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Hi, A bit late but possibly of interest to you. Socks were, up to the early sixties, a status symbol in the RAF!! All non commissioned ranks of the RAF wore mid grey woolen socks or to give them their correct RAF tile, "stockings". Officer ranks and Warrant Officers wore black socks. It was the same for gloves, officers wore brown, ORs wore blue/grey. The British Army have similar idiosyncrasies with shoes, Officers and WO 1s wear brown and WO2 and below wear black??? 

Other than status, there is possibly a logic behind these differences but your guess is as good as mine!!

Cheers Michael

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It was about status, for sure.  Officers wore different uniforms, with different accessories, for centuries.  Swords and sashes rather than belts and bayonets.  Cocked hats instead of shakos. [Until that made them to easy to snipe.]  Then when uniforms became similar - but not the same! - the older markers became that sacred cow of militaries everywhere, 'a tradition'. And new ones were added - ties for WOs and Officers, but not for ORs. 

in the Great War, officers were instructed never to be seen carrying parcels, but to have all private purchases from shops delivered.  Working men carried things, gentlemen swung canes. I think one of the greatest changes brought about by WWI was the necessity of commissioning rankers.  'Not our sort', but bloody useful by 1917-18. :)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Edited by peter monahan
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