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British Rain Cape - What era?

Article about: Seems odd that it's original intended use was a ground cover. It has lapels and buttons to secure them around the soldiers neck. Also, I assumed the area where the soldiers left arm would go

  1. #1
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    Default British Rain Cape - What era?

    Hi All,
    I stopped in the thrift shop I volunteer at and these three jackets were set aside for me. The first I was of course able to identify as a US Vesicant Gas Protective Coat. The coat has a 1963 contract date. Considering it's age, it's in excellent condition; I assume never issued.

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    The two other jackets are what I believe to be British Rain Capes (double as a rain cape and half shelter). I'm unsure of the era as any date that may have been present has since faded. Manufacturer is Strauss & Sons Ltd whom I have been unable to find any info on.

    Any idea when these would been have used? Both are pretty much identical with the exception of a few minor details. Thanks in advance!

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    Interior
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    Buttons (Examples from both)

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    Manufacturers Label (better of the two)
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  2. #2
    NCA
    NCA is offline
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    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    The two British capes will date from the 50's onwards.ww2 capes of that sort were a tan colour.I dont know when the change over was?..
    It is possible to button them together to make a very ineffective tent!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Thanks, NCA! I figured 60's or 70's but wanted to confirm.

    Sounds like you speak from experience when you say they're innefective! I was never in the military but had to use a poncho for shelter quite a few times when I was in the Boy Scouts; and I can only echo your assesment!

  4. #4

    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    They are 50's. We still use them at LH events as groundsheets.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Thanks, Adrian. Based on what you've said, I assume there is minimal value in them? I ask only because I do plan to keep them and want to pay the shop a fair price (it's a non-profit). Would $10 per cape be fair?

  6. #6

    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Sounds fine to me.

    I bought mine for 1 each about 15 years ago. Wish I had bought more now of course.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  7. #7

    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    They are 50's. We still use them at LH events as groundsheets.
    That would be the best use for them, as that is in fact what they are. They are "Sheets, ground" not rain capes, although designed so they could be used as a waterproof

    Rob

  8. #8

    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Hi Rob, ours were getting flilthy: over the years we had hosed and scrubbed them down on occasion. So Lez decided to risk it and and washed and trumble dried them as we needed them for the weekend! Came out fine.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  9. #9

    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    Hi Rob, ours were getting flilthy: over the years we had hosed and scrubbed them down on occasion. So Lez decided to risk it and and washed and trumble dried them as we needed them for the weekend! Came out fine.
    Well I suppose in theory they were supposed to be waterproof, so if they couldn't take a bit of water they would be pretty useless (which as rain capes they pretty much were). I'm surprised the tumble drier didn't bake them though

    I don't actually know of any official documents suggesting groundsheets were ever intended to be used as a 'half-shelter'. Their function was to be used to lie on and be rolled around equipment to keep it dry. Perhaps people getting confused with the German Zeltbahn, or it was some invented nonsense from a Histoire et Collections or Brayley/Ingram pot-boiler?

    Rob

  10. #10
    NCA
    NCA is offline
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    Default Re: British Rain Cape - What era?

    Quote by yuengling325 View Post
    Thanks, NCA! I figured 60's or 70's but wanted to confirm.

    Sounds like you speak from experience when you say they're innefective! I was never in the military but had to use a poncho for shelter quite a few times when I was in the Boy Scouts; and I can only echo your assesment!
    HaHa!..it was years ago when i was in cadets.We had to string two of these together in the pouring rain trying to get something approaching sleep to be woken up at about 4 in the morning by real soldiers doing an exercise with blank firers!Then back to the camp to have our breakfast spat in by the cooks.Happy days.

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