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Jodhpurs or breeches?

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Attached are breeches as worn by an Australian Imperial Force (and later, Australian Military Force) officer - my grandfather, W. F. Lindsay, MC, ED (1880-1940).

Kindest regards,

Kim.5afac65cd1e1b_LieutW.F.Lindsayprob.onleaveinParisearly1918.jpg.785da3f94e313304f91b2412e73293e6.jpg5afac687cc660_CaptWFLindsayca_1920.jpg.e13ea2b9937079f6143e1800043d4b9a.jpg5afac6969d7a0_1937Lt-ColLindsayMC.EDInvestiture.jpg.fcaf143bc34c33713b57c2b00d2b1935.jpg

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, steenie said:
  • A bit of a tangent to this thread, but  I was wondering when trousers became part of the Officers SD uniform and were they worn, even if only at home during the Great War?
  •  

 

They date from WW2 I believe.  Before the war so-called plus fours were worn by dismounted officers below field rank, along with puttees and brown field boots.  From 1937 battle dress was phased in as the principal uniform and service dress and blue patrols became largely optional, although many officers still kitted themselves out with the former.  As long puttees were no longer worn the nether garment was modified to be like baggy civilian trousers and worn with a cut down version of the brown field boot known as veldtschoen (having a waterproof seam fixing sole to uppers and pebbled leather). This arrangement continued after WW2,   although the trousers narrowed to comply with contemporary fashion and later a brown Oxford shoe was made available as an issue item that could be purchased at a subsidised cost by officers but issued free of charge to senior warrant officers.  Until the late 1950 breeches continued to be an optional item for officers of field rank, but were increasingly rarely seen as they had become rather eccentric.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Annette Carson
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

They date from WW2 I believe.  Before the war so-called plus fours were worn by dismounted officers below field rank, along with puttees and brown field boots.  From 1937 battle dress was phased in as the principal uniform and service dress and blue patrols became largely optional, although many officers still kitted themselves out with the former.  As long puttees were no longer worn the nether garment was modified to be like baggy civilian trousers and worn with a cut down version of the brown field boot known as veldtschoen (having a waterproof seam fixing sole to uppers and pebbled leather). This arrangement continued after WW2,   although the trousers narrowed to comply with contemporary fashion and later a brown Oxford was made available as an issue item that could be purchased at a subsidised cost by officers but issued free of charge to senior warrant officers.  Until the late 1950 breeches continued to be an optional item for officers of field rank, but were increasingly rarely seen as they had become rather eccentric.

 

Uh-oh, Frogsmile, I find I need your invaluable advice again. I thought we had dealt with all the vagaries of my subject's dress, but didn't realize that the netherwear as attached is evidently not a uniform garment for WWI. Maybe his breeches got torn and he had only these trousers to cover his embarrassment?  What do you think? BTW, breeched-and-booted on the left is Harold Balfour. 

Thanks as ever

Annette

50a. page 11 i.jpg

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Annette Carson

P.S. just for fun: veldtschoen are still standard footwear in the bush in Southern Africa, all the Game Rangers wear them, nowadays fondly known as 'vellies'. The 'v' being pronounced 'f', but you knew that didn't you. ;-) Annette

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Annette Carson said:

P.S. just for fun: veldtschoen are still standard footwear in the bush in Southern Africa, all the Game Rangers wear them, nowadays fondly known as 'vellies'. The 'v' being pronounced 'f', but you knew that didn't you. ;-) Annette

 

Yes I knew about the pronunciation but am interested to learn that the ‘Velly’ shoes are still worn out in the South African bush.  I wore veltschoen myself with uniform and much preferred them to the issued Oxford shoe :-)

 

 

1 hour ago, Annette Carson said:

 

Uh-oh, Frogsmile, I find I need your invaluable advice again. I thought we had dealt with all the vagaries of my subject's dress, but didn't realize that the netherwear as attached is evidently not a uniform garment for WWI. Maybe his breeches got torn and he had only these trousers to cover his embarrassment?  What do you think? BTW, breeched-and-booted on the left is Harold Balfour. 

Thanks as ever

Annette

50a. page 11 i.jpg

 

Hello Annette, I think that many officers purchased what were officially called ‘pantaloons’ (but increasingly becoming known as trousers) as an additional garment that they could wear in barracks with their SD jackets for certain less formal duties when not on parade with formed bodies of men.  The 1911 Dress Regulations can be seen at this link (but I have not searched them yet): http://access.bl.uk/item/viewer/ark:/81055/vdc_100022541448.0x000002#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&xywh=-24%2C-1541%2C2439%2C6167

 

They would not have been worn for ‘Review Order’, or ‘Marching Order’.  The RFC were the first ever Army unit to experience the rather unusual operational reality of having breakfast in the mess, in relative civility (no mud and blood there), but then flying a few miles, engaging in a vicious no holds barred dogfight, but then returning home in time for afternoon tea (depending on flight rostering).  This was all very new at the time but it soon became apparent that there was no need to be formally dressed all the time in between sorties and a more relaxed attitude to dress began to evolve.  Ergo trousers and shoes would often be seen alongside breeches and long boots or puttees during informal periods on an airfield.

