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Posted (edited)

Firstly, I must just say hello as this is my first post. I am a serving Metropolitan Police officer of 22 years. I have done my fair share of street work but have also done Diplomatic Protection (DPG) & Royalty Protection.

back to this topic, I was hoping someone could help with some information on a police tunic I'm just about to aquire. I still need to sort some pictures and work out how to post them so forgive me for not posting any at this time.

The tunic is apparently a Met high collar type and comes with a helmet with the King George helmet plate so must be dated between 1936-52?

That being said, the tunic has four (4) Met buttons on the reverse, two (2) at waist level and two (2) at the bottom on the tail. Is this correct for a Met tunic of that date?

lastly, the collar number is 689.K which I think was West Ham division. Could anyone give me some history of this officer as I would love to know a little more.

Thank you for any information you can give me

Dave

image.jpg

Edited by David68

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image.jpg

image.jpg

This is the helmet which comes with it.

image.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Nothing apparently wrong with the tunic or helmet. It appears to be of the pattern called the No:- 1 tunic/uniform which was worn on ceremonial occasions through to 11th November 1972 (think I have the date correct), when they were withdrawn.  If you look inside the sleeve you should find some stamping in blue ink (The letters "MP" and the Crown together with a year). The year shown is that in which the tunic was issued. The helmet would have been worn (quite correctly) with the tunic. If you look at archive photos/film of the Queen's Coronation, you will see that this tunic and helmet were worn on the day by Metpol. Sergeants and Constables. Hope this is helpful.

Dave. 

Ps. Forgot to mention that the tunic would have been worn with a black leather "snake" belt.

 

Edited by Dave Wilkinson

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Posted (edited)

Hi Dave, thank you for taking the time to reply. It's put my mind at rest.

I have not yet taken ownership of it so don't have it to hand. The pictures are ones the dealer has sent me. I've just contacted the dealer asking about the MP ink Mark. They have sent back the picture shown but I can't make out a date. Just what looks like a 10. The size maybe? Or could this really be the year which would be exciting.

I've been looking for a belt to complete it but no joy so far.

thank you again for your reply.

Dave

image.jpg

Edited by David68

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Posted (edited)

Dave,

I don't think the "10" relates to the year of issue. It may be the size. When you get it, closely examine the lining and some other markings may be revealed. Police Orders dated Thursday April 9 1936, No:- 3 announced that chrome plated buttons etc were to be fitted to new issues of clothing. Your tunic has on it chrome plated buttons (as opposed to the earlier white metal version which required polishing), so it post dates 1936. I hope this is helpful.

Dave.

 

Edited by Dave Wilkinson

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Thanks again Dave for all the info. I really appreciate it. I know a lot more about it now thanks to you.

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Posted (edited)

First things first - having worked in the costume industry and enjoying living history as a hobby - unless the provenance is impeccable, etc, then don't be fooled by the buttons/insignia a tunic like this has on. As the pattern had been largely unchanged since the 1850's when introduced they still enjoy plenty of use representing Police of earlier periods from when the jacket itself might have been made. My own jacket (mentioned below) I use for Ripper era is a good example. Having said that, nothing from the pictures you posted screams wrong, so you might have a nice untouched original set up.

As touched upon above, the best way to date these tunics... is to find the date. This might seem obvious, but buttons/numbers/etc are easily changed, so not reliable indicators. Most of these type jackets are dated underneath one of the lower skirt pockets. I illustrate my 1956 example below:

DSC00591.jpg

 

The number 12 above is the size, which will be what the number 10 refers to. This particular example was reissued or inspected in 1962, and it is this marking that is found inside the right shoulder:

DSC00592.jpg

Earlier jackets can be found marked in differing locations - this 1918 example is marked in the main body of the jacket, in the back section:

 

RIMG1331.jpg

These last two were in two items of WW2 era kit acquired recently - breeches with basic 1938 stamp in back section, and tunic with basic 1943 date in right armpit:

 

1938.jpg

 

1943.jpg

 

Edited by ayedeeyew

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for taking the time to post your info. It's all very welcome and every day's a learning day so help like this is invaluable.

The only other picture the dealer sent me was this one. There is a seven (7) in white on the tail by the looks of things. To the right of that there is what appears to be more white marks but this is completely unreadable.

I will contact the seller tomorrow armed with your info and ask if they can kindly look for a date.

 

image.jpg

Edited by David68

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Can anyone throw any light on the officer who wore this? 689.K is the collar number. K=West Ham division? It would be great to have a little history to go with it.

 

Dave

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Dave,

I would not hold out much hope. His warrant number would be the key to identification. As I understand it divisional numbers were/are re-issued, so over a period of time (in theory) several individuals could have used that number. Someone with greater knowledge than me may be able to narrow the field down for you.

Dave.

 

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Thanks Dave, I thought as much. Same as it is today then. Shame though, it would of been nice.

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