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Bedfordshire Regiment early issue uniforms


Raster Scanning
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I am interested in the uniforms issued to early service battalions in WW1. In particular the 7th Service Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. I have a contemporary letter that confirms the uniform consisted of a red jacket with blue trousers with a red vertical stripe on the outside of the leg. I presume this was the standard uniform pre 1902 and wonder if there are any pattern references. I am interested to confirm the colour of the collar and cuffs as well as the cap that appears to have a shiny peak.

I can find nothing online at all. I include a picture of some 7th Beds men outside the Drill Hall Haslemere in early 1915.

10425057_1516031018665109_6063060175575840831_n.jpg

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41 minutes ago, Raster Scanning said:

I am interested in the uniforms issued to early service battalions in WW1. In particular the 7th Service Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. I have a contemporary letter that confirms the uniform consisted of a red jacket with blue trousers with a red vertical stripe on the outside of the leg. I presume this was the standard uniform pre 1902 and wonder if there are any pattern references. I am interested to confirm the colour of the collar and cuffs as well as the cap that appears to have a shiny peak.

I can find nothing online at all. I include a picture of some 7th Beds men outside the Drill Hall Haslemere in early 1915.

10425057_1516031018665109_6063060175575840831_n.jpg

 

They are wearing what were termed 'home service frocks' of the 7-button variation.  There was an earlier 5-button version.  

Originally a second-best garment for in-barracks duty wear, it was made of a coarse scarlet serge with a white mitre style (pointed) cuff and collar, which bore a regimental badge.  White being the colour designated for all non-Royal English and Welsh regiments in the regulations of 1881.  There were two inset pockets with flaps in the skirt of the frock which was a relatively loose fitting style of jacket so that a shirt and vest could be worn beneath in cold weather.  The frock, in various colours, was standard best 'undress' (working) wear for all parts of the Army before 1902.  The neck was fastened by brass hooks and eyes and the 7-gilding metal buttons of general service pattern, bearing the Royal arms.

Trousers were of a very dark blue hue, made of serge, and included a 1/4 inch wide scarlet welt down the outer seam.  From your photo it is apparent that these were worn with drab (brownish khaki) puttees and ammunition boots.

The round forage cap was dark blue with scarlet piping around the crown only, a black leather chin strap, fastened by a small button on each side, and a polished leather peak. 

 

If you 'search' within this section of the forum using the term 'frock' you will find many close up images and coloured artwork of the garments concerned.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Now that is what I call a perfect answer, thanks so much Frogsmile.

So the forage cap would have been similar to the West Riding one you posted elsewhere on the forum?

 

Edited by Raster Scanning
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33 minutes ago, Raster Scanning said:

Now that is what I call a perfect answer, thanks so much Frogsmile.

So the forage cap would have been similar to the West Riding one you posted elsewhere on the forum?

 

 

Glad to help, let me know if you can't find any images and I will post some in the week.

 

Yes, the West Riding forage cap is the exact same pattern (for non-Royal infantry).

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Thanks again

This is from my collection, and I now understand this is the type of frock coat you are talking about. It is in store at the moment and I took these for someone who was interested in construction details some years ago. So this would be a similar pattern but obviously different colour cuffs collar and shoulder straps. Do you know why they are green because the Devon's were not royal were they?

 

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Yes, that is the final version of the 7-button frock, different only in that it had facing colour instead of self colour shoulder straps.

As regards the green, many of the non-Royal regiments that before 1881 had other than white facings resented being forced to change to white.  They agitated to revert and, after the Army's recognised efforts in the 2nd Boer War, most regiments who wished it so, at intervals, were permitted to do so.  From memory only I think that the Devons reverted to green around 1911, but you should check to be sure.

 

P.S.  In the period after the 2nd Boer War most regiments used the Home Service Frock for walking-out-dress in place of the much more expensive and close fitting 'full dress', with its white piped front edge, that had at one time been preferred.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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