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Paul L Murphy

Royal Canadian Mounted Police badges and uniforms

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First of all, thank you very much to Paul for taking the time and effort to re-size my photos and upload them - unfortunately my software is a bit outdated, and I wasn't successful.

To answer Mervyn, I am a current member of the RCMP. My primary interest is the NWMP and anything NWMP that is directly related to my home Province, Saskatchewan. I was previously posted in Battleford, and lived one block away from Fort Battleford. I picked up many treasures in Battleford, most tracing back to the Fort, including a number of first issue NWMP buttons, a cap badge and a number of other items.

I am hoping the person who has the NWMP tipstaff will post a photo?!

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Paul - great that you have let Greg add all of his pieces to your post - it really will make-it one of the main reference sites. May I suggest that you notify the collectors' clubs in Canada and also, the Force Magazine - that should make them aware of the site and perhaps bring in more members.

Greg - a great collection - the fur parka looks a bit 'parky' - why so open at the front ? Also - when did the NWMP get the prefix Royal ?

I have the tipstaff for the NWMP - before I post it I have more research to do - he became the Magistrate and Commissioner for the Yukon Territory in 1898. He was friends with Chief Sitting Bull and the Fort he founded still exists as a museum. He has over 18000 entries on Google - and, would you believe I've forgotten his name.... I really am getting old. Will add when I look back on my photos and then perhaps you can tell me what they have on him in the museum at Regina (am I correct that this is where HQ is situated ?)

Without looking I've remembered - Superintendent J.M.Walsh. NWMP. He was apptd. Supt. in 1875 - however, he joined with the first intake in 1873 as a District Inspector.

p.s. Greg - if you do turn anything-up please let us discuss it by email - I would like to make the post on him a complete one - not bit at a time - he is too important to Canadian history. Thankyou - Mervyn (cathay@iafrica.com)

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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Mervyn,

The parka is only open because of the way I hung it for the photo - that being said, it is only closed by the buttons on the ends of the leather straps. This one dates to the 1930s - 1940s.

As for James Walsh, there is a great deal of information on him on the internet and numerous books. There are many of his uniform items in museums in Saskatchewan, including his famous 1872 black US Army campaign hat. I will see if I can locate a website that has a comprehensive history about him.

Greg

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Hi Paul,

Just joined this forum to see what you got in the collection. I have been collecting worldwide Police insignias and uniforms for 36 years and RCMP items have always interested me. Due to business commitments I haven't added much to my collection inthe past 10 years so my info may be a little out of date but the gentleman on the thread who is a current 'mountie' can check if this info is still in use.

I ONLY collect 'issued' police items which means it takes longer to track them down, it took me 10 years just to find the 'Strathcona' boots to complete a Review Order uniform (Red Serge).

Not to detract from your collection but you should be aware of certain things regarding RCMP items and some collectors attitudes towards them.

I have seen many items offered as RCMP that aren't but look like they should be.

All the appointment badges that you got which are gold wire are NOT issued, but are allowed to be worn by any member that wishes to purchase them as long as the pattern conforms to samples at the Regina HQ. This is to insure a standard quality and size. These personal purchase items are used exclusively on the Red Serge uniform. This is a way for collectors to add the more difficult items to their collections.

The original badges for some that you have are VERY difficult to find outside Canada(and maybe even inside)

As the Red Serge 'Review Order' is the uniform most collectors want ,a lot of those that come onto the market are altered to make them more appealing normally this is the addition of sleeve rank insignias and appointment badges. I believe that your Officers Red Serge has been altered by the addition of rank insignias on the shoulder straps, I'll explain my thinking here, officers have different Orders of Dress from other members.

The 1980 uniforms regulations show the following;

FULL DRESS No.1 - Red Serge Tunic with Gold embroidered eppaulettes, Parade belt with sword hangers, Cap, 'Bannana' pants *,

Congress Boots with block spurs. straight Sword.

Sometimes a gold aguilette is worn on the right shoulder.

FULL DRESS No.2 - As above but with parade belt without sword hangers..

REVIEW ORDER No.1 - Red Serge Tunic with eppaulette rank insignias, stripped Sam Browne belt, Cap, Breeches, Riding Boots, Gloves.

OR

As above except with stetson replacing cap and full Sam Browne with sword.

REVIEW ORDER Np.2 - Blue Tunic, White Shirt, Tie, stripped Sam Browne, Cap ,Breeches , Riding Boots, Gloves.

* Bannana pants are close fitting trousers that are held under the foot by a leather strap.

