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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Dress uniform, for a warrant officer ?

Simon Cains

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Here is another photo of my g-grandfather but in a very smart suit, would this be a dress uniform for very formal occasions ?  Sorry it is not sharp, and may be a pencil sketch rather than a photo.    He was never an officer but got as high as an RSM.  I am not sure what formal events they would go to ?  He seems to have a jacket and tie,  and I think I can see his West Yorkshire regiment badge on his left lapel.  And even a belt over the shoulder, looking like an officer. I can't see much detail on his cap, presumably another West Yorkshire badge ?  This photo is probably late 1916 or early 1917.  I can't read the writing underneath.   

All comments welcome as usual, thanks very much.   All known details are here  http://www.cains.myzen.co.uk/simeon daly.htm

s t daly in dress uniform.JPG

s t daly zoom.JPG

west yorkshire regiment badge.jpg

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The soldier shown is dressed as a WOI (RSM) and is slightly unusual within the infantry in having an open, stepped rever to his officers pattern service dress (SD) jacket showing shirt collar and tie.  This was not widely favoured by the regular army battalions, who felt that it was too close in appearance to a commissioned officers uniform and who instead preferred their RSM to wear a uniform made of similar cloth and cut, but with a closed collar and no shirt and tie - e.g. see enclosed Scottish version.  This type had been worn by the officers between 1902 and 1913, at which point a fashion for collar and tie started by the Guards was then adopted by all.  All-in-all your photo is entirely commensurate with an infantry battalion RSM during WW1.  
What he wears wasn’t a dress uniform, but his dress for service in the field.  It was an early form of combat, or field jacket, with features adopted from shooting jackets popular in the early 20th century, including bellowed lower pockets (aka cargo pockets) made voluminous in order that extra equipment could be carried. It’s colour was described at the time as ‘drab’, which was a brownish shade of khaki intended for camouflage. His forage cap too is a special, “trench” type with folding ear flaps for winter conditions.

Both arrangements/styles of jacket were worn during the war, but the rank differential was settled after the war, lasting for over a decade, and an open collar only started to become generally acceptable wear for an RSM in the 1930s.  The leather “Sam Browne” belt and cross brace was worn by both officers and RSM regardless of style of jacket.

The cap and collar badges of the RSM were just like those of the officers and made in “officers service dress bronze”, a brownish and subdued metallic shade.  On SD the cap and collar badges were of the same size and design.










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