The New Pioneer: How Soldiers Kept Their Buttons Polished

Soldiers were expected to carry a lot of equipment with them while on the Front line. From a gas mask to an extra pair of socks, soldiers were prepared for the rapid changes demanded by modern warfare. Lesser-known to many, however, soldiers also carried a brass button polishing guard. Made of a thin sheet of brass, the polishing guard protected the soldier’s uniform when polishing the brass buttons still fixed to their uniform.  Continue reading “The New Pioneer: How Soldiers Kept Their Buttons Polished”

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But who are you? A quick course in Canadian patches from the First World War

One of the challenges of mobilising thousands of soldiers is telling them apart. Unlike the eye-catching uniforms of the 19th century, most armies during the First World War employed a uniform that matched more easily into the surrounding landscape. By the end of the war even the highland units were using a form khaki battledress in the British Army, though they kept their kilts, and the French had all but abandoned the distinctive blue and red uniform of the earlier years of the war. But, if everyone looks the same how do you know what unit they’re from?  Continue reading “But who are you? A quick course in Canadian patches from the First World War”