Uniform and Gear
The uniform worn by the PPCLI varies. We try to recreate the regiment as it may have looked mid to late war. With that in mind there was a concerted effort to maintain a "Canadian" look by most of the Canadian Forces.
The uniform as issued to the men at first was the 7 button tunic with a standup collar, blue "patches" on the shoulder straps, and a red flash on the shoulder bearing the initials "PPCLI" in white thread. It also had pointed cuffs and pleated breast pockets with closure buttons
Because supply lines to England are not as long as to Canada, the uniform goes through the immediate change of 7 buttons to the British 5, but the taylors do make the attempt to make the collar ths same and the individual soldier had to put on the red shoulder titles, often transferring the blue patches as well.
This doesn't mean the seven button dissappears. New recruits come to the front with them and one sees the men who have been there for awhile still have managed to get the occasional tunic. The British stop trying to resupply the Canadians with special tunics and so the regular British tunic is issued. This appears in pictures as issued and altered to resemble the Canadian tunic with its standing collar and blue shoulder straps. This even happens to the British "Economy Service Dress".
It can be quite entertaining to dig through old pictures of th CEF and find many variations in the tunic within one section! Another variation is the unauthorized "Highlanding" of the tunics for the pipers. The bottom of the jacket fronts were scalloped back to give the tunic a more highland look. The fabric used varies in colour, but originally the Canadian uniforms were made of a serge wool with a distinct green cast to the O.D.
Close up of the "PPCLI" shoulder badge, Cdn. Gen.Ser. shoulder title, and the colourful unit patch. The unit patch indicates that the regiment is the 2nd Battalion, of the 1st Brigade (7th Brigade) within the 3rd Division.Front / left view of uniform with WE08 webbing and gas mask in battle order configuration. PPCLI flash and Divisional patch visible at upper left arm. Same for the right arm.
The cap badge worn by the PPCLI during the 1st World War. The Marguerite flower was used in the centre in honour of Gault's wife.
While at St.Joseph de Levis militia camp in Quebec, prior to sailing to England, Gault arranged for the same order of nuns who had knitted for Wolfe's Highlanders in 1759 to produce the first of their famous scarlet shoulder badges on which the letters "PPCLI" are embroided in white.
The Canadian General Service button was used for all styles of tunics issued. The 7 button tunic used 11 - 17mm size buttons, while the 5 button style used 24mm size buttons for the front closure and 6 - 17mm for the pockets and shoulder straps.
The Shoulder Titles, that were worn on the shoulder strap, were the Canadian General Service type and the same for the collar badges.
Drawings of the tunic compliments of Craig Williams.
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