At the risk of starting another smock debate, I thought I would share some info with everyone for our combined knowledge.
I recently purchased a smock from a friend of mine who had been a member of the Canadian Airborne Regt in the 1980's. He had purchased a 1944 dated Dennison from a 1 Can Para vet at one of the Airborne reunions. Long story short, the smock is now mine. Anyhow, on with the interesting part.
The 1 Can para vet made a point of showing him where there rigger had repaired a couple of busted Newey snaps on the smock by replacing with UNITED CARR CANADA brass snaps. These are the same snaps you find on Canadian made bren gun pouches and other 37 webbing. Has anyone else ever seen this done? I consider this proof of Cdn provenance. Any thoughts?
For the record, the Trooper joined the 1 Can Para after the Normandy drop as a reinforcement and jumped at the Rhine. Regrettably I do not have his name.
A name will be key as it ties the garment to a particular person. The United Carr snaps are nice, but they could well have been accessable to any British rigger. Be cautious of 'rigger' stories and what you have to ask yourself is, who was this mysterious rigger and why would he have used only United Carr snaps when British snaps off of British manufactured web would have been more prevolent.
I am not saying that there is a probelm with the smock, it is just that if the sale of the garment is hinging on the snaps being Canadian and this is leading you to purchase the item as 1 Can Para, then you have to ask yourself a few questions.
So very true Ed. With the number of reproductions and messed with uniforms these days, it really makes one skeptical about good stories. I tend to believe this one as I know the individual who originally obtained the smock and trust him, however, when the day comes that the smock changes hands again, will the story matter at all?
Quite a bit of my stuff has come directly from the veteran (or at least it did, back in the 1980's) when I started collecting. Much of the provenance is known only to me now and I suppose it will be disputed some day when I pass along my holdings.
If you keep the records with the garment they will mean something to the next owner as this is the baseline of information to accompany the item. It is far better to have the provenance with the item in question rather than some verbal story. Obviously photographs, pay books, written documentation all go along way to provide the history and turn a nondescript piece of clothing into something that can be tied to a person.