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Canadian Other Ranks Service Dress Seven Button Jacket
Canadian Other Ranks Service Dress Jacket Model 1903

In 1903 Canada introduced a Service Dress (SD) jacket soon after British adopted their Other Ranks five-button Service Dress (SD) jacket.

The Canadian version was quite different in both cut and appearance from its English counterpart, and is known as either the "Canadian seven-button Service Dress jacket" or by its more correct name: "Other Ranks' Model 1903 Service Dress Jacket".
The original Canadian seven-button SD jacket was made of khaki wool with a tall, stand-up collar secured by two hooks on which unit badges (normally a miniature of the cap badge) were mounted. The front opening was secured by seven small (18 mm) buttons. There were two upper patch pockets with box pleats secured by 18 mm buttons on pointed flaps. The two lower slash front pockets were cut straight and fitted with flaps without buttons. As a result, these pockets were actually on the interior of the jacket, accessible through the outside flaps. Rank was indicated through a series of chevrons and/or crowns worn on both sleeves. The shoulder straps were of the "slip-on" pattern and piped with colors specific to each branch of service. The sleeves utilized "Lancer" style cuffs with a vertical point that did not open.
Canadian Seven-Button Service Dress Jacket Model 1913

The 1913 modification to the Canadian seven-button SD jacket for the Permanent Force, incorporated the replacement of the removable Corps-piped shoulder straps by cloth shoulder straps permanently sewn into the shoulder seams and secured by 18 mm buttons. Regimental or Corps titles in brass were worn at the base of the straps where they met the shoulder seam. For Militia units, the straps remained removable, but were retained on the shoulders with cloth ties which slipped through corresponding holes on each shoulder seam. These removable straps still retained branch of service piping. The branch piping were as follows:

  • Infantry - Blue;
  • Artillery - Red;
  • Cavalry Yellow\Service Corps - White with blue top;
  • Rifles - Green;
  • Engineers - Blue with yellow loop;
  • Medical Corps - Crimson;
  • Veterinary Corps - Burgundy;
  • Ordinance Corps - Red with a blue top; and
  • Signals Corps Grey.
Shortly after the departure of the 1st Canadian continent in October 1914, the removable straps with Corps piping were abolished and all units were to be supplied with the 1913 Permanent Force jacket with straps sewn into the shoulder seam. As a result, men which had been part of the 1st Canadian continent of 1914, proudly wore their colored shoulder straps for the duration of the war.
A typical Canadian Model 1913 seven-button SD jacket. Note that the jacket does not have any rifle patches on the shoulder and that each shoulder strap is sewn into the seam. All the buttons on the tunic are small 18 mm size.

The stand-up collar is secured by two metal hooks on which unit badges are mounted. The front opening is secured by seven small (18 mm) Canadian General Service buttons. The two upper patch pockets with box pleats are secured by 18 mm buttons on pointed flaps and the two lower slash front pocket flaps do not have buttons. This example was worn by Cpl. C.W. Donaldson 79452 No. 4 Platoon, A Coy, 31st Battalion.
The back is constructed from three panels with no pleats. As is typical for this pattern, there is no rear skirt vent.
There were no rifle patches on the shoulders. On the Model 1913 both shoulders had cloth shoulder straps that were sewn directly into the seam for the Permanent Force.

For Militia units, until October 1914 the straps would have been removable and in Corps colors as listed above.
This example is complete with the rare "31 Alberta" shoulder flashes. Very few units received authority by the Militia Council to have sanctioned shoulder flashes. Many units, however, locally produced their own which were almost universally ordered removed. As a result, these shoulder flashes are exceptionally rare today.
The sleeves utilized "Lancer" style cuffs with a vertical point. The cuffs were without function, and could not be opened to facilitate cooling or the wearing of a sweater. On Canadian SD jackets, the sleeves are fully lined.
There is only one rear brass equipment hook on the left hip. This was used to support the weight of the equipment which rested primarily on the left hip.
The interior was partially cloth lined in green denim, with sleeves being fully lined in white cotton. There were provisions to the interior for a large breast pocket and a field dressing pocket. Note the cloth maker's label on the left (unreadable), and the distinctive large interior breast pocket on the right. This example is typically Canadian War Department marked "C" with a Broad Arrow on the green partial lining.
By early 1917 the Canadian Militia Council announced that the Canadian seven-button Service Dress jacket would be replaced by the British five-button jacket. Canadian seven-button Service Dress jackets that remained in stock would be issued out until the supplies were exhausted, but the use was limited to wear in Canada.

This Private from the 7th Battalion "Black Devils" from Winnipeg Manitoba wears the classic Model 1913 Canadian Seven-Button SD jacket.
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