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Remembered Today:

WWI Captains uniform


jholl72

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Hi everyone,

I just picked up this uniform today. It is a WWI uniform, named to a Capt. A.C. Burt in the Vetinary Corps.

Can someone tell me if this is British or Canadian and is of the period.

I believe it to be authentic and Canadian but am looking for verification one way or the other.

Regards,

Jeff

post-4741-1189826078.jpg

post-4741-1189826109.jpg

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:unsure: Because of the way your photos were lit, it is really difficult to tell which is the actual color of this uniform. In the photos the jacket color ranges from khaki to grey probably just because of the lighting. If I were forced to guess, I'd guess that the actual color is that of the first photo. I'm not trying to critique your skill as a photographer - just pointing out a problem that may make it more difficult for the experts to answer your question. No offense intended!

All the best,

Dan

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Hi Joe,

Thanks for the information. I had checked the Canadian Archives and was having trouble finding an AC Burt that fit into the Vet Corps.

I would bet that is the guy.

He is listed as Capt. in the Nursing Corps but this jacket has Capt. insignia on the Vet Corps uniform, could he have been promoted in the Vet Corps and then transferred to the Nursing Corps?

Regards,

Jeff

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Jeff,

I would say with an Aldershot Tailors label its British Made, there is quite a wide variation in shades of cloth used in the manufacture of Officers SD Tunics so I am not sure that the cloth in itself is a good indicator unlike WW2 Candian BD.

regards

Mark

Hi everyone,

I just picked up this uniform today. It is a WWI uniform, named to a Capt. A.C. Burt in the Vetinary Corps.

Can someone tell me if this is British or Canadian and is of the period.

I believe it to be authentic and Canadian but am looking for verification one way or the other.

Regards,

Jeff

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Jeff

I have a few jackets of this era.

http://www.fairmile.fsbusiness.co.uk/uniforms.htm

and

http://www.fairmile.fsbusiness.co.uk/bright.htm

The jacket looks good, it has the centre seam in the waistband which is typical of WW1 and the lack of it points to later jackets.

One tip, these jackets are worth more money with cuff ranks.

Take a good look for evidence of stars on the shoulders, which might point to the jacket having been later modified, and the shoulder stars removed. this is either piercing or non fading where stars might have been sewn

I am not saying it has, but that is the first place to look for evidence. Look also for the cuff ranks to be sewn over a piece of extra cloth that matches the shape of the cuff rank. This was usual.

Generally the stars were fitted to the shoulders from 1917 onwards, but many officers, who were not actually in the firing line continued to wear their earlier jackets right up to the end of hostilities.

You might also get it under an ultraviolet light, to see if any of the cuff rank stitching exhibits any man made fibres (they glow), if they do then the cuffs have been added later.

Just a few pointers, but a nice jacket nevertheless.

Cheers

Guy

post-12226-1189944087.jpg

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Hi Guy,

Thanks for the information and the links to your uniforms...very, very nice! I love how yours were rescued from the dustbin.

There is no evidence of any rank insignia on the shoulders, neither non fading or piercing on the top or underside.

I have no black light, but cannot see any evidence that it has been added or tampered with in any way.

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Hi Guy,

Thanks for the information and the links to your uniforms...very, very nice! I love how yours were rescued from the dustbin.

There is no evidence of any rank insignia on the shoulders, neither non fading or piercing on the top or underside.

I have no black light, but cannot see any evidence that it has been added or tampered with in any way.

Excellent, in addition the colour of the stars often varies. As they go up through the officers ranks they add them. Often these were from different sources, and would be different colours, as yours are.

Cheers

Guy

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This looks from the pictures to be a bona fide WW1 SD jacket that hasn’t been tampered with in any way.

It is a Great War myth that cuff rank was worn early in the war and gradually displaced by shoulder rank as it dawned on people that it was easily targeted, but this is not correct. Shoulder rank was worn from early on in the Great War. Graves was carpeted in 1915 for wearing a “wind-up tunic”, as was the order in his battalion of the Welsh regiment, and plenty of such jackets are evident in photos from 1916. Nevertheless, many officers chose to wear cuff rank at the front right up to the end, probably on about an equal basis with shoulder rank, as quantities of photos from 1918 show. I myself have a cuff rank jacket to a Captain in 7 Wilts, 50 Div that went over the top on 18 Oct 1918 – I know this because the owner was wounded in it and subsequently repaired it and patched the lining.

