Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

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    LittleBlackDevil
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    Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by LittleBlackDevil on Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:54 pm

    Hello everyone,

    I thought I would share my first wartime battle dress with the forum. It is currently only the uniform itself display wise but I eventually intend to make this into a full display with at the very least a helmet (or side cap), Pattern 37 Belt (and maybe other webbing), and trousers, on a different mannequin of course, this is just temporary.

    The battle dress is to the Victoria Rifles of Canada and is in great condition for its age. It is manufactured by Workman Uniform Co Ltd Montreal and is 1945 dated. To both sides of the battle dress are machine sewn titles to the Victoria Rifles of Canada, 7th Canadian Infantry Division Patches, and rifle regiment Sergeant chevrons. To the left cuff is a sewn GS patch. No major damage or holes to the battle dress anywhere. This battle dress also came with a VRC Field Service Cap (see pictures) named to D71789 Rifleman N.B. Horstall, and is 1941 dated. The person who I purchased both of these from said he originally purchased them together as a group, but I am not sure if these two pieces are to the same soldier. Because of the the side cap being dated 1941 to Rifleman Horstall, perhaps by or before 1945 he became a Sergeant, but I have not done research on the name, so only time may tell if these two were to the same soldier.

    WWI War and Victory Medal ribbons, as well a WWII Canadian Volunteer Service medal ribbon without an overseas clasp. Due to (correct me if I am wrong) the 7th Canadian Infantry Division serving with a Home Defence Role, and the Victoria Rifles of Canada that served with the division, as well as the fact that the battle dress has WWI ribbon bars (so even if he was quite young during WWI, by 1945 he'd be at the youngest around 50, probably older) I believe the man who wore this served with a home defence role, defending Montreal (and wherever else the VRC/7th Can. Inf Division were stationed) on Canadian soil for risk of invasion from an enemy force.

    Hopefully this is the first of many more wartime battle dresses to come into my collection, I will always be on the hunt for battle dresses to regiments I collect to, like the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Winnipeg Grenadiers, and the Scottish units.

    Overall I am very happy to add this battle dress that is in such good condition and displays well into my collection. I hope you have enjoyed reading this thread, and I shall update it as I begin to make this into a nice full display.  

    Should any of you have any comments, questions or corrections