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"Difference between Canadian and British Uniforms" Topic

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JJMicromegas20 May 2015 12:25 p.m. PST

Hello, I am wondering if there was a significant difference between Canadian and British uniforms or if I can use them interchangeably. I am considering 15mm so any detail would translate to that level.

Thanks in advance.

monk2002uk20 May 2015 1:16 p.m. PST

This is posted under Early 20th Century so are you referring to the uniforms used by the Canadians and the British forces in WW1?


JJMicromegas20 May 2015 2:16 p.m. PST

Yes, I am referring to WW1, thanks.

willthepiper20 May 2015 2:53 p.m. PST

Very early in the war, the Canadians had a different uniform from the British, with a different cut (closer fit tunics, stand up collar, different load bearing equipment). The distinct uniforms didn't last very long, though, and were replaced with British uniforms and equipment fairly early on.

Some details on Canadian uniforms are available here: link

The best way to distinguish your CEF from BEF would be with formation patches. For the early war, this would include coloured shoulder straps based on branch of service (blue for infantry, red for artillery, and so forth). For later in the war, there was a comprehensive system of coloured patches to identify soldiers by division, brigade and battalion. More information on these here:

Glengarry520 May 2015 4:04 p.m. PST

Early in the war they also carried different equipment such as Colt machine guns and the deplorable ross rifle, an excellent sniping weapon but prone to jam in muddy conditions. Neither lasted long. Some Canadian cavalry regiments continued to wear Stetsons (Mounty hats) until late into the war.

willthepiper20 May 2015 8:19 p.m. PST

There is (of course) an Osprey on the Canadian Army in World War I

Zargon21 May 2015 7:30 a.m. PST

All Canadian items would end with 'eh'? (Actually didn't realise their uniform was different
Hey cousins just a little fun :) not disrespect intended. Canadians were/are some of our most bravest soldiers ever.
Cheers, and not forgotten.

willthepiper21 May 2015 7:54 a.m. PST

The Canadian uniforms that were developed in peacetime leading up to the war were somewhat notorious for poor quality. Contracts were awarded at the whim of the Minister of Militia, without much scrutiny. This did not work out well for the Canadian Soldiers who were stuck with the results. Some of the gems included:
-single stitched tunics that fell apart with heavy use
-Ross rifles which were great for target shooting but which jammed when more than a single round was fired
-boots with cardboard soles that disintegrated in the mud
-Oliver pattern webbing, with the ammunition pouch located at the soldier's belly, so it could not be reached by a soldier lying prone

So by mid-1915, the Canadians had pretty much replaced all of their Canadian uniforms and kit with British products.

spontoon27 Jun 2015 12:24 p.m. PST

Don't forget they should all be equipped with McAdam shovels!

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