Rank & Appointment Insignia

Chris Brooker's CEF Guide

Cap Badges


Corps & Services 1939-1945

Mounted Units 1939-1945

Collar Badges


 Metal Shoulder Titles

 Slip-On Shoulder Titles 

Buttons 1939-1945

Formation Patches
C.E.F. Troops  
1st Canadian Army

Canadian Military HQ

1st Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps

Atlantic Command

Pacific Command

1st Canadian Division

2nd Canadian Division

3rd Canadian Division

4th Canadian Division

5th Canadian Division

6th Canadian Division

7th Canadian Division

8th Canadian Division

1st Armoured Brigade

2nd Armoured Brigade

3rd Armoured Brigade

Misc. & Foreign 1939-45  
Postwar .


Miscellaneous Insignia

Active Service Badges

Good Conduct Chevrons

Instructors Badges

Tank Badges
NCO Corps Badges
Service Chevrons
Wound Stripes
National Insignia

Special Distinctions


2divmini.gif (1134 bytes)2nd Canadian Division Formation Insignia

Battle patches were originally adopted in the summer of 1916 in time for Canadian participation in the Battle of the Somme. The patches were created as an aid to command and control of fighting troops in the battle line and extended later to other elements of the division. Originally placed on the back of tunics, just below the collar, the patches were quickly moved to uniform sleeves. The division was represented by a blue rectangle 3 inches wide by 2 inches tall, while individual units were further designated by coloured geometric shapes worn in conjunction with the divisional patch.1


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Artifacts and images courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge.

Sir Douglas Haig meets officers of the 2nd Canadian Division Headquarters on the other side of the Rhine. December, 1918. Officer at right wears the formation patch of the 2nd Division with gold-wire "See-Too" device embroidered upon it. LAC photo

Second World War

The 2nd Canadian Division in the Second World War readopted the divisional battle patch system that had been worn in the First World War.2 They were also the only division to adopt battalion insignia of the same type adopted in 1916. Formation patches were made from three materials mainly (canvas, felt and wool) and were first issued in about 1941. 

Officers at Brigade Headquarters of the 2nd Division wore coloured strips half an inch wide by three inches long above the Division patch. The 7th Brigade was designated by green, the 8th by red and the 9th by blue. This system of designating Brigade staff officers was also a re-adoption of Great War practice.   Individual infantry battalions were designated by geometric shapes atop the division patch, with the colour of the shape designating the brigade and the shape indicating the seniority within the brigade.  The machine gun battalion adopted an arrow on the divisional patch (always facing to the front) that was similar to patches worn in the First World War, and the reconnaissance regiment wore a circle, sometimes on the patch itself, sometimes surmounting the patch, and in some cases in lieu of the patch entirely. 

After the Dieppe Raid, the geometric shapes were dispensed with, and all infantry units, as well as the machine gun battalion and the reconnaissance unit, adopted standard embroidered unit shoulder titles, conforming to the practice of similar units in the rest of the overseas army.3

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calhisd.jpg (61813 bytes) Bandsman's Service Dress Jacket.  Note the Battle Patch.

Artifact courtesy of the Calgary HIghlanders Regimental Museum.
Click to Enlarge.

torscot.jpg (19006 bytes) Toronto Scottish Battle Patch.   The arrow on the patch pointed to the wearer's front. 

Artifact and photo courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge

2divbatpat.jpg (52904 bytes) Second Division Battle Patches for the FMR and RHLI. 

Artifact and photo courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge.

Officers were permitted to wear a gold wire C-II device on the divisional patch, in Service Dress only.

Members of various corps serving in support units came to wear Divisional patches with letters in the middle, such as RCE (Royal Canadian Engineers), RCASC (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps), RCOC (Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps), RCCS (Royal Canadian Corps of Signals), CDC (Canadian Dental Corps), CPC (Canadian Postal Corps) and CCS (Canadian Chaplain Service). A formation patch with a maroon coloured strip in the middle was worn by some members of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) serving with the Division. 

The supporting arms also eventually moved away from the distinctive unit insignia on the formation patch, adopting their own shoulder titles worn in conjunction with the "plain" division patch.  Both styles of unit/formation identification were in use by the end of the war.

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Artifacts and photos courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge.
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  • Volunteers for the Canadian Army Pacific Force were entitled to wear the hexagonal patch of that formation on their Second Division patches.   
  • Canadian Postal Corps
  • Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps
  • Canadian Dental Corps

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Clockwise from left: RCOC, RCASC, RCE, (two types) and plain divisional patches (with examples of the officer's C-II).

2divbad.jpg (152419 bytes)


  1. Law, Clive M. Distinguishing Patches: Formation Patches of the Canadian Army (2nd Ed.) Service Publications, Ottawa, ON, 2008 ISBN 978-1-894581-50-9

  2. Falconer, D.W. Battery Flashes of W.W. II (D.W. Falconer, 1985) ISBN 0-9691865-0-9

  3. Law, Ibid, pp.25-45 1999-present