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RCN Epaulette/Shoulder Boards for Identification

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Here is a pair of shoulder boards for which I require some confirmation of details and dating, please. They certainly appear to be Royal Canadian Navy judging from the small brass buttons sewn to them. The King's Crown could indicate that they are WW2 or possibly WW1 vintage.

My first reaction was that they belonged to a Chaplain of the Jewish faith, given the Star of David design of the bullion tape sewn to the board and the purple rank stripe.

However, my research to date led me here:


and I note that in terms of WW2:

"5) There were 9 full-time Jewish chaplains serving in Canada’s military after 1941; CASF and RCAF – no RCN Jewish chaplains. There were also several part-time Jewish chaplains who served in various cities in Canada. Jewish chaplains during WW2 (there were none in service after the war until recently) came under the administration and establishment of either the army’s or RCAF’s Protestant chaplain services.

6) After 1941, the RCAF and RCN were given their own officially recognized and separate chaplain services. These chaplains reported to either a Chief of the RCAF Chaplain Service or a Chaplain of the Fleet. As with the army there were parallel organizations for RCs and Protestants. Prior to that point, the army supplied chaplain resources, or civilian officiating chaplains were supplied (an officiating chaplain is generally a civilian under contract to the military) to the navy and air force. Obviously, these services were much smaller than their army counterpart. After the war, the RCAF and RCN chaplain services continued as a separate entity to the CCS and later, the RCAChC (after 1948) until the three services unified in 1968 under a Principal Chaplain or Chaplain General (RC or Protestant)."

This leads me to think that the boards may date from WW1, but I have found no references to corroborate that. The condition and ageing of these epaulettes certainly would seem to indicate that they are of early vintage.

The buttons are sewn to the epaulette. The reverse underlay is a type of burlap material which is deteriorating.

I would be grateful if any member of this Forum might be able to shed some light on these shoulder boards for me.

Thanks and regards,


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You are on the wrong course mate, it is the shoulderboard of a Skipper (Warrant-Officer) of the Canadian Royal Naval Reserve, Engineers Branch (purple), and forget the c&b about Jewish rabbins.

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Well, that nicely takes care of my request and clarifies the matter. Thanks very much for the responses. Much appreciated.

I assume that, given the King's Crown on the button, that should date them to pre-1953.

Anyone care to venture an opinion as to the approximate value of this pair?

Edited by John Burchell
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Sharing here some feedback which I received on the WAF:

Quote: To be exact they are RCNR Sub-Lt Engineering Branch and as for value in near relic condition not much. The translation from civy rank to military was odd to say the least as at that time ranks where not as standardized as today. On civy street he would have been a Fourth engineer/third assistant engineer or in other words the lowest commissioned working rank. Unquote

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