Old book about No. 1 Dress

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Old book about No. 1 Dress

Post  BlueTrain on Fri 30 Aug 2013, 12:39 pm

There was a book published probably not long after Number 1 Dress was introduced in the late 1940s. It had fairly detailed illustrations of all the variations and regimental distinctions. It was a small format book, as I recall, but I don't remember the exact name of the book nor its author. Has anyone else seen this book? I'd like to find a copy.

One of the more unusual things in the book was that it showed regiments that had pouch belts, which I suppose included most of the cavalry regiments, wearing them over the right shoulder rather than the conventional left shoulder. I believe the reason given was so the belt would not go over or cover decorations that were being worn. Anyway, I'd appreciate any recollections on your part.

There was also a very similiar book that I believe was titled "Badges on Battledress," also from the same general time frame. By the time the last version of battledress was being worn, all sorts of patches, collar dogs and whatnot were being worn on the blouse. Both of these books were about six by eight inches and were almost certainly well under a hundred pages, but both books were hardbound.

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old books

Post  wfrad on Sun 01 Sep 2013, 12:32 am

Badges on battledress: Post-war formation signs and regimental flashes by Howard Cole.
A little rarer and more pricey than the WW2 version, the best price that I could find was around £20 from Amazon.

I can help with details regarding the WWII book, but I'm afraid that I don't †have the post WWII book.

The pouch belt was worn over the right shoulder for the reason you said about medals.
Also to enable swords to be worn when required, they were suspended from slings attached to a web belt worn under the jacket.

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Re: Old book about No. 1 Dress

Post  buistR on Mon 23 Sep 2013, 3:30 am

Re. Number 1 Dress. I think the book you are looking for is:

"Regiments at a Glance"
by Lt Col. Frank Wilson.

Published by Blackie & Son Ltd. Reprinted 1956 and 1958.

No ISBN numbers in those dark and far off days.


The book, while compact, contains about 130 coloured figures, 63 in the then newly introduced No 1 Dress (which never became universal and survives only in limited categories today) . So it covers most regiments then existing. In addition to the reversed (white plastic) pouch belts that you and wfrad comment on, an unusual feature of the illustrations is that a number of regiments and corps are shown wearing coloured stable belts - which actually look quite good with the dark blue uniform. Apparently this was the original intention when No 1 Dress started to appear in the early 1950s. For some reason white waist-belts became the norm and stable belts were relegated to become an adornment of khaki barrack-dress.

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Re: Old book about No. 1 Dress

Post  BlueTrain on Thu 10 Oct 2013, 9:13 pm

I believe I recall reading somewhere that white belts, usually of the pre-WWI pattern but others were no doubt used and in other colors, because a bayonet frog could not be used with a stable belt.

Stable belts are an interesting topic in themselves because of their great variety. I would guess their origin was from the belts that lancer regiments wore when full dress was still in use. I have seen photos of troops in WWII wearing colored stable belts even in the field but only a couple. I think the photos were of some troops sorting out maps before issue somewhere in Europe probably in 1944 and I'm pretty sure it was of the British 7th Armoured Divison. But otherwise, they don't seem to show up very much in photos before the late 1960s, maybe even later.

When I was the US Army and stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, for artillery training, I saw a nice display in the lobby of the artillery school of several interesting items that military units give to one another as momentos. One of the items was a British P-37 web belt that had been Blanco'd to perfection and fitted with a large brass buckle. I couldn't say at this point whether it was British or Canadian. The Canadians were using large regimental pattern buckles with P-37 belts during this period. I thought it looked very smart and regretted that we had nothing similiar, although I probably had more than enough things to keep polished at the time anyway.

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Stable Belts

Post  wfrad on Thu 10 Oct 2013, 9:50 pm

This site may be of interest.
http://www.stablebelts.co.uk/

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Re: Old book about No. 1 Dress

Post  buistR on Fri 18 Oct 2013, 9:01 am

Page from Frank Wilson's "Regiments at a Glance". Simpler times when it was still considered important what armies looked like off the battlefield.


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