I believe that your Officers Tunic is the FULL DRESS No.1 which accounts for the tall button position but as the gold eppaulettes are so difficult to find someone has added the REVIEW ORDER No.1 eppaulette rank insignias. The solution is simple, obtain two small eppaulette buttons and replace the tall buttons and make it the Review Order. This would give you the top half of the uniform complete with the bits you have obtained, to complete the uniform you still need banana pants and congress boots OR riding breeches and riding boots (not Strathcona) and spurs which you have. Officers don't wear thes ame boots as the other members.

It would take a while to go through all the photos you posted however here are some highlights.

Air Pilot wings in Metal are used on the Mess Dress uniform.

Rank stripes that are shown in pairs, I don't know the size exactly as I haven't measured the ones in my collection, if they are 3 inches across then they are for the shirt , patrol jacket, storm coat and Parka.

Rank stripes with Red background are used on the Pea Coat which is dark blue.

Regarding the Female uniform, if the skirt is really long down to the ground then it is the WALKING OUT DRESS and if it is about knee length then it is the REVIEW ORDER. The Review Order is now the same for both sexes.

Cap Badges - You are missing two versions , the first issue Queens Crown ,I've seen this is Brass and Gilt ,it came into use in 1954 and lasted until 1962, the staybrite one didn't come in until 1963. The second issue enamel badge, which is the design of the one you have but with red enamel in the crown( rounded top to the crown 'wings', not sure what you call these bits on the crown), it is difficult to find as it may only have been issued for one year. The current cap badge has a brighter Blue enamel than the previous issues and is hard enamel.

Gold thread or 'Mylar' as it is more commonly known came into use with the 1976 issue of shoulder patch, with the force badge on it, so anything you got with this tread is after 1976 and anything with yellow thread is before this but difficult to date for certain as pre 1954 insingias were also yellow thread.

Well I better stop here and go and get a cup of tea organised.

I'll have another look through your photos to see what else I can give you some extra information on.

Hope this helps your knowledge of RCMP items and would strongly suggest that you get a copy of the Dr. Boulton book, it will be costly but worthwhile it has some excellent information and uniform photos and colour plates by Ron Volstad ,the well known military artist.

Best Reagrds,

Les

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Hi Paul,

Here's some more info for you.

Your 'North West Mounted Police' cap badge is part of a set of four badges produced by the RCMP, from original dies, as souviners for the 100th Annivesary of the force in 1973. The boxed set had one each of the badges of the force - NWMP. RNWMP, RCMP (KC) and RCMP (QC)'

These badges come up all the time as originals but the give-away that they are re-strikes is that they all have the 'Gaunt' disc on the reverse.

I have been told that a set were again offered for the 125th Anniversary in 1998 ,but have not been able to confirm this.

Looking at you marksmanship badges ,something to keep your eyes open for is the type of embroidery and construction of the patch. If it is a felt material cut to the shape of the design then these are used on the Red Serge tunic and Pea Coat (if red background). If it is a twill material with a merrowed edge, that is a thread finished edge, then it is used on the Brown Serge. So if you want to be a completist with your RCMP collection you should look out for these differences. There are exceptions to the rule of course like your Roughrider spur on red twill, not sure when this is used expect for the Blue Serge used by Officers and senior ranks of Sergeants. I check this out for you.

Check your tie tacks and see if you have a miniature force badge, about 20mm high, single pin with twist clasp and chain to hold it in place, if you have one put it in your uniform collection as it is the official Tie pin used on duty when wearing a tie. They also have an official tie bar.

I'll have to dig out my collection from it's boxes and do some photos shortly , uniform wise I have the following ;

Review Order , Sergeant ,1970's issue Stetson down to boots.

Service order , Constable, 1980's issue ,

Can make up No.1, No.2, summer long sleeve, summer short sleeve, patrol jacket.

Walking out Dress, Staff Sergeant, 1930's -40's issue

Believe this uniform was owned by one of the contingent that attended the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow 1938, unfortunately the owners name has been removed, presumably so it didn't come back an bite him later for losing a uniform.

Also have enough other bits to make up a 1960's Service order. Always on the lookout for a few bits I'm missing ,1960's forage cap with the yellow piping around the top and can always use another pair of Strathconas. I think I still need an ammo pouch for the 1960's, the big one but it's been a while since I looked at my storage boxes. Ihave three or four different issues of Sam Browne. I might still have spare fur hat.

Well that's enough about my collection back to yours.

Your 1978 cap with yellow band, is the summer issue as it has had the felt band removed to reveal the webbing material.

With your stetson, check to see who it belonged to, remove the leather hat band, don't unbuckle it just slide it off the top and inside should be the owners regimental number and name. Sometimes they have RCMP stamped in Black. Also names were put inside the sweat band.

