WWII Officer SD - Brit vs. Canadian

Joined: February 7th, 2005, 8:53 pm

November 8th, 2007, 8:32 pm #1

I understand that for all intents and purposes, in WWI there was no appreciable difference between officer's Service Dress manufactured in Britain for British service and that manufactured in Canada for Canadian service.

Does this hold true for WWII as well? In other words, if a Canadian officer purchased British SD, would there be any outward way to differenciate it from a set he had made up in Toronto? Color, design details, etc. Including the "economy" features intorduced into British service during teh war.

I'd just "buy the book", but it isn't out yet. <grin>
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

November 8th, 2007, 10:51 pm #2

Canada also had an economy pattern of SD; don't know if it matched the British economy pattern or not; I suspect Canada took its cue from the ACI...
Michael Dorosh
Webmaster
canadiansoldiers.com
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

November 9th, 2007, 12:15 am #3

I understand that for all intents and purposes, in WWI there was no appreciable difference between officer's Service Dress manufactured in Britain for British service and that manufactured in Canada for Canadian service.

Does this hold true for WWII as well? In other words, if a Canadian officer purchased British SD, would there be any outward way to differenciate it from a set he had made up in Toronto? Color, design details, etc. Including the "economy" features intorduced into British service during teh war.

I'd just "buy the book", but it isn't out yet. <grin>
there is no difference. The pattern was the same, ignoring regimental dictates such as those of the Guards.
The only differences would be in the tailoring details by the tailor. Moreover, SD was supposed to be put away for the duration and officers were supposed to wear battle dress but this was generally ignored.

DT.
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Rick Randall
Rick Randall

November 9th, 2007, 4:58 pm #4

Thanks, that's what I figured.
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Ed Storey
Ed Storey

November 10th, 2007, 10:21 pm #5

I understand that for all intents and purposes, in WWI there was no appreciable difference between officer's Service Dress manufactured in Britain for British service and that manufactured in Canada for Canadian service.

Does this hold true for WWII as well? In other words, if a Canadian officer purchased British SD, would there be any outward way to differenciate it from a set he had made up in Toronto? Color, design details, etc. Including the "economy" features intorduced into British service during teh war.

I'd just "buy the book", but it isn't out yet. <grin>
There is actually a book that shows WWII Officer's SD quite nicely, it is one of the Brayley/Ingram colour illustrated books.

As far as Officer's SD is concerned, you are really hardpressed to tell the difference if it was tailored in Canada or the UK other than by reading the inside lable. It would not be uncommon to find Officers wearing recycled late WWI Officer's SD or Canadian or UK Officer's SD depending on where it was purchased.
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

November 11th, 2007, 1:50 pm #6

Rick: Don't know about WWII but into the 1950s and late 1960s it was not uncommon to find Canadian
officers wearing British pattern SD, summer & winter, especially the few who had previously served in
the British Army. The difference was usually obvious, there being a distinct difference in the shade of
khaki, the British pattern being darker. My memory is bolstered by a couple of colour photos, one of which
is hanging on the wall of my studio.
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

November 11th, 2007, 6:45 pm #7

In 1960, the Cdn Army dictated that officer's summer dress would be made of a fabric sold only by the Maple Leaf Services (MLS). It was a light coloured fabric, prone to dirtying easily. Not liked at all.
The pattern did not change, however.
DT.
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

November 11th, 2007, 9:02 pm #8

Rick: It is possible that you might come across slight variations in design. At the time my TW and winter SD were tailored, pleated trouser fronts were apparently standard. However, mine were specially tailored sans pleats with flat trouser fronts. In addition, having been greatly influenced by the tightly tailored uniforms that Steve McQueen wore on screen, (hey, I was a kid) I also asked that my uniforms be tailored virtually skin tight. As skinny as I was, there were absolutely no wrinkles or folds under my Sam Browne! My shirts were also tailored tight so that there would be no folds under the tunic. Tunics were never removed. There was no shirt sleeve order back then.
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Rick Randall
Rick Randall

November 13th, 2007, 9:48 pm #9

Thank you all. I have now gone from a 90% confidence to 100% confidence that my understanding is correct. And we all know that the last 10% is 90% of the work. {grin}

Rick
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Joined: May 27th, 2005, 9:35 am

November 14th, 2007, 4:01 pm #10

Given that BD was the prescribed Officer's dress there is a lot of SD around. In the collection of British Army stuff here in York (England) we have around eleven men's sets. All are privately tailored. Variations are:

Colour - varies from dark 'white coffee' through the khakis to distinctly green.

Lower Pockets - most have lower patch pockets (most gusseted, some not), a couple have externally flapped, internal pockets, one has these angled at about 35 degrees

Top Pocket pleats - most have vertically pleated top pockets, some not.

Top Pocket flaps - some are three pointed some straight.

Lapels - some are understated others flamboyantly pointy

Skirts - most IIWW examples are close fitting not voluminous as in IWW

Trousers - one pair has tailored turn-ups!

A Canadian Officer in the UK could have ended up with any of these.

Brayley and Ingram's "The World War II Tommy" has photos of surviving examples of most of these variants.

I trust this helps

Keith


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