The Canadian Provost Corps
1939 - 1946
Footwear - Boots, Shoes And Socks
A number of patterns of boots and shoes were standard wear by officers and other ranks of the Canadian army during the second world war. Initially, web anklets or gaiters were almost exclusively worn with the boots, but puttees were more commonly worn in the Italian Campaign. Issue socks were usually grey or khaki, commonly civilian socks were also worn.
Sole Detail. British boot on top, Canadian boot on bottom
The black Boot, Ankle, Militia, G.S. 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. Boots of British manufacture were also worn by Canadians, these were made with toe caps, a feature not found on Canadian boots.
Off duty, or on duty in offices, subject to local dress instructions, other ranks were permitted to wear black shoes. These were more commonly worn off duty in Canada than overseas.
Officers and Warrant Officers Class 1
Officer's Field Boots
Officer's Field Boots
Officers wore brown boots or shoes, either privately purchased, or more commonly, obtained from military stores upon repayment. Brown ankle boots were worn with service dress or battledress. Heavier boots with buckles, sometimes double soled, were most commonly worn in the field. Brown shoes were worn off duty, with service dress.
Motorcycle drivers, including Provost, were issued with special patterns of high boots. These were normally worn with motorcyclist's breeches or weatherproof leggings.
Both Canadian and British manufacture anklets were worn. These were originally khaki coloured, but were whitened in a manner similar to that of the web equipment. They were issued in left and right pairs, buckles were worn on the outside of the ankle, tabs towards the rear. In the above illustration, the right anklet is on top.
British anklets were similar to Canadian, but the straps were made of leather. The anklets illustrated above have been whitened and were worn by a Canadian Provost during the Normandy Landings on D-Day.
Selection Of Puttees
Reverse of Fox's Improved Puttees Label
Wollen puttees were sometimes worn with battledress, but were more commonly worn with Khaki Drill trousers or shorts. They were superior to anklets for ankle support and keeping sand and stones out of the footwear. "Fox Improved Puttees" were a common brand, both on issue and for private purchase. Officer's private purchase puttees were usually a lighter fawn colour and made of finer wool than other rank's issue. Puttees were either wrapped from the top or the bottom, according to local dress instructions or regimental custom.
Khaki and Grey Wollen Socks
Standard issue socks were normally grey wool. Khaki socks were availible for issue during the Italian Campaign. When worn with shorts, the top of the sock was usually turned down, and supported by a garter. British issue socks were very commonly worn by Canadians, as well as various commercial patterns and those recieved as gifts from home.
Trouser weights were very often worn with battledress. These pulled the trousers down, blousing them over the anklets or puttees, presenting a smart appearance. There are many variations of weights, the illustrated set is made from 9mm casings filled with lead. Trouser weights were not normally worn in the field.
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