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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Officer dress


Landsturm
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I'd like to find out more about the uniform worn by Major Thomas Norman Puckle of Leicestershire Regiment and the RAMC officer (I'm not able to identify) in the photo. The "older-style" with high collar and no tie. I've seen photos of it in early part of the war, but now I'm not able to find any. Where was it worn (staff duty?) and where was the rank insignia displayed (shoulders?)

Good photos or illustrations welcome!

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post-1862-1257691195.jpg

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This is the style worn by General Sir Ian Hamilton at Gallipoli in 1915

[You should be able to pick-up photographs of him on the web - I have scanner problems at the moment]

In his case it appears that the rank insignia were worn on the shoulders, and not on cuffs

regards

Michael

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The Officer on the left is wearing the early version of the cuff rank tunic - rank would be worn in rows of braid and cloth insignia on the cuffs, the collar was closed to the neck, and braided cord epaulettes were worn. This was introduced a few years before the war, and was in itself only in service a couple of years before changes to it were made, making it into the more commonly seen type with the lapels folded back to display the shirt and tie, and the epaulettes changed to flat cloth ones. However, the earlier type was still in the process of being replaced by many Officers at the outbreak of war, so it served in dwindling numbers throughout the war. I've even seen a few of the early examples that have been converted to conform to the later regulations, replacement epaulettes being added, and the collar tailored and pressed to form the open lapels. Rank on the cuffs was the same on both the later and early type - only worn by those of field rank (ie 2nd Lieutenant to Colonel) - above this, rank had to be worn on the shoulder.

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As a off shoot from this post regarding rank on sleeves compared to shoulders ,A question i have been meaning to ask was this a personal choice from officer to officer or was it a regiment decision? Ie could you stay with the choice you personally liked sleeves or shoulder rank emblems.

Thanks MC

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As a off shoot from this post regarding rank on sleeves compared to shoulders ,A question i have been meaning to ask was this a personal choice from officer to officer or was it a regiment decision? Ie could you stay with the choice you personally liked sleeves or shoulder rank emblems.

Thanks MC

It depends somewhat - most regiments at the start of the war wore cuff rank (excepting certain Guards regiments and similar, as well as Officers of higher than field rank). As the war progressed, shoulder rank became more prominent as it was less conspicuous to the enemy. However, certain regiments could and would be picky - Robert Graves recalled in "Goodbye to all that" how when he joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was seen wearing shoulder rank that he was told in no uncertain terms to get a cuff rank tunic to wear instead!

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Found couple more photos. Major Abell and Colonel Pearce-Serocold.

At least the colonel seems to be wearing his rank in cuffs too?

post-1862-1257892591.jpg

post-1862-1257892601.jpg

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Found couple more photos. Major Abell and Colonel Pearce-Serocold.

At least the colonel seems to be wearing his rank in cuffs too?

Yes, as I mentioned in post three, this was the highest rank that could be worn on the cuff, anything higher and it had to be on the epaulettes.

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Is that the Colonel Pearce-Serocold who was Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1914?

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Yes, I'm particularly interested in Brig Gen Eric Pearce Serocold (1871-1926) who was CO of 123 Bde 1917-18. I've been looking for a photograph of him for ages - though I'd prefer one from the 1917-18 period. Julian

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