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Old 13-01-16, 09:36 PM
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Bill A Bill A is offline
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Default CEF Officers' Rank badges

Over the years there have been several discussions about the wearing of First World War Canadian officers' rank badges. A lot of confusion creeps into the debate, as initially CEF officers wore their rank on the cuff, and late in the war the practice of wearing officers' rank on the shoulder strap was resumed. Perhaps part of the confusion can be attributed to the fact that two different methods of wear were practiced in Canada during the war. The first scheme was the shoulder strap for non-expeditionary force officers, while the second was on the cuff for CEF officers. (LAC doc July 1, 1916).
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Old 16-01-16, 02:44 AM
ddaydodger ddaydodger is offline
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I think it is more complicated than that. I have images of officers wearing rank lace, but shoulder pips. Officers coming from Canada to the CEF might have cuff or shoulder rank. Officers of the CEF started moving rank to the shoulders as this was less obvious to snipers, but this was discouraged by many senior officers. Cy Peck thought officers who did this lacked "spleen"! Many kept their old rank system, especially highland officers, as a sign of being "old" soldiers. Officers getting uniforms made in the UK may have had to default to shoulder rank as lace became harder to find as the war went on. Officer's dress isn't as simple as regulations would have it seem.
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Old 16-01-16, 12:42 PM
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Hi Bruce, Yes there is more to the question. My understanding is that shoulder rank was moved to the cuff to lessen the chance of being targeted by snipers. Additionally, somewhere there was an indication that wearing equipment, slings obscured the rank. And at the end of the war there was an increasing practice of wearing the rank insignia on the shoulder strap. However, the LAC doc is one of the early indications (it came from the OC MD 2) of what the difference was supposed to be.
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