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Author Topic: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock  (Read 2776 times)

Offline Tug1970

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Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« on: June 19, 2016, 10:12:41 PM »
Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock

Hi,

Guess what......that's it, another Denison! ;D

I acquired this 1st pattern Denison quite a few years ago now, oddly it came from Mick J Prodger given his field of expertise being RAF and Luftwaffe flying clothing and equipment.



This smock has a very nice worn in feeling to the material, a nice 'used' Denison.  Although well washed with slight bleaching the pattern and colours are still strong and vibrant.

All components, fastenings are original and in good working order.  The stockinette woollen cuffs although losing their elasticity are in a good original state with only a few pulls to the weave.



The smock was manufactured by Robert Hirst & Co. Ltd of Manchester, its a Size 3 and dated 1942.  The majority of Denisons were produced by Manchester based companies which is possibly due to the huge amount of well established textile companies in Manchester and the surrounding areas that had prospered since the Industrial Revolution. 

In the Second World War Manchester played a key role as an industrial manufacturing city, including the Avro aircraft factory (now BAE Systems) which built countless aircraft for the RAF, the most famous being the Avro Lancaster bomber. As a consequence of its war efforts the city suffered heavily from bombing during The Blitz in 1940 to 1941.  



You will notice that the stitching has come adrift in the rear lower mid section, these areas along with the shoulder/chest are double lined probably due to being areas of expected heavier wear.  I believe this 'unpicking' of the stitching may have been done deliberately to provide an extra pocket similar to a 'poaching pocket', I have seen this modification on other Denison smocks and a this was also something that was adopted and incorporated into the modern Canadian Paratrooper smocks although in these cases an external zipper was fitted.



Original brass 'Lightning' zipper.



Typical brass NEWEY Press Stud Fasteners 'NEWEY Pat-201430-22'.



Ring stitched ventilation holes located underneath the armpit area, these can also be found with metal eyelets crimped in place.

 

You may have noticed from the previous photographs of the Denison there is a modification to the collar by the addition of press stud fasteners and buttons.

We've seen this before in Glider Pilot Regiment smocks, it could well be for the attachment of the Sidcot fur flight suit collar or perhaps even a hood, although given the positioning of the buttons I'd go with the Sidcot collar. 





There is a set of original WWII embroidered parachute qualification wings loosely sewn into place, I believe these may have been added later possibly to enhance the look of the smock, however, you can clearly see where a larger cut set of wings had obviously been in place for some time judging by the richer colour of the material that would have been under the wings and possibly even some bleed through from the dyes.






Don't worry, plenty more Denison's to come!

Brgds,
Tug  ;)
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Spike Milligan

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 11:50:45 PM »
They just keep on coming! Tug...what you can tell us about the modifications apparently some by some airborne troops whereby the tube sections of woollen socks were sometimes sewn into the sleeve as improvised windproof wristlets, and salvaged wool serge used to add warm facing to the collars?
"He who dares, wins!"

Offline Tug1970

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 12:35:13 AM »
All manner of modifications are frequently seen, soldiers have been cannibalising their kit to be more effective and efficient throughout history and still do to this day.  Additions such as the Sidcot collar sometimes seen on Glider Pilot smocks, grenade pockets from oversmocks sewn onto the arms and waist pockets relocated to the rear can sometimes be associated with snipers.  Double lining at the seat of the smocks can be found ripped for use as a 'poucher' pocket, full length zipper conversations........and so on, its not inexhaustible.

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 12:43:56 AM »
Roger that. Thanks Tug!
"He who dares, wins!"

Offline Skyline Drive

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 07:12:50 AM »
WOW!m What a beaut!

Offline David

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 07:53:20 PM »
Another lovely one Tug ;)
"Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your ****, playing cricket is not" Keith Ross Miller R.A.A.F., AM MBE

Offline ccfc

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 11:11:22 PM »
Beautiful Airborne smock.

Fantastic photography also

Lee

Offline Jerry BB

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 02:37:02 PM »
what happened to the pictures?
Regards,

Jerry BB.

Offline Tug1970

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 03:50:26 AM »
Absolutely no idea..........all seem to have vanished!!   :-\

Have always used postimage.org, all the folders are still there.  Sorry about that, some good reference stuff but unfortunately now empty threads!

Tug
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline littlebuddy

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Re: Robert Hirst 1st Pattern Denison Smock
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 02:35:15 PM »
 :'( :'( :'(
2018 and STILL WANTED! a pair of RAF 1940 Patt boots and RAF life vest
Always looking for quality condition USAAF stationary,ephemera,equipment and clothing.
Starting to look for the harder to find items e.g. survival kits and items also woukd like to add a complete "Gibson Girl " set up
We are here for the collectors, not for profit. (PERIOD!)

 

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