fitted, despite the clear fade marks of the RE titles having been in place.
Size is approximately: 38-40 chest, 24.5 sleeve length shoulder to cuff and 31.5 inches base of collar to hem.
Overall an excellent example of a Great War officers tunic, dating from the mid-war period and in excellent shape.