Tonight we are looking at a desert windproof smock from 3 Commando Brigade, but first a confession. When I bought this smock it had all the TRF insignia and glint tape still attached to the sleeves, however the shoulder titles had been removed at some point. The ‘Army Commando’ titles then were added by me, however they are a legitimate shoulder titles to wear with this flash as we shall see and unlike the more typical ‘Royal Marine Commando’ titles, I actually had a pair of these in stock! I am wary about badging up uniforms to units they were never originally from, however in this case I have less of an issue with it due to the original TRF patch and stitch marks as I feel this is more a restoration than a new creation.
The smock itself is a standard DDPM windproof smock, like the example we looked at here:Attached to the sleeve is a 3 Commando Brigade tactical recognition patch, introduced in 2002, in the form of a black Fairburn Sykes commando dagger on a green background:Also attached is the reflective glint tape and the reinstated Army Commando titles. Although 3 Commando Brigade was a Royal Marine unit the army also had units serving alongside the marines and these were entitled to wear the TRF even if not commando qualified as it was a formation rather than a qualification patch. The following order description was given in 2011:
59 COMMANDO SQN RE & 131 COMMANDO SQN RE (V) FORM THE FOLLOWING
24 Commando Regiment Royal Engineers (24 CDO REGT RE) Formed in 2008, the British Army’s 24 Commando Regiment Royal Engineers form a key part of 3 Commando Brigade. Their main role is to provide combat engineering support to the brigade. This includes the construction or destruction of fortifications, bridges and roads, the laying and clearing of mines and neutralizing IEDs. The Sappers of 24 CDO REGT RE go through full commando training, including the All Arms Commando Course, and can be drawn on to perform the traditional infantry role.
Also there is 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery The batteries of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, provide artillery support to 3 Commando Brigade in the form of 105mm howitzers, mortars and Naval gunfire. All members of 29 Commando are volunteers from other Royal Artillery regiments and are Commando trained.
Both support 3 CDO BDE and are titled ARMY COMMANDO’S.
With this in mind I felt quite justified using these titles on the smock. The same titles appear on the opposite sleeve, again following the stitching marks of the original insignia, and a Union flag appears along with the same glint tape as the other sleeve:When I acquired the smock it came with a single corporal’s rank slide on the front:The name on the label has been crossed out, but can be seen faintly inked to the inside of the smock below and reads “Morrish”:I am a great fan of badged smocks and there is a huge variety of units out there to find, and the prices are often very reasonable like this example which only cost me £10. I can see these becoming more desirable as the years go on so they are an excellent area of collecting at the moment and could well prove a good investment, especially for rarer or more desirable units.