1922 Pattern Service Dress

The Service Dress uniform was introduced in 1903 following the Boer War and replaced the traditional red tunics of the British Army which were now hopelessly antiquated on the front line. The uniform was to prove surprisingly long lived and although modified, was to remain in production into the 1960s, albeit in much diminished quantities following the introduction of battledress in the late 1930s.

My example is a late production service dress of the so called 1922 pattern. It is a long tunic made of khaki serge wool that stretches to below the waist:

FED440E4-5BB6-4AC9-B3BB-351C883818E5It is secured by five brass general service buttons:

4A6010E7-DE99-4472-9A33-08C52CB932BCAt the neck there is a set of hook and eyes to secure it:

C67D0F4D-2D2D-4EA5-8390-270437A1D689The pockets are unpleated, indicating that it is made to the ‘economy’ or simplified pattern used during WW2 to reduce the amount of material needed to make clothing:

FED440E4-5BB6-4AC9-B3BB-351C883818E5On the collar are the interwar collar dogs, small brass badges, for the East Yorkshire Regiment:

1B10E930-A7CB-4D6F-93D0-71D961BC904AThese collar dogs became popular after the First World War and along with the tighter fit of the 1922 pattern jacket highlight the move from a practical combat uniform to a more tailored and polished parade uniform during peace time.

On the shoulder straps are the brass titles for the East Yorkshire Regiment:

62D4F9CA-E0D1-4EFE-B4DC-A444681ED8BCInside is a faded label giving details of the manufacturer and sizing:

2C04FD37-0B3E-46B6-9357-1292DCA74B6CWhilst an acceptance stamp dates the jacket to 1943:

57C49459-224E-4150-B6C8-1E4DD8496547The service dress uniform was still used by many units when the second world war broke out, with many photographs from before Dunkirk showing soldiers wearing SD with both 08 and 37 pattern webbing. SD was also worn throughout the war by military police and regimental bands. Whilst technically this uniform is a post WW1 1922 pattern jacket, I use it for re-enacting WW1 as the only obvious difference is the number of pleats by the collar. I wear this so infrequently that I am not too worried about this error. Below is a photograph of myself with three other re-enactors wearing a mix of original and repro tunics at an event for the Rifles at the Royal Armouries earlier this year. I must confess I can’t tell who has WW1 pattern or 1922 pattern and which are original or repro so I am guessing the public are not going to worry too much either.



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