Described as “a true WW1 time capsule” by the saleroom, the other ranks 02 pattern service dress tunic, 8th (Service) Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, was “untouched and just as it was hung up” after the war had ended.
It came complete with the original cloth battle insignia to both arms of the 63rd Brigade, 37th Infantry Division, including yellow horseshoe cloth formation sign for the 37th. Sergeants’ rank chevrons featured on both arms, one also with a metal Lewis Gunners proficiency badge on a blue circular backing cloth.
Three overseas service stripes were included on the lower sleeve and the other sleeve had two “charming field-made wound stripes”.
Above the breast pocket is the medal ribbon for the Military Medal awarded for bravery in the field.
The uniform even featured a twist cord lanyard and a original 1916 dated trench whistle with the leather whistle strap still fixed to the top tunic pocket button.
C&T added: “The tunic does sadly have some moth damage but this all adds to the character of the tunic. It is incredibly rare to find First World War other ranks tunics with the original battle insignia still in place as many of these tunics were destroyed once they come off the front line in 1918 and were replaced with the walking-out pattern tunic which mostly appear on the market today.”
The tunic can be seen on the front cover of the reference book WW1 British Battle Insignia by Military Mode publishing.
It doubled the low estimate to sell for £4000.
The 7th Battalion Parachute Regiment was formed from the 10th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry in November 1942.
Bearing an original formation sign, an “excellent example of an early fibre rim pattern steel combat helmet of the airborne forces” took £11,500 from an online bidder against an estimate of £2000-3000.
Showing some service wear, it retained much of the original combat paint finish and came complete with the original 1942 dated liner system and the leather harness chinstraps.
The 7th Bn jumped into Normandy on D-Day, was later deployed during the Ardennes offensive and served in Operation Varsity, where they jumped across the Rhine under enemy fire.