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When Did the British Army go metric ?

Article about: My question concerns headgear in the British Army. When Did the British Army stop using the measurement of inches for helmets and beret sizing ? Gary J.

  1. #11
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Dave,

    If you can get hold of them, the older 68ptn combats, ie; the heavier ones that were lined and had the pockets "flat sewn" are getting very hard to come across in good condition, especially in the larger sizes and the ones that are available in any semblance of GOOD condition are getting more expensive all the time.
    My youngest son has got one of my old combat smocks and my eldest son has got a couple of pairs of my old combat trousers and still uses them on winter exercises, (he's regular army, RHA). They're not doing too bad, considering they are about 30 years old and still going strong.
    As an aside, I've also still got a couple of sets of jungle combats somewhere in the house, which I was issued in the early 1980's.
    As Im sure you're aware Dave, that was when the DPMs were made to last.

    Regards etc

    Ian D
    AKA: Jimpy

  2. #12
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    All of my combat trousers have gone the way of my getting bigger around the middle so i gave them to a few of my mates, they go fishing in them, ive still got some i think but i will have to go on a diet if i want to go fishing in the new year, they last for years and still wash well, those 68ptn were they the type that looked like the amercan combats, very thick material , dark green lining and draw string around the middle with button cuffs, if so ive got the jacket and trousers in the loft

  3. #13
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Just found the ones im talking about, 1960 smock combat size 5 nato size 7080/9505 mnfr by J.MANDLEBERG & CO LTD, and im amazed they still fit me, well the jacket does anyway, cant find the bottoms yet but i doubt it very much .

  4. #14
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Quote by davejb View Post
    All of my combat trousers have gone the way of my getting bigger around the middle so i gave them to a few of my mates, they go fishing in them, ive still got some i think but i will have to go on a diet if i want to go fishing in the new year, they last for years and still wash well, those 68ptn were they the type that looked like the amercan combats, very thick material , dark green lining and draw string around the middle with button cuffs, if so ive got the jacket and trousers in the loft
    They're the ones Dave.
    The leg pockets were sewn flat to the leg, waist adjuster strap and buttons at both hips, button or zip fly, buttoned belt loops and internal buttons for use with braces. They were made of a heavy cotton and lined with a thinner dark green cotton. the ones before that were plain Olive Green and are even more sought after/rare. The jacket had a useful "poachers pocket" in the back skirt and a crotch strap that very rarely, if ever got used, but did provide 6 spare buttons!
    The next version that came into service in the mid 1980's, was the version with bellows pockets on the jacket and trousers. Only half lined, IMO, it was a good idea ruined in the execution!
    The jacket had 4 bellows pockets on the front, pen pocket on one sleeve and a FFD pocket on the other. The cuffs were fastened with a velcro strap. The trousers were similar to the jungle DPMs, but in a slightly heavier weight material and, again only half lined. They had two normal side pockets, one or two rear hip pockets, two bellows leg pockets and had a zip fly. The biggest "let-down" with these was that they tore very easily, were not very wind-proof, when compared to the older version and were, (initially), only single line stitched on the seams and joins and therefore were highly prone for "bursting" at the seams/joins. These were then superceeded by "Soldier 95" kit which was a vast improvement. Unfortunately, I had "put in my kit" by then and dont know a lot about it, so cant comment on it with any certainty.

    Hope this is of some use.
    Regards etc

    Ian D
    AKA: Jimpy

  5. #15
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Just had a quick check in one of my reference books, the British Army introduced the Temperate DPM camouflage uniform in 1972 and the Tropical version in 1976.

    Regards etc

    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  6. #16
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Well ive got the all green version, with poachers pocket but no crotch strap everything else is as youve descibed it, plus two draw strings one for the waist and one at the bottom, i presume this is the rare kind plus as i remember them the trousers have all the same description, with the 3/4 length liner to the leg, or possibly full length liner, ill have to dig them out and check, all i remember is that they were pretty warm in winter

  7. #17

    Default

    But.. in my great uncle's wwi diary, he uses metric measurements in 1915! Perhaps because in France!? In any case the RE were using metric in the WWI trenches.

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