Scarce 1945 Dated Waterproof Combination Suit
A rare original Waterproof Combination Suit clearly dated 1945 and in good condition.
These rare suits appear to have seen issue with a number of different units during the Second World War including armoured car personal and the ATS. They have often been referred to as a 'Dingo Suit' by collectors as the Daimler Dingo armoured car came with two of these suits from the factory. In the pictures attached is a photograph of a British Army Officer standing next to an armoured car, clearly taken in the winter of 1944-45. It shows this suit clearly and proves that they were intended for wet weather use in open topped armoured cars.
Interestingly, they also appear to have been issued to the ATS and some examples with labels still exist. Whilst not common, there were some items manufactured which were essentially unisex just featuring different labels. This particular suit is a size 1, the small size made which would suit a women or smaller man.
The suit itself is made from the same rubberised canvas as the waterproof dispatch rider clothing used throughout the Second World War. It features a long brass zip which is not maker marked but features the letter 'N' to the rear of the brass puller. Two large buttoning pockets can be found on each thigh whilst the cuffs on the ankle and the wrist fasten with brass 'Newey' brand pop studs. A final interesting detail is the brass vent holes to the crotch, as illustrated in the pictures.
Inside the suit the original makers ink stamp is still present and reads 'Chester Clothing Co Ltd' and bares the 1945 date as well as the War Department broad arrow marking, all encapsulated in an oval. There is also the War Department letter code stamp which is surmounted by the letter 'L' and the numeral '1' which denotes the size.
The suit is in good condition especially considering that it is made from rubberised canvas. Many period items made from the same material have gone stiff and brittle over time but this example however is still soft and pliable. The only issue with the suit is a small hole to the right ankle cuff as illustrated in the pictures. Other than that the suit appears to be sound and displays very well with only limited signs of use or service wear.
This is a very rare piece of British Army workwear rarely uncounted and doubtless missing from many collections. It would compliment any British collection, especially one with a focus on armoured units or the ATS.
Mid 20th Century