3rd December 2023

Officers’ Uniforms

Recently I mentioned David Jones as a supplier of military uniforms. Here is a David Jones advert dating from WW1 for officers’ uniforms. DJ’s were able to afford to get the buttons backmarked with their name.  Officers were expected to buy their own uniform from a military outfitter, whilst other ranks had their uniforms supplied by the government.

The Sun (Sydney) 24 October 1915 p16.

Australia had to provide a huge number of uniforms for the AIF in a short period of time. With little time to make a new design, the uniform was based on that of the citizen forces.

The basic items of clothing worn by the Australian infantryman during the First World War included a uniform tunic known as the ‘jacket service dress’, worn with khaki cord breeches, a soft grey flannel shirt without collar, underclothes consisting of a vest and drawers, puttees (a spiral of woollen cloth worn from ankle to knee) , a pair of tan ankle-boots, a pair of woollen or cotton socks, khaki woollen greatcoat,  khaki felt slouch hat or service cap and a service cap. Buttons were made of  plastic/composition, plaited leather or oxidised copper. The copper buttons had a design featuring the Crown above the map of Australia with the words ‘AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES’.

Anzac Bulletin, 28th July 1916 page 3.

Many tailors and outfitters were contracted by the Commonwealth Government to supply uniforms.

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 31st December 1914 page 5. The 3rd Contingent of the AIF was raised from October 1914.

The Bulletin, 16th March 1918 page 15.. So tall, so slim, so upright.

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