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1970's Period (1959 Produced), Imperial British Army, Blue Service Dress Uniform, Belonging To A Pioneer Corps. Brigadier (General), Named: "William Freeman" (Here As A Colonel)
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This uniform is dated inside 6/2/59. It is a British Army, Blue Service Dress Uniform. This uniform is known to have belonged to a Pioneer Corps. (i.e.: "Engineers"), Brigadier (General), named: "William Freeman". Note: This uniform is that of a Colonel, but Freeman is known to have been promoted to a Brigadier (General). The proof of this is a 9/24/73 copy of a handwritten letter from "Ann" to "Bill" (our same William Freeman?), and by a 10/12/72 dated, German "Hotel, Metropol, billing receipt copy that gives Freeman's title of "Brigadier", and inked further down, of "Brigadier Freeman". And just for the record: in the British Army the rank of a Brigadier is something between the rank of a full bird Colonel and that of a (US) Brigadier General. Since most collectors usually refer to British Brigadiers the same as that of U.S. Brigadier Generals tank equivalent, we will list him as such here. You can call himwhatever rank you like once you buy him! Another small inclusion with this uniform is a 6/61(?) dated laundry tag that was found in a pocket.
We will now start the description of the uniforms exterior. The condition is VERY GOOD. There is not mothing but the sleeves and lowe hemline do show some light staining (from rain?) that is hardly noticable since the jacket is such a dark color. The buttons are all of the Edward II style (post 1954) and appear all matching and hallmarked. The buttons are of the Royal Pioneer Corps. type which is like the U.S. Army Engineers. They give excellent proof of corps. provenance. The buttons are also sewn on with the proper gauge thread. An interesting feature on this uniform is that British Brigadier's collar tabs often came from the factory with their own attached buttons, which in this case are the same motiff as for a Brigadier's rank! The red felt collar tabs are in excellent condition and appear to have been there for quite some time. Now the 2 epaulettes are really cool. They are of the deluxe slip-on type, not the more common sewn-on style. Each epaulette has 2 matching gold crowns found below a gold (on red) Edwardian crown. When looked underneath these epaulettes you can see much oxidation on the mounting dogs of both the pipes and crowns attesting to them being there for quite some time. There are the usual extra pip perforation holes on these epaulettes seen only from the underside that attest to the usual change of rank.
Hung around his left shoulder is a lanyard for the award of a French Croix de Guerre medal. It too is in nice condition. Each cuff has the standard double buttons as is correct. Each lower sleeve also has the correct scallop overlay as is proper. There are also 2 blacked metal belt hooks sewn in at the waist line. Sewn above his top left pocket flap are foudn 3 award ribbons for the award of the following medals: the "1939-45 Star Medal", the "Africa Star Medal", the "Defense Medal" and the "1939-45 War Medal". The lining of this uniform is of the full type, and probably is made out of some sort of artifical silk or rayon material. The belt hooks have been sewn in and there are no access port holes for these belt hooks. There are no other access port holes in the lining either. There are no visible tailor's tags sewn on the outer side of the lining. However, there is a bevo-type embroidered tailor's tag foudn sewn inside of the inner pocket. This tag reads: "Moss Bros Ltd, Covent Garden London, W.C. 2, Phone: Temple Bar 4477". Hand inked on this tag is: "Freeman" "6-2-59 G. Wello (?), Brgg/465, Aldershot". For those who don't know - Aldershot is a large British Army training base, etc.
Inked inside a inner sleeve lining shoulder seam is: "Lt. W. Freeman". This uniform includes it's (often missing) inner, white, removable collar, which is inked stamped in 2 distinctly different fonts which reads: "Patrol 7", and "Forsythe - 62", which indicates a re-issuing of this collar. The collar area of this uniform has 3 out of 5 remaining metal collar attaching studs - which are more thank enough to keep the removable white collar attached. Also included with this uniform are the original matching trousers which are in EXCELLENT PLUS CONDITION! They have the proper red side stripes. The trousers are un-taged inside but each inner pocket bag is factory stenciled/printed multiple times in dark gold color with: "Nylon Reinforced Pocketing, Extra Strong". Hand inked inside the waist area is: "Lt. Freeman". Also included with this Brigadier's uniform are 3 photocopied papers. The 1st is a receipt (i.e.: "bill") from the "Hotel Metropol". It is dated October 12th, 1972, and is addressed to: "Brigadier Freeman". This name matches the names found in both the uniform jacket and in the trousers. This is excellent proof-positive for both the name and the rank found in this grouping. The 2nd and 3rd photocopies are of a September 24th, 1973 dated letter from a lady named "Ann (?)" to a "Bill" (presumably to "William Freeman", the name found in this uniform grouping), referring to Bill's plant cuttings from his garden.
Comments from the Curator:
Here is a nice, inexpensive uniform that is about 51 years old already. Engineer branch uniforms are also fairly popular with collectors today. After all - who hasen't heard the old "ditty" that the British Army Engineers "are the brains of the Army!" unfortunately it is very hard to get biographical information on British Army Brigadiers/Generals these days. We are researching him now, and hope to "hit paydirt" somedaysoon. But in the meantime, without this research being completed - the savings are yours. Get em while he is cheap!
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