Original ATS Army Welfare Service Converted 1939 Pattern Greatcoat
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About this item
An original 1939 dated British Army 1939 pattern dismounted greatcoat which was used by an officer who served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War.
This coat belonged to Florence Smith, who drove vehicles supporting families in the Haddenham, Coddenham and Wisbech area as an ATS Local Welfare officer which is denoted by the 'W' armband fitted to the coat. Members of the Home Voluntary Welfare Organisation worked on a local level to support army families on a case by case basis. Florence gained the rank of senior commander and was still serving in 1949 when the organisation was closed.
Interestingly, whilst her service dress uniform was a privately purchased example made by 'Simpson', her greatcoat is a converted mens 1939 pattern (dismounted) greatcoat which was made in 1939. It is a standard issue example which has been professionally re-tailored at the bust and waist. All of the buttons have been replaced with leather 'football' style buttons as were popular with officer's for many decades. There is evidence of where rank stars have been fitted to each epaulette previously which ties in with the original owner's rank. The coat is fitted with a navy blue coloured armband which features the letter 'W' in red and denotes the wearer as part of the army welfare service.
Inside the coat the original label is still present and is bright and legible. It states the size as 6 and bears details pertaining to size which are no longer relevant as it has been altered. The maker's name of 'The Rego Clothiers Ltd' is present as is the 1939 date and the War Department broad arrow marking.
When laid flat it measures -
Chest - 23"
Inside arm - 18"
Outside arm - 25"
Shoulders - 18"
Length at back - 47"
The coat is in good condition as can be seen in the pictures. It displays well and is still totally wearable with no serious flaws or damage. It is a vintage, pre-owned item however so may have small issues commensurate with age.
A very nice piece of women's uniform from the Second World War to a woman who served in an interesting and often forgotten unit.