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Very interesting

This letter from Captain Bert Odell, also 50th Div, to his brother George Odell mentions the jacket stars at the bottom in 1918.

http://www.fairmile.fsbusiness.co.uk/letter20_2_18.htm

I thought, but I may be wrong that there was a modification to kings regulations at some point about it. Somebody more knowledgeable may be able to confirm either way. It was certainly common for officers to gradually tone down their jackets to make them less vulnerable, even to the extent of going over the top in O/R jackets I believe. George Odell's one in the picture above exists in my collection,

http://www.fairmile.fsbusiness.co.uk/odellgeorge.htm

and has not only shoulder stars, but leather buttons too. I think the main reason for continuing to wear cuffs was more to do with cost of new clothing (as officers bought their own) and the fact that they had many back up jackets to get through before using the new one which being later probably sported shoulder stars.

If you received a shiny pressed replacement jacket, it would go on the 'Best' hook, and the previous 'best' with cuffs would be pressed into service in the mud, would it not?

Glad to hear that another 50 Div jacket exists...........Any chance of a picture?

Here is mine to this man

http://www.fairmile.fsbusiness.co.uk/odellbert.htm

50 Div Signals 1915-1918 , then 15th Scottish Div Signals in 1918 after the Aisne.

Guy

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Guy

I'll post a pic, but first I'll need to take a decent one, then work out how to resize it, so it may be a few days. I'll post it in a new topic.

As you probably know, 7 Wilts were latecomers to 50 Div, coming from Salonika in mid-1918. Capt. Sawtell's jacket has small buff squares to each shoulder, which I think are Wilts bn signs (on the grounds that at least one other Wilts bn used buff signs) and unfaded strips on the shoulder straps where the 26 Div signs have been removed, showing that the jacket was not new then. (But cuff rank jackets were still being made late in the war - a friend has a Black Watch one dated August 1918.)

When I originally got the jacket there were two others with it - shoulder ranks, one with regimental buttons and the buff sign, and another shoulder rank with no signs on it, also a named Sam Browne and some prewar volunteer kit. In those days (early 80s) I did not realise the importance of keeping such groups together and let those bits go. (One jacket subsequently turned up in a dealers with numerous embellishments such as leather cuffs, medal ribbons, etc.) I did however keep a tatty old white metal vol. Sam Browne, which he'd obviously gone over the top in as it was nicked at the back in the same place as the rip in the jacket, evidently by a shell splinter. I also have his cap and breeches.

Regards

Wainfleet

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  • 1 year later...

For reference, I would like to disagree with Smithmap that the seam at the waist points to WWI tunics, I have seen plenty of WWII tunics with a seam there, likewise, although fewer, WWI tunics without. A reinforced waistband seems more of a unique feature of a WWI tunic, but again these might still have been produced in the twenties and maybe thirties.

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I have seen the regulation regarding the obsolence of cuff rank and - although I can't lay hands on it at the moment - it was authorised/ acceptable for wear until (from recollection) either 1920 or 1921.

Vets are a bit dull (IMHO), but a good coat nonetheless.

Best wishes,

GT.

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To answer some of your other questions (BTW I don't see any reason to doubt this tunic is WW I era as cuff rank were worn right up to the end and beyond) the collars are indeed Canadian Army Veterinary Corps and the buttons are Army Vetrinary Service, and therfore British, I think they became a Corps in 1912, so these may have been old stocks of buttons or the fellow had previous service perhaps. However I am not certain that the CAVC had their own buttons at that time, so they would have used British or general list buttons, leather football type etc. etc. If I recall correctly the title 'Royal' was bestowed on the Corps in 1919 in recognition of war service, the title Royal was granted to the Canadian Corps in the late 20's.

Transfers betweens services such as nursing & Vet would be strange, usually if a fellow were a Vet or had husbandry experience they were recruited for the Vet corps. But if the fellow enlisted in Canada and the process precluded immediate attachment to the CAVC then it is possible he was posted elsewhere until a trasnfer was possible, or if sakills were determeined later a transfer is possible too.

