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Hello,  I am new to this Forum and am writing from the USA.  I own a 150 year old theatrical costumer and we have a large stock of vintage clothing and uniforms ... we recently discovered these two coats ... and have no real means of identification.  I'm posting images here, with the hope that someone will recognize them and help me to categorize them !!  I'm sure that the buttons on the first coat are not original to the uniform and are, in fact, much later than the coat; but they are the ones that were on the coat when I received it.   The coat with the breast pockets is a much lighter, open woven wool ... while the one without the chest pockets is a heavier melton type wool.   The coat with the breast pockets has two internal "pockets" on the lower front edges ... while the other, does not.  

Thanks in advance,





















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Thanks so much for your post. I am assuming that you are referring to the second uniform without the breast pockets. I am most curious about the uniform with the pockets. I feel sure that the general service buttons are wrong and were added later. There was a GH Forsythe that fought in the Fenian Raids/Invasion - but I know that this is  the wrong uniform for that campaign and is later.My hunch is that it maybe from the 1880's or 1890's, but my knowledge of British and Canadian uniforms is sadly lacking. I am also curious about the two internal "pockets" sewn at the buttom of the coat.I have several uniforms of this ilk and all have them . They are sewn all of the way around and some are cut open to form a pocket. Any further thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.


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What I see here is a scarlet tunic, blue/black facings, and white piping.  This is the immediately recognizable full dress uniform of the famous Royal Canadian Regiment also known as the RCR founded in 1883. Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh is currently its Colonel In Chief. 

Edited by Simius Rex
correct spelling error
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Canadian pre-WWI tunic.  Many copies are still used by Canadian militia regiments for colour guards and so , so they were made up ti at least the 1970s.

I think the "5 F...' is some kind of unit identifier but I can't figure out who it represents, as the '5th Battalion' were the Royal Highlanders of Canada and the letters don't match.

The pockets are a common feature, particularly as the small outside pocket was often stitched shut to improve the hang of the tunic.  New expensive suit coats still arrive from the tailor that way - pockets basted shut so it hangs straight.

It looks early and should interest 'Canadian Militia ' and Canadian Army pre-WWI' collectors but I don't know enough to say whether or not the buttons are original.  The 'C broad arrow stamp' was adopted form the British Army's broad arrow before WWI but used up to the 1960s.  This could easily be a pre Great War tunic - I suspect it is - which was kept in stores until WWII or later for 'dress' occasions.  Quite a nice piece.

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1 hour ago, peter monahan said:

I think the "5 F...' is some kind of unit identifier but I can't figure out who it represents

These markings inside the tunic are what gave me the clues to identify this as a RCR depot issued jacket.  (See my remarks above).  The RCR and ONLY the RCR names its companies sequentially throughout the regiment from the Duke of Edinburgh's Company (instead of A Company) in the 1st Battalion to T Company in the 4th Battalion.  5th Platoon F Company in this case is part of the RCR's 1st Battalion.  This detail, combined with the scarlet color of the jacket, blue-black facing, white piping, the Austrian trefoil on the cuffs, and the spacing of the mounting holes for the regimental badge on the collar identifies this as an RCM depot tunic versus a depot tunic for the Royal 22nd Regiment.  In my opinion, the 34 could very well stand for the year 1934 just based on  other tunic markings I have seen from this period.  But as usual, if I got any of these details wrong I'm always happy to be corrected.  Simi.          

Edited by Simius Rex
correct misspelling
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" The RCR and ONLY the RCR names its companies sequentially throughout the regiment from the Duke of Edinburgh's Company (instead of A Company) in the 1st Battalion to T Company in the 4th Battalion.  5th Platoon F Company in this case is part of the RCR's 1st Battalion. "

As I think I say on a regular basis, I stand in awe of the breadth of detailed knowledge the members of the GMIC share on a regular basis.  It sounds as if your evidence for it's being RCR is pretty iron clad!  Thanks for taking the time to explain.


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On 30/05/2020 at 15:59, ATJcostumer said:

Thanks again for all your help with this tunic. I always assumed that the markings were for sizing. So 5F.5-6 34  meant a uniform to fit a 5' 5" -6" man with a 34" chest.


i think you're assumption is closer to the mark then what has been presented. During my time in the RCR, none of our uniforms were marked according to the Company we were in, but all had labels with the size sewn on the inside. Ink markings were no longer used. I must admit however, that I was never issued with a set of Scarlets.

Also, the lettering of the Companies within the Regiment from A (Duke's Company) to T came about in the early 1970's. Prior to that the Rifle Companies in each battalion were lettered from A to D.

Although I'm not an expert, I think the tunic with the patch pockets is an earlier pattern than the one without.

The most knowledgeable person about the RCR I know is Michael O"Leary who runs the RCR history website The Regimental Rogue. He may be able to help you more than anyone else.



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Thank you so much for your post. My knowledge of British uniforms is very limited ; but my understanding is that they were always stamped with sizes right up through the second war.The stamp with the Arrow , I believe,  indicates its British, the " C " surrounding the arrow indicates its Canadian.

It seems clear to me that the wool , both the shell and lining, is early; it is loosely woven and not melton. And I agree the patch pockets are early, pre-WW1. What I believe is a red herring are the buttons, which are general service buttons. My guess is that the original buttons were regimental and removed when the uniforms were made surplus. 

I will definitely contact Mr. O'Leary and get his opinion. Thanks for the lead,



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