The WW2 officers belt from the RCASC is what it is, it is not an RCMP item, this is what I mentioned before , because the officers sam browne is similar to a British one many collectors use them to complete uniforms. Like Army regiments, RCMP members usually mark everything with names and service numbers to prevent theft.

I can't see in the photo but does your Red Serge have anything on the left sleeve?

Well that's all for now. If you have any questions I would be happy to try to answer them.

Best Reagrds,

Les

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Hello Mervyn,

Thanks for your comments. For subjects that interest me I delve into all aspects of that field and dig up info from where ever I can.

Although in the case of the RCMP most things are fairly well documented ,if you know where to look.

As I stated in a previous post I only collect issued items, so will not have any comments to offer on the un-official patches and pins. I do of course realise that they are collectable to some just not for me.

Regards,

Les

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Hi Paul.

Here is some info on your bandolier.

This is listed as a item of equipment in the 'Orders of Dress - Other Ranks 1936' and the design appears to be the same as the one you got. It does not appear in the 'Orders of Dress - Other ranks 1942' ,so was no longer issued.

Yours dated 1941 must be one of the last stocks held at Regina, which probably accounts for its good condition.

It was part of the 'Service order' which then included the Red Serge tunic and the Brown jacket. The Red serge was still the normal working uniform at that time.

Hope this helps. I'll see what else I can tell you in my next post.

Best Regards,

Les

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Hi Paul,

Been doing a bit more digging around for information.

I'd like to correct the info I gave you on your cap with the web band, since my info is a little out of date I didn't realise that they did away with the removable felt band and went with a double thick web band, so this cap is the current issue one.

Do you have the cross strap for the current Sam Browne, I didn't notice it in your photos ?

You mentioned that the reason the holster is on a swivel is for mounted officers, I don't think this is accurate ,I believe that the swivel was put on as members were complaining that the holster was uncomfortable when sitting in a car and by making it swivel it was easier to move it to keep it out of the way while sitting down driving. Remember that the sam browne with cross strap was the working belt for a long time and when the new working belt became the san browne minus the cross strap, the holster would still have caused a problem. Now of course the working belt is completely different and is of the US design.

Here is an interesting fact about the musical ride appointment badge, crossed lances, it is the only one that can be worn throughout the career of the member and moves around the Red Serge unlike the others. When actually taking part in the Musical Ride it is worn on the upper part of the right sleeve, if you are a corporal it goes above the stripes and if a sergeant above the stripes and below the crown. Once they have completed their service and go onto another asignment the crossed lances get transferred to the lower left arm above the marksmanship badges.

Your CSI patch is fake. By removing the 'GRC' from the patch it is no longer dual lnguage and therefore it does not conform to regulations. Several ERT patches appeared on the collectors market in the early 1990's that were similar were the GRC letters were substituted with ERT and made in several subdued colours. None of these patches are issued or unofficial, they are just plain fakes made to dupe the collector.

The equivilent to a CSI would wear the appoiintment badge that has a fingerprint in a circle, you have the unofficial one in gold embroidery.

Does your stetson made by Christies have any other markings on the sweat band apart from the makers name ? Is that a moth hole at the front of the crown , if so you should treat the hat as soon as possible as moths love felt!!! AND Wool Serge!!!

The riding crop is a VERY RARE find, it was discontinued from use as it was deamed dangerous to criminals as one swipe from it could kill !!

I believe it is weighted on the end and is also reffered to as a baton in some parts of the regulations.

Hope that you can find long laces for your Strathconas, I think I still have information somewhere that shows how you lace them up without showing a visible knot. Greg will surely know how to do as he wears Strathconas for a living !! They need to be round ones not flat.

Hope you don't mind these ramblings just thought since you haven't been collecting RCMP stuff for long you will be interested.

Best Regards,

Les

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Les,

Many thanks for all this information, I am hanging on your every word since clearly you know (and love) your subject.

Regarding the cross straps, there were two spare cross straps in the collection but they do not seem to go with the Sam Brown so I have kept them on their own. Basically I got the whole lot from an old collector of police items who had lost interest in RCMP and wanted to swap them for Japanese uniforms and badges. I was aware at the time that a number of the items were unofficial but took the lot.

There is a small moth hole in the stetson. It is now in a sealed wardrobe with insect repellant ! The sweat band has gold blocked letters saying RCMP as well as the maker's name. The leather band has RCMP and two serial numbers printed on it on the inside. Does this help date it at all ?

