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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Service Records - a page contains his inside leg measurement !


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I've been looking at Service records for a while but I've never seen a page like this before with his physique in detail down to his inside leg. (ooh, suits you Sir)

Was this a standard form that was completed on attestation ?


From Anc.


Edited by davidbohl
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I don’t recall inside leg measurement featuring on any I’ve looked at before. Unusual occupations have jumped out at me in the past (contortionist and professional roller skater being just two).

I don’t recognise the layout of the form either though my limited knowledge probably explains this. 
I note he is 3” shorter than I yet has a 2” longer inside leg. Would he have have been issued longer trousers or would the shortfall be taken up by expert use of puttees?



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I believe I have come across something similar in pre-war Regular Army service records, dating from the time the man was discharged to Army Reserve B. Never given it much thought - I'd just assumed that their existing uniform would be recycled rather than packed away, but stores would need to keep enough of the right size equipment in the event of mobilisation.

As a man could easily put on or lose weight while he was a reservist it probably wasn't meant to be accurate for each individual but provide a guide to the teams purchasing equipment amd the quartermaster who would requisition it.

In the early weeks of the war all sorts of forms and impromptu arrangements seem to have sprung up in the face of the volume of volunteers, so some bright spark might have come up with a way of using a form they already had printed and kicking around the depot, to assist with the task. Bear in mind there was also insufficient uniforms for many of the men joining the new Kitchener Army Battalions, and so at first many would drill in their civilian clothes. Re-using this form could therefore be a good way of gauging what was actually needed.



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9 hours ago, PRC said:

In the early weeks of the war all sorts of forms and impromptu arrangements seem to have sprung up

The form has a date printed on it, 7th Sept 1914, a few days before it was used on the 11th.

The "B.P., L 2,000" also printed is anybody's guess (Printers initials and a batch of 2,000?)



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The requirement is from “Clothing Regulations” (for the publicly funded provision of clothing for other ranks of the regular army and militia (later SR)) and goes back through various iterations for many years.  A copy was supposed to be kept in each soldier’s personal record, but with the WW2 destruction and intermittent weeding few examples have survived.  There was also a “measurement roll” for each company, from which data was extracted to create a “size roll” (i.e. how many of each size needed).  The regulations state that sizes were to be checked periodically for the exact reason that Peter mentioned.  Pages 156 and 158 refer.

NB.  There was a separate section of clothing regulations for the Special Reserve.  The fact that there’s a home address suggests subject document was the version for militia/SR and perhaps regular reservists.

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When I get very bored answering bank, business or on line security checks I tel lthe 'adviser' that they have left out a key security question . When asked what the question is  I tell them  inside leg measurement. Sadly few seem very amused!

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