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Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Working Dress Blouse
A genuine WWII issue 1944 dated RN Officers Working Dress (BD) blouse in totally original condition. The hard backed rank shoulder boards are sewn on and with the purple background indicate the original owner served with the engineering branch; sadly the garment is not named. Interestingly in the opening years of the Second World War the Royal Navy refused to adopt battledress for officers aboard ship but despite this dyed army battledress was modified and worn on duty. Finally their Lordships at the Admiralty authorised officers to wear 'Working Dress' ; they could not bring themselves to call it 'Battledress' as was adopted by both the Army and the RAF. The Working Dress, also designated '5A' was immediately popular and officers could either obtain it from the stores or have a set made up by their tailor.
This scarce example was an issue item and carries a good clear Admiralty label indicating the blouse is a size 9 to fit an Officer of height 5' 7"-5' 8", Breast 39"-40" and waist size 34"-35". It was manufactured by H. Lotery & Co Ltd and dated 1944. The blouse features quality Royal Naval pattern brass buttons with kings crown and anchor motif made by Gaunt of London. The inside of the unlined blouse still retain original paper labels confirming the size. Two breast pocket are fitted with button closure whilst the waist has a short strap and a single button. It is in generally very good display condition with just a few minor moth nibbles, but seeing it is 74 years old is has survived in remarkably well.