Original Royal Warwickshire Reg Officer's Battledress Suit - Mantell
Delivery Quote Request
Please fill in the form below to request a delivery quote from Blighty Militaria.
About this item
An original set of Australian made battledress which belonged to Captain John Campbell Mantell M.B.E. who served with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the Second World War and in Palestine.
J. C. Mantell was an officer with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and is listed in the October 1944 Gazette as and again in August 1945. In late 1944 or early 1945 he saved a number of men in his section whilst on a training exercise in Wales when a hand grenade landed in the trench he was standing in. He picked it up and got it clear of the trench and his men but wounded his hand in the process which meant he spent some months recovering. He went on to serve in Palestine where the regiment was involved in internal security operations during the Jewish Insurgency.
The battledress suit comprises of an Australian made jacket and trousers which is not uncommon to find in original British uniform groupings. Many men sought out Commenwealth made battledress at the time as it was considered to be of a higher quality to British made uniforms. Others were issued with it due to supply lines.
The jacket is a typical wartime Australian made example which has been tailored to be worn open at the neck with serge patches added as 'facings'. The jacket comes complete with all of its original insignia including Royal Warwickshire embroidered shoulder titles, officer's rank stars to the epaulettes and 1st Division formation signs. These formation signs are a single white triangle as worn during the war, rather than the post-war version which featured a red backing/border. Medal ribbons are fitted to the chest including the OBE which means the jacket was being worn after he was awarded the medal.
Inside the jacket the original label is still present and bears the title of 'Blouse Khaki Cloth Battle Dress Britih Pattern' and the size of 9. The words 'Made in Australia' are present below which is a faint date which appears to be 1943. The original owner has marked his name inside the jacket in ink which reads 'J. C. Mantell'.
The trousers are also Australian made and are a good match to the jacket. They are made from the same serge wool and closely follow the early first pattern 'Battledress,Serge' British trousers made between 1938 and 1940. They feature belt loops around the waist and ankle tabs to the bottom of each leg. A large map pocket is located to the front left leg and there is a First Field Dressing pocket to the right hip. Oddly enough, the trousers are marked 'Lt Sherwood' who was most likely another officer in the same regiment. The trousers match the jacket and came out of the same trunk which has been stored since the 1940s so are 100% guaranteed to be original to the set.
Both items are in worn condition so clearly saw plenty of use at the time. The jacket displays well with some small holes and signs of wear as well as some stitch loss under one of the arms. The trousers are more worn with various holes and stains which are illustrated in the pictures. There is also a small loss of stitching at the crotch which is again illustrated in the pictures.
A nice original attributed battledress set complete with its original insignia. I have a large number of other items which also belonged to the same man currently being listed.