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The unknown sitter wears the long raincoat nowadays known as the ‘DR’ coat, introduced from March 1942, and also the fibre and rubber crash helmet which was widely replaced in July 1943 by a steel helmet. The despatch riders of the Royal Corps of Signals fulfilled a vital role during the Second World War (1939–1945) in maintaining communications, often under extremely difficult conditions, such as during the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk in May and June 1940, when they often had to force their way through roads clogged with heavy traffic and abandoned vehicles.

National Army Museum





oil on canvas


H 76.2 x W 63.5 cm

Accession number

NAM. 1985-06-1

Acquisition method

gift from Mr Ivan Stainer, 1985

Work type



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National Army Museum

Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, Greater London SW3 4HT England

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