Rachel was watching University Challenge on TV the other day and came up with a good fact about Raglan sleeves being named after a British general. A dig on the net came up with the explanation:
Lord Raglan and the Raglan Sleeve
Lord Raglan lost an arm in the Crimean War. To make dressing easier his tailor made a short coat with a simple diagonal sleeve seam setting that extended from the neck to the underarm. It allowed much more mobility for Lord Raglan and so was called after him.
With its relaxed fit it is a favourite sleeve for the less able bodied and those with fuller chests or busts. The easy to shrug on sleeve style is used frequently on sportswear, jersey wear, knit cardigans and full length coats. Used on baby garments, stretch babygros and vests makes it easier to dress a small baby.