Khaki Service Dress for Other Ranks was adopted by Canada in 1903. Clothing Regulations specified a wool serge 7 button front jacket with pointed cuffs and a standing collar. Early versions of the jacket had detachable coloured epaulettes, the colour varied depending on the corps or department. Buttons were either regimental, corps or General Service patterns. Contrary to regulations, Service Dress uniforms were often tightly tailored for a smarter appearance. This reduced the freedom of movement required in combat, and left no room for the wearing of warm clothing such as sweaters. By 1917, Canadian 1903 Pattern uniforms were worn primarily in Canada and England.
A late war manufactured 1903 Pattern Service Dress jacket showing the stand up collar, pleated breast pockets and cuff detail. The epaulettes are non-detachable and secured by brass buttons. The waistbelt is the "snake buckle" militia pattern.
The back of the 1902 Pattern Service dress jacket.
British made other rank's breeches, 1915. Good quality wool, lined around the waist with cotton. Double thick whipcord strapping on the legs. Buttons are flat metal dish type, fly and leg buttons are synthetic horn. The two rear brace buttons are replacement "Bachelor Buttons" which are secured by press studs.
The image on the left is that of Staff Sergeant J.J. Fitz-Henry, commanding the Military Police detachment of the Headquarters Company of 6 Infantry Brigade in Canada in 1915. This photo was taken just prior to the Brigade going overseas. Fitz-Henry is wearing the Canadian 1903 Pattern Service Dress 7 button tunic and Canadian issue stiff Service Dress cap. Cap and collar insignia appear to be the universal Maple Leaf pattern. Breeches, jackboots and spurs are worn, in place of the usual trousers, ankle boots and puttees. Rank insignia is worn only on the right arm.
Lance Corporal Frederick Ball Wigmore, photographed at Camp Borden Ontario in 1916. He is wearing the standard Canadian 1903 Pattern 7 button tunic and stiff Service Dress cap. Cap and collar badges are the standard maple leaf pattern, and he is wearing the brass letters M P in addition to the standard collar badges. This appears to be a distinction worn by Military Police in southern Ontario. The MP brassard is worn in the usual place on the left cuff is one of a number of locally acquired patterns.
A clear view of the MP collar badge worn in addition to the maple leaf pattern, on a Lance Corporal's 7 button tunic.
A splendid photograph of the moustache worn by Battery Sergeant Major Charles Wolfe, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, while a Garrison Military Police NCO at Camp Petawawa Ontario, 1918. Also of interest is his uniform, a 1903 Pattern 7 button jacket, with what appear to be Artillery pattern "ball" buttons. His rank insignia is worn on only one sleeve and consists of the Crown above a gun above 3 chevrons. He wears the Royal Canadian Artillery cap badge on his Service Dress cap. The Garrison Military Police brassard is of brown leather with brass letters.
Another interesting image of a Garrison Military Policeman. He is wearing a fur cap with what appears to be a large MP collar badge as a cap badge. The usual 7 button Canadian 1903 Pattern jacket is worn, with small GMP collar badges. He is wearing the Canadian Oliver pattern waistbelt and a black and white GMP brassard.
Private John Gordon Hayes, a Regimental Military Policeman of A Company, 135th Battalion CEF. His uniform is typical, a 7 button Canadian 1903 Pattern jacket, stiff Service Dress cap with the 135th Battalion cap badge, and a 1916 Pattern waistbelt. The Regimental Military Police brassard is black with red sewn on "RMP" lettering.
Company Sergeant Major Louis L. Verdon DCM, No. 3 Military District Canadian Military Police, Ottawa, late 1918 or early 1919. CSM Verdon is wearing the usual 7 button 1903 Pattern jacket with the rank insignia of a Staff Sergeant on both sleeves. The CMPC collar badges are clearly visible. He is wearing the ribbons of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and 1914-15 Star above his left breast pocket, and on the pocket flap is a Class A Service pin. A single wound stripe is on his left cuff. Louis Verdon joined the 21st Battalion CEF in November 1914 and saw service in France and Belgium, being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal at Courcellete, 15th September 1916. He was wounded and discharged from the CEF in early 1918. He joined the Canadian Military Police on the 12th of October 1918, and was appointed Company Sergeant Major with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Another view of CSM Verdon. Just above his rank insignia is a rarely seen patch, a rectangular red "CEF Duties" patch which was worn by members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on duty in Canada.
Images courtesy of Cliff Grenfell