Reserve Parachutes and smocks

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Bondi-Babe-Magnet, Jun 13, 2006.

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  1. Guys,

    When did the British Army start using reserve chute's and when did para smocks come issued with knitted cuffs ?
    Did 1950's BD trousers still have the front pocket on the left leg ?

    Somebody asked me to tell them if a photo was WW2 or post-war and i it show's conflicting items in it.

  2. I've seen wartime photos of Paras wearing smocks with knitted cuffs, I believe that was the first pattern of Denison smock. The second pattern without woolly cuffs came into service in 1944 as far as I'm aware.

    As to battledress trousers, the 49 pattern were the first to have the map pocket at the side of the leg. The wartime airborne pattern trousers had a larger bellows pocket fastened with press studs. I've no idea when they stopped being issued, but I've never seen them in post-war photos.

    Reserve chutes weren't used till after the war, exactly when I've no idea.

    One thing which may help you is that '44 pattern webbing was often used by the Paras post '46.
  3. The reserve was introduced on 1st November 1955. As for the Dennison smock, difficult to date on photos as it was common for guys to modify them, the 1st wartime patterns (green and then 3 colour camoflage) had a half zip and button cuffs which were altered 'in the field' by adding a full length zip and socks to the cuffs. The 2nd pattern (post war circa 1956) had a full length zip but still had the button cuffs. The first pattern to be issued with woolen cuffs came into use around about 1958.
  4. My old uncle said once his knitted coffs on his first issues smock early fourties were the ends off his socks - not sure the originals came with kntted cuffs but were more an add on after issue. He is dead now bless him so I cannot ask him!


  5. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I remember seeing the same conversion (using the tops of dead Socks, Poly-Wool) on standard DPM jackets in the 70s. Cannot remember details but I suspect it was in Omagh (or maybe on a NIRTT course) in 1976.
  6. The Denison with the knitted cuffs was the 1961 pattern, which was the same one that changed the camouflage pattern over to the green/sandy/brown pattern whereas the earlier version was brown/sand dominant and had button cuffs. The 61 also had a full length zip. This was replaced by the DPM pattern circa 75/76 and the TA para had their smocks withdrawn in 78. (I remember picking one up from a CQMS in Glasgow in 78 from a stack he was sending off in an MFO box!) :wink:
  7. It was certainly still being done in NI and BAOR in the early 80s (I was guilty of it myself).
  8. In 1958 we were issued with 2 BDs, best was of the pattern with the map pocket on th eside of the leg and the 2nd best was of the older pattern with the pocket on the front. Incidentally the best did not show lining material on the turned over collar while the 2nd did.
  9. These are great Para Smocks, Can still be worn in British service since it is identical to ours and from a British Commonwealth Country






    The back pocket is a stash for the whole Smock so it can be packed into a small bag, Nifty eh! I own one myself!

    Buy them from
    Or EBay

  10. Isnt the US T10 Parachute supposed to be very reliable? Its been in service for over 40 years

  11. Dunno about that but the Irvin LLP is supposed to be the best.