Perhaps the pinnacle but certainly not the last of this excellent and long established private collection of Long Range desert Group Items, is this Battledress Blouse and Trousers worn by Trooper Arthur Bryant of the LRDG (Rhodesia) accompanied by a copy photograph of him wearing this actual blouse on his wedding day in 1946.
Illustrated on page 150 of “LRDG Rhodesia”, it last changed hands in 2004 when sold by Dix, Noonan and Webb in London.
The blouse has slip-on shoulder titles of black cloth with embroidered L.R.D.G. (red faded to pink) over ‘RHODESIA’ (white) and padded LRDG / SOE breast wings which I believe were given to those who undertook a parachute course with the SOE. On the upper right arm is a red on black embroidered roundel for combined operations Zara (see footnote). On the lower right arm are four red on khaki inverted chevrons for overseas service. Two additional red shoulder slip-ons were found in one of the pockets
The Blouse is an American War Aid example, in very good condition. Both labels remain inside and although the date of 1943 can be determined all other details are now worn away. I can find only two very small moth holes. Trooper Bryant's service number inside
The trousers are I believe also US War Aid and have suffered some moth damage. There are no labels and they are somewhat paler in colour with light staining.
Footnote. As the war entered its final year, the LRDG were scattered among the Dalmatian Islands, observing enemy troop and shipping movements from well-situated vantage points. One such patrol was situated on first, a sparsely populated island just 3¾ miles square that lay 20 miles west of the city of Zadar on the Croatian coast. This was operation Zara.
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