 

N.B.  This relaxed attitude has arguably reached ridiculous levels in the RAF now and the Army Air Corps are more strict whilst still retaining the pragmatism of the old RFC.  That said the rest of the Army still view both sets of fly boys as below par when it comes to standards of etiquette and dress.  I have been both sides of that fence.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Annette Carson

All very understandable, Frogsmile, especially considering that in the case of the RFC the officer-pilots were constantly 'in the field' in land forces terms - and also operating at night from the end of 1917.  I think it would take me too long to find my way through the document at your link, but your explanation is fine for my purposes, thanks. What would life be without the usual inter-services rivalry. LOL. 

 

On the subject of vellies, I spent many wonderful holidays at game reserves when I lived in SA and they're definitely considered the most practical footwear in the bush. You'd be right at home.

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Annette Carson said:

All very understandable, Frogsmile, especially considering that in the case of the RFC the officer-pilots were constantly 'in the field' in land forces terms - and also operating at night from the end of 1917.  I think it would take me too long to find my way through the document at your link, but your explanation is fine for my purposes, thanks. What would life be without the usual inter-services rivalry. LOL. 

 

On the subject of vellies, I spent many wonderful holidays at game reserves when I lived in SA and they're definitely considered the most practical footwear in the bush. You'd be right at home.

 

I’ve had a look at the 1911 Dress Regulations for my own interest and for Mounted Officers on the staff the text differentiates between 'Trousers' (better known as 'Overalls', which is given as the alternative term and still worn in the Army today) and 'Pantaloons'.  The former are longer by 1.5" to 2" and strapped under the instep.  The latter are cut loosely in the thigh and tight at the knee (and clearly are what we think of today as riding breeches) and to be worn with brown leather 'Stohwasser' gaiters (these have a spiralling leather strap securing them in place and secured the maker with a monopoly that made him a millionaire).

 

For Foot Guards both, 'Breeches' and 'Knickerbockers' (plus-4s), are referred to.  The former for mounted officers (field rank) and the latter for dismounted officers (company officers).

 

For Line Infantry the description is 'Trousers of drab mixture' with no further detail (but the differential for mounted officers would still have applied and basically included the Majors, the Lieutenant Colonel (CO) and Adjutant (by virtue of his appointment).

 

The black and white image shows the SD as it was originally constructed with a much shorter skirt than later became popular, largely through the influence of Indian units.

 

grenadier1915.jpg

page53-360px-The_Cutter's_Practical_Guide_Part_13.djvu.jpg

SD.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Notice the difference in the nether garments between the RFC officers at Larkhill, pre-war, and those deployed in France and Flanders after 1914.  The 3rd officer from the right at Larkhill appears to wear an early example of the maternity jacket.

RFC-Larkhill-1912.jpg

 

B-flight-RFC-no-7-squadron-1918.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Interestingly, the Great War RFC squadron group, unfortunately unnamed, shows that half the Officers had dispensed with the Sam Browne shoulder-strap (as the 2nd AIF did during the Second War).

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear All,

Interestingly, the Great War RFC squadron group, unfortunately unnamed, shows that half the Officers had dispensed with the Sam Browne shoulder-strap (as the 2nd AIF did during the Second War).

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

It is 7 Squadron RFC early in 1918, Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay
Posted (edited)

Dear Frogsmile,

Yes, thanks for that.

I see that the (unfortunately unnamed) "B" Flight, 7 Sqn RFC Officers were RE8 Pilots and Observers.

Only two of the latter had their Half-Wing up (it had to be earned by completing several operational flights), and the Observer with Half-Wing had the MC.

The two seated and standing (also with MC) at far left were wearing their fur flying gloves.

Many thanks for attaching this excellent group...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Dear Frogsmile,

Yes, thanks for that.

I see that the (unfortunately unnamed) "B" Flight, 7 Sqn RFC Officers were RE8 Pilots and Observers.

Only two of the latter had their Half-Wing up (it had to be earned by completing several operational flights), and the Observer with Half-Wing had the MC.

The two seated and standing (also with MC) at far left were wearing their fur flying gloves.

Many thanks for attaching this excellent group...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

It’s interesting too that the flight has a large proportion of regimental, as opposed to RFC pilots and observers.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Frogsmile,

Yes, I agree.

Altogether an excellent photo with lots of historical clues. Super!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Steven Broomfield
17 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

flying a few miles, engaging in a vicious no holds barred dogfight, but then returning home in time for afternoon tea

 

And medals (with apologies to Flashheart).

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

And medals (with apologies to Flashheart).

 

And well deserved, especially in April 1917.

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Annette Carson
On 16/05/2018 at 14:14, FROGSMILE said:

 

And well deserved, especially in April 1917.

 

Talking of pantaloons/trousers, I found this purely by accident while leafing through Bill Taylor's 'Sopwith Scout 7309' - pictured precisely at this time, April/May 1917.

Annette

Taylor with rigger and fitter crop.jpg

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Annette Carson said:

 

Talking of pantaloons/trousers, I found this purely by accident while leafing through Bill Taylor's 'Sopwith Scout 7309' - pictured precisely at this time, April/May 1917.

Annette

Taylor with rigger and fitter crop.jpg

 

A great photo, and typical of the exact type of informal occasion, when trousers might be worn (and an officer’s hands placed in his pockets in the presence of other ranks!), that I was referring to.  Compare the dress in this scene with the B Flt, 7 Sqn line up posted earlier, when although Sam Browne’s were in some cases discarded (and fur gloves worn!), everyone has boots and puttees, or leather leggings.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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