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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Uniform explained


Gensmartie

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Hi Everyone,

Hoping that i have posted in the right place, so here goes. I would like to understand the variety of uniform, if thats the right word, for a soldier. I know that each had a dress uniform, but the standard uniform you see in most WW1 pictures is that the battle dress? I would like to know, if possible, if the dress of soldiers varied from photographs. I would specifically like to know regarding the Grenadier Guards. Also what insignia did they wear on their shoulders, arms etc. I know this might seem a simple question but I've read so many differing accounts. 

Thank you in anticipation

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Here is a photograph of 16707 Sergeant Ernest Edward Curtis, 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards wearing a simplified version of the 1902 Pattern service dress. The 1902 Pattern dress (and variations) was worn whilst in action. Battle dress was not introduced until WW2.
In addition to his Sergeant's rank insignia, Ernest is wearing a cloth Grenadier Guards shoulder title (white on red) above his Battalion number, and two wound stripes.
He was killed in action on 1st December 1917 (99 years ago today!) at Gonnelieu.

Sepoy
 

curtis.jpg

Edited by Sepoy
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Thank you for your info I have included pic with ? grenadier guard

IMG_3771.JPG

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Have seen some WW1 dress like it on the web pertaining to be WW1 - if not what regiment etc do you reckon as I have no relatives in WW2 at all in family 

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Canada title.JPG

The young man in the photo is also in the Canadian forces, didn't we see him in your post on Nov 13th

 

Lovely squeaky clean 1937 pattern webbing, the battledress blouse and trousers are most distinctive so he is WW2

Edited by T8HANTS
found picture of Canada title
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Definitely a 'CANADA' title methinks and circa WW2, as stated.

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In case of confusion, the Grenadier Guards sergeant shown, 1916 or a little later, has a grenade badge above his chevrons because all GG NCOs included the grenade in their rank badge.

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Is it my imagination (or eyesight), but does he have a small inverted chevron below the dark mark on his left cuff?

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I also think that it's an oversea chevron

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Hi Everyone, 

Sorry for late reply to all your posts. Am I right in thinking Muerrisch that you believe the picture to be GG. 

Could some one give me a top to toe explanation of why the dress is WW2. I know for some that sounds stupid but have no clue when it comes to regimental uniform stripes/chevrons etc. Thank you to all who comment.

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In your photograph you can see that the trousers have a large map pocket and that the coat is in fact a waist length blouse. You can also see that there are short 'anklets' in webbing worn above the boots  . This uniform, called 'battledress' was introduced in the late 1930s. He is wearing 1937 equipment minus the ammunition pouches  normally two 'box' like webbing pouches See https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/156007574566538110/

 

If you look at the First World War picture of a Grenadier Sergeant. you can see that his 'jacket'  is a tunic which has pockets below the waistline.  He would wear trousers with no map pocket and normally he would wear puttees - a set of bandages wrapped around his legs See http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/world-war-1-anniversary-schools-and-museums.aspx for clear illustrations of First World War service dress. In the First World War  a soldier would normally wear either 1908 webbing with five small ammunition pounces each side  or the leather 1914 equipment with two pouches each side.

Greg  

Edited by Greg
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On 12/2/2016 at 16:13, Terry_Reeves said:

Yes he does, possibly overseas service chevron.

 

TR

Were overseas service chevrons worn on the left cuff? In WW1 they were on the right cuff.

 

Ron

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The chap in post #3 carries 3 largish packs. Isn`t that one more than normal? It was just large pack and small pack in the 50s - had things changed by then?  (And anklets were called gaiters!)

The "chevron" looks almost like a ghost mark, as if he`d had one on but taken it off - maybe to transfer to the correct side!

Edited by PhilB
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We could add further that the buckle on the webbing belt, is a two part locket, they were either a single piece or a snake and loop for WW1.

You should also be able to see the WW1 belt is wider than the WW2 belt from the two photos supplied.

The webbing coming off the shoulder reduces down from 2" wide to 1", you can see the taper on the two pieces visible, webbing for WW1 was a constant 2" wide.

The cuff on the WW2 blouse is about 2" deep and most distinct, whilst on our Grenadier Guardsman from WW1, the cuff is as simple roll over style and about 3/4" wide.

On a WW1 tunic all the buttons will visible and either made of brass, or a black plastic (for Rifle Regiments) and will be of the rear loop style, whilst on the WW2 photo no buttons are visible and are a four hole green plastic style.  Later in WW2 the buttons became visible as an economy measure, but that is not relevant here.

The respirator bag (on the front) is larger than the WW1 equivalent, and he does appear to be wearing two large packs rather than the pack and haversack you would expect.

The odd thing is the shape to the rear of the large pack which looks like a WW1 mess tin in cover, as I do not think he would have 2 tin helmets.  This might explain why he does not have a haversack, as he hasn't got the WW2 rectangular mess tins which fit inside the said haversack, so he has bits of older pattern kit instead.

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