- Not to be confused with Trenchcoat.
A greatcoat, also known as a watchcoat, is a large overcoat that is typically made of wool designed for warmth and protection against the weather. Its collar and cuffs can be turned out to protect the face and hands from cold and rain, and the short cape around the shoulders provides extra warmth and repels rainwater (if made of a waterproof material). During the 17th and 18th centuries and the Industrial Revolution, greatcoats became available for all social classes. It was popular in the 19th and 20th Century as a military uniform and as casual wear for the wealthy. It is still issued for inclement weather by many armed forces around the world.
The coat generally hangs down below the knees and the cape is kept short, normally just above or below the elbows. It also sports deep pockets for keeping letters and food dry. It is typically coloured grey, though other colours such as black, brown, navy blue etc., may be used.
References / notes
- Greatcoat. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Accessed 19 April, 2017.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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