WW 1 uniforms

The 146th Overseas BattalionA unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force(CEF)

Service Dress (Canadian Pattern) 1

Adopted in 1903, the Canadian patterned Service Dress Jacket was intended as both a dress and field jacket, replacing the brightly coloured full dress uniforms previously worn (such as the scarlet tunics worn by infantry, rifle green worn by Rifle regiments, and dark blue worn by the Artillery). Notable by 7 buttons down front, no button on pocket and an arm pattern.

British Pattern Uniforms 2

The inadequacies of Canadian uniforms was felt not long after arrival in England in late 1914 and they were eventually replaced. Many Canadians tailored their British jackets so that the collar closed in the front, emulating the standup style of collar of the Canadian jacket. Noted by the five button closure and the buttons on the lower pockets and padding in the shoulder area.

Service Dress (Kitchener Pattern) 3

During the war, an economy pattern of the Service Dress Jacket was introduced by the British, which was also issued to Canadians. Today referred to as "Kitchener Pattern" after the British General who raised what was then called "Kitchener's Army." This version differed from the norm by the deletion of box pleats from the breast pockets, as well as the rifle pads, in a move to conserve uniform cloth.


Canadian Army (CEF) Ammunition (ammo) boot black:


The black ankle boot or "ammunition boot" was the standard footwear worn by other ranks. These boots were made of leather with leather soles. Boots were normally worn with heel and toe irons or cleats to reduce wear on the soles. A variety of studs were worn as well, to increase traction on uneven ground. Boots and shoes were normally ladder laced. This was both for a smart appearance, and to facilitate removal in case of injury. Also worn by Canadians, were boots of British manufacture that were made with toe caps, a feature not found on Canadian boots.


Canadian Army (CEF) puttees or leg-wraps:


Puttees are strips of cloth, which were worn wrapped around the lower leg in a spiral pattern, from the ankle up to below the knee. They provide ankle support and prevent debris and water from entering the boots or pants. Khaki-coloured wool puttees were widely worn with ankle boots by British Empire soldiers during the First World War. Puttees were 9 ft in length and 3.5 inch wide in the same fabric as the uniform.


Service Dress Cap


Service dress cap in Khaki serge. The Service Dress cap was characterized by a stiff crown and peak with a leather chinstrap retained by metal buttons. The metal cap badge varied from regiment to regiment. Smart in appearance when new, it quickly softened and lost its shape in service. It was replaced for field use by the steel shrapnel helmet in 1916.


Canadian Army (CEF) Service Dress Greyback (Gray back) shirt:


Canadian Army (CEF) Service Dress Greyback (Gray back) shirt: worn by the soldiers of WWI. The primary shirt worn by Canadian other ranks was collarless and made of either flannel or cotton. Light cotton shirts with collars were also on issue, for summer wear with Canadian Pattern Khaki Drill uniforms. Unlike the British pattern shirt, the Canadian shirt has buttons down the entire front. Canadian other ranks were not permitted to wear a collared shirt and tie with battledress until 1944.


Helmet (The Brodie helmet, Helmet steel, Mark I )


Helmets, first used at the battle of St. Eloi in Spring 1916, were introduced to help reduce the number of head wounds due to shrapnel and shell fragments. A helmet generally could not stop a bullet fired directly at its wearer. The red rectangle on the front of this helmet indicates its owner served in the 2nd Infantry Battalion. Helmet on the left is a 1915 Brodie's Steel Helmet, designed by Mr Brodie for the War Office. The Brodie helmet was modified with a better rim and better liner to become the Helmet, Steel, Mk.I, in 1916.