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British officers Uniforms


Khaki
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Just curious, but were British officers uniforms manufactured in France during the GW, if so are there known examples in members collections?

thanks

khaki

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I would have though that the Yorkshire Woolen Mills could produce enough Khaki Barathea, Beford Cord Etc. to satisfy the demands from tailors and the stores that offered "off the peg" Officers uniforms.

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It could well be, I would have thought that there was opportunity for French tailors being 'on the spot' so to speak to provide an immediate service for new officers promoted from the ranks, maybe even alterations or repairs?

khaki

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It could well be, I would have thought that there was opportunity for French tailors being 'on the spot' so to speak to provide an immediate service for new officers promoted from the ranks, maybe even alterations or repairs?

khaki

It would be my understanding that officer candidates selected from the ranks would have been sent back to the UK and sent through a cadet training program. Hence, it is more likely that a new uniform issue would be made by a UK tailor. Am I wrong about this?

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Thanks LF for the interesting article,

It would be my understanding that officer candidates selected from the ranks would have been sent back to the UK and sent through a cadet training program. Hence, it is more likely that a new uniform issue would be made by a UK tailor. Am I wrong about this?

I don't think you are wrong, but I am not sure if there were promotions 'in the field' and what was the lapse in time before the promoted soldier returned to the UK for officer training. Maybe the only change was the addition of a 2nd Lt star on the OR's tunic?

I am sure that I have read that some US uniforms were made in France, and if so maybe British uniforms as well?

khaki

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I think quite a lot of US uniforms were indeed made in France and Luxembourg (I own a couple with Paris tailor's tags) but I think the vast majority of those date from post-war when a large proportion of the AEF remained in Europe for several months and obviously sourcing uniforms locally was easier than obtaining them across the Atlantic. Given the distances and supply chain involved, the channel presented a far smaller obstacle to British officers.

In addition there seems to be a much stronger tradition of private purchase uniforms amongst O/Rs in the US than elsewhere. Privately tailored O/R uniforms are also fairly common in the US whereas I don't know I have ever seen them (cue numerous examples no doubt) amongst British O/R jackets. In addition to the extended time many in the AEF spent in Europe prior to their return, US soldiers were also provided with fresh uniforms for return/demobilization which explains the comparatively large numbers of surviving US tunics compared to other nations where demobbed soldiers did not retain their uniforms.

In a related aside, I have several photos of a US ambulance unit during the post war occupation where a proportion of the men are wearing British SD Jackets, perhaps also indicative of supply issues.

Chris

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The early batches of commissions from ranks [October 1914 to say March 1915] either stayed put with the original unit and put a pip up without ceremony, or moved sideways from Artists' Rifles or Inns of Court without leaving theatre. The army was too much in crisis to insist on pukka dress, although there were mutterings of course.

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