:cheers: :cheers:

Edited by Paul L Murphy

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Hi Paul,

What's unusual about the spare cross straps that you do not feel they belong with the other items. Is it just the colour or the design of them ?

I have two Stetsons in my collection one by 'Biltmore' and the other by 'Christies'. The Christies is the older of the two and was found locally and had been pressed into service by the Boy Scouts, so has a small hole on the lfet hand side where a scout badge was worn, I haven't dated it as such but would expect it to have been used in the 1950's. The Biltmore one came with my Red Serge which was issued in 1974, so it is at least this old but will be older as the previous owner was promoted to a sergeant after 1976 and the average length of service then for a sergeant was 20 years and a new stetson was only issued when required. Although both hats are stamped with the gold block lettering RCMP and have service numbers inside the hat band there are no dates. The Boulton book does make reference to hat makers so I'll check through it for clues.

By the way the buckle on the hat band goes to the left side of the hat with the end facing to the rear.

A tip on how to disguise the moth hole at the front of the hat for display, with a soft brissle clothes brush gently brush in the direction of the hole from every angle, as the material is wool felt it will move some of the fibres into the hole. When you are happy with the look stop brushing. It will not fill the hole which will still be there if you stare at it ,it will detract the viewers eye from it as it will not be so noticeable on a display mannequin.

I fully understand how you came across this collection and why some items are missing and others are the unofficial ones.

You have at least fulfilled your wish for a complete Red Serge and now some work will have to be done to complete your Commissioners one ,although as a named display piece it would look good with the bits you have on one of these dressmaker type torsos with the central stand with some adaption for a head or way of showing the hat off just above it. I think you know what I mean.

If you don't mind me saying this, I would split your RCMP collection up into two categories as follows:

ISSUED - All the uniforms, equipment and badges (made with yellow and mylar thread)

UNOFFICIAL - All the badges made with wire and the Special unit and divisional patches.

The monetary value (if this interests you) is in the ISSUED group ,however items from the UNOFFICIAL group may be useful to trade for issued items as they have a collectable value in Canada and Europe. Although wire badges in general are considered valuable in a collection in the case of the RCMP appointment badges the value is diminished as they are much easier to obtain than their issue equivilant.

Now since I mentioned wire badges, I should let you know that the RCMP DID issue wire badges, however the wire work is finer and more nicely defined and when you see one beside the other you can easily pick out the difference. I believe you have a good example with your Marine Division badges -

KC version is in wire (oldest from the 1940's-50's).

QC version with yellow thread (next issue 1960'-1976)

QC version with Mylar thread (current issue 1976 - now)

QC version in wire (unofficial member purchase)

Study these and you will understand what to look out for to fill the gaps.

Unlike most Police Forces you have to look at the RCMP as a Military organisation.

Well I better stop rambling now and let you get a word in.

Best Regards,

Les

P.S. Do you actually live in Japan ?

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lovely collection, what colour's the top of the sidecap please, is it yellow, or dark blue with yellow piping, & the buttons, would they be Mountie pattern or could they be General Service?

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Does anyone have any high resolution .jpg images of the RCMP/GRC ID Wallet Badge (Current Issued Badge)? If so, please post the images here.

Thank you.

Johnny R.

Edited by johnnyrocket

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Next up some very scarce badges, the official RCMP ID badges. This is the only badge that shows the number of the policeman in question and is not normally available to collectors.

This is a version for Inspectors.

Are these the current issued badges for the RCMP?

Johnny R.

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Next we have a selection of rank badges. First up is a WWII era RCMP Warrant Officer 2nd Class rank badge.

Recent rank badges for a Corporal, both in yellow thread and in wire thread.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2010/post-1487-126678704772.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2010/post-1487-126678706278.jpg

The bottom set of stripes look like a pair of WW II US Army Corporal stripes turned upside down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Army_WWII_CPL.svg

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Some closer photos of the component parts, first the holster.

Paul,

A question for you ( I have already asked Mervyn and got his thoughts). I saw a holster/belt like this in a shop last week for $23.00 (US currency) and am thinking about getting it tomorrow if it's still available.

My question is this: On the flap is stamped R.C.M.P. Since I didn't see that on this one, I was wondering if this may, in fact, be a valid RCMP holster?

Thanks

Ed

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Here is another badge I have been able to find that I was missing. This is a 1954 pattern shoulder patch.

Paul,

Here are two patches I got awhile ago. Can you date them for me please?

Thanks in advance

Ed

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I am outside of London at the moment so I will reply once I get back and have my reference books and notes to hand.

Thanks Paul,

Looking forward to getting your thoughts.

Ed

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