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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

WW1 shirt for Joe

6th Hauraki KIA KAHA

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Hi All

How many types ie: early war late war, of wool shirts did the make?

Are the all just, Grey or diff colours?

has any one got any pics to share?


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In 1915 there were 14 different types of OR's shirts on inventory.

This does not even count the different pattern changes of a particular style.

For European service there were two primary types.

The Silver Grey and Grey Ordinary. The flannel used was slightly different and patterns were different. The Grey Ordinary was cheaper and initial pre-war meant for the reserves.

In 1916 Natural flannel was allowed as a substitute.

This shirt, from a Canadian Museum, is the Silver Grey made betwenn 1914 and 1917.


The following attached image shows two shirts the right hand one is a British Silver Grey pattern made with natural flannel to a pattern modification made in June 1917.


The left hand shirt is a 1916 dated Canadian ORs shirt. This actually is fairly similar to the Grey Ordinary.

The following picture is of a Grey Ordinary (No bib fron. two button closure etc.). This would be a fairly early one before the blue stripped collars were introduced in 1914 (the plain whit collars are a sign of early manufacture of both types of shirt). The Grey Ordinary was discontinued in 1917.

I'm preparing an article for Militaria magazine on all the primary patterns and pattern evolution of each type with much better photographs.

Joe Sweeney

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Thanks Joe

great pictures

I just found a flannel shirt I cannot find any markings it has only 3 buttons similar to the bottom left in colour

and button-front, it has a thin strip of brown lining cloth in the collar more like the size on the two other shirts.

not sure how to date it once i get it in my hands I will post it on.

Thanks Jonathan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Joe

here is the shirt I talked about it is me with room and I am 6 foot 1 so a good size.

Not sure how do date it? I cannot find any markings I do-not no if it is N.Z made or English.

It seems with my global limit i am only able to load postage Stamp sized images now :(



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Here is a link that shows another WWI Canadian shirt.


The green wool looks similar to yours although yours is very indistinct.

Not sure about NZ issue shirts.

Britain had two types of Drab flannel shirts.

Drab Flannel No1. was meant for Europeans in tropical climes and always issued with a back pad.

Drab Flannel No. 2 was issued to the West African Ref't and a few other Native units.

I haven't done any real research on these yet so I can't really help you.

I'm not sure how or when to date your shirt.

Joe Sweeney

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  • 8 years later...
  • 6 months later...

I'm working on reproducing a few of the WWI Canadian pattern shirts for my reenacting group and I was wondering if anyone else has an original that I can get some additional information. I had been working with Joe and was planning on seeing his original but with his unfortunate passing a few months ago that seems impossible at this point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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