t-shirts" would appear to be a recent innovation, there appears to be
ample photographic evidence of the use of similar garments in the Second
World War, probably mostly in "sweatshirt" (i.e. long sleeved) styles.
It appears that some such garments were apparently worn under the
uniform, including in action.
clothing was also produced with unit names and badges printed on them.
At right is a
sweatshirt bearing the insignia of the 2nd 10th Dragoons' "B"
Squadron. According to Michael Reintjes, apparently rescued many
years ago from the Armouries in Brantford, Ontario (now home to the
56th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery) - at the time home to
the 2nd/10th and the DHRC. Reintjes adds that it seems to be a
canteen item but I've seen enough photographic evidence to suggest
that these were worn by troops at times under the BD."
courtesy Jocelyn Garnier
courtesy Alexander Borgia
|A Canadian captured at
Dieppe; this soldier wears a white t-shirt or sports shirt, with the
Fusiliers Mont Royal cap badge on it.
||The photo above shows a
Canadian soldier wearing a white sweatshirt which has been printed
with the cap badge of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Also of
note is the uniform on the military cook beside him.
Canadian Film and
Photo Unit PL 31052 via Jocelyn Garnier
Above, an airman of 143
Wing at a forward airfield on the Continent in 1944; he wears a
white sweatshirt with the badge of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters on
it. The Grey and Simcoes did not have an overseas battalion; one
would presume this airman joined the RCAF after serving in Canada
with Grey and Simcoe Foresters.
At right, a photo of
Squadron Sergeant Major Gerry Menzies who came ashore with the
Calgary Tank Regiment at Dieppe on 19 August 1942. He is shown
here shortly after his capture. Of note is the undergarment he is
wearing, printed with the cap badge of the Calgary Regiment.
The following was submitted by Jordan
Baker, Assistant Curator of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
Museum. The design on the shirt is that of the collar badge worn by
the Regiment. The Roman numeral "13" (XIII) is a reference to the
regiment's original title, the 13th Battalion Volunteer Militia
(Infantry) Canada (later renamed the 13th Regiment in 1900 and the
13th Royal Regiment in 1910). The bugle horn is a traditional
device used in the insignia of Light Infantry units.
I just got a
photo today from the RHLI Museum showing a soldier wearing a
Unit sweat shirt. I thought it might be a useful addition to
your Unit Shirts section.
His name is Bill Larin and the photo was taken in England in
1942. It also
appears that he is wearing his collarless shirt underneath the
sweat shirt. I asked Ed Newman, our Museum administrator (he
served from 1935 to 45) if he remembers many unit members
wearing these shirts. He said it was very common within the
unit as many liked to wear them. I also asked him about the
colours and he remembers them being a white shirt with the
design being a green shade. More then likely it was the same
shade as the Unit colour.
Hamilton Light Infantry Museum
At right, a photo
of Alvin Palfenier of the Calgary Highlanders, wearing a unit
shirt early in the war. CASF is the Canadian Active Service
Force, the overseas element of the Canadian Army, so named
from September 1939 until late 1940 when the force was renamed
the Canadian Army (Overseas). The cap badge of the unit has
been rendered on this white shirt.
was killed in Normandy while serving with the regiment on 13
August 1944. His brother, Theodore, had enlisted in the
Calgary Highlanders in September 1939, and transferred to the
South Alberta Regiment. he was killed on 12 September 1944,
also as a sergeant, during the fighting to liberate The
Photo courtesy Otto Palfenier
sweatshirt on display in Aldershot.
Jim Curley photo via Ed Storey
sweatshirt went up for auction on ebay in Feb 2013.
The 3rd Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment was a