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To answer some of your other questions (BTW I don't see any reason to doubt this tunic is WW I era as cuff rank were worn right up to the end and beyond) the collars are indeed Canadian Army Veterinary Corps and the buttons are Army Vetrinary Service, and therfore British, I think they became a Corps in 1912, so these may have been old stocks of buttons or the fellow had previous service perhaps. However I am not certain that the CAVC had their own buttons at that time, so they would have used British or general list buttons, leather football type etc. etc. If I recall correctly the title 'Royal' was bestowed on the Corps in 1919 in recognition of war service, the title Royal was granted to the Canadian Corps in the late 20's.

Transfers betweens services such as nursing & Vet would be strange, usually if a fellow were a Vet or had husbandry experience they were recruited for the Vet corps. But if the fellow enlisted in Canada and the process precluded immediate attachment to the CAVC then it is possible he was posted elsewhere until a trasnfer was possible, or if sakills were determeined later a transfer is possible too.

I would be interested to know on what basis the collar badges are ID as Canadian? In what way are they different to British? Joe Sweeney has already almost positively ID the man as British and his uniform was made in Aldershot, Hampshire. He seems unlikely to have enlisted in Canada but not had a uniform until arriving in GB.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi guys,

I picked up a couple of more things that belonged to Capt. Burt.

His well worn spurs and a strange jacket, I have never seen before.

It looks as if it might be a work jacket, similar to a doctors white lab coat, that Burt may have worn when working on the animals to protect his uniform.

Anyone ever seen anything like this before or know what it is?

Close up of material.

There are no markings at all on this garment.

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Are you sure it's a mans coat? :huh: I ask as the front buttons right over left, which is fairly typical for womens clothing, whereas with men it tends to be left over right...

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Hi Andrew,

I am not sure of anything regarding this jacket. It was part of a lot of items that were sold at auction by a museum. I have the museum inventory sheets that list this jacket as having been donated by the Burts at the same time as the rest of the uniform items. It also included three pairs of pants, Sam Browne belt, officers canvas bag etc.

It may have belonged to Mrs. Burt, I just don't know.

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For reference, I would like to disagree with Smithmap that the seam at the waist points to WWI tunics, I have seen plenty of WWII tunics with a seam there, likewise, although fewer, WWI tunics without. A reinforced waistband seems more of a unique feature of a WWI tunic, but again these might still have been produced in the twenties and maybe thirties.

Agee with your remarks about the waist seam. I've a 1917 dated cuff rank tunic with NO waist seam whatsoever and another of the same vintage with a seam at the front and none at the back. Cheers, Bill

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Hello,

It could just be the fotos but the tunic fabric does not appear to be the typical WW1 gaberdine weave. Cheers, Bill

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Hi Andrew,

I am not sure of anything regarding this jacket. It was part of a lot of items that were sold at auction by a museum. I have the museum inventory sheets that list this jacket as having been donated by the Burts at the same time as the rest of the uniform items. It also included three pairs of pants, Sam Browne belt, officers canvas bag etc.

It may have belonged to Mrs. Burt, I just don't know.

Well, if the coat does not fit over the jacket:

- either they were for different people (the opposite unfortunately is not necessarily true)

- its supposed use as a protective overcoat whilst treating animals is incorrect.

What's the fit like?

David

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Hi guys,

I picked up a couple of more things that belonged to Capt. Burt.

His well worn spurs and a strange jacket, I have never seen before.

It looks as if it might be a work jacket, similar to a doctors white lab coat, that Burt may have worn when working on the animals to protect his uniform.

Anyone ever seen anything like this before or know what it is?

Close up of material.

There are no markings at all on this garment.

I believe it is a working jacket of the Womens Auxilliary Army Corps. I distinctly recall the waist belt secured by a button. If you post it in the 'Women in the Great War' thread you will get confirmation.

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Hey guys,

Thanks for the help. The jacket doesn't fit over Capt. Burt's uniform at all, not even close. Don't know why I didn't think of trying that.

FROGSMILE, thanks for the tip I will post over there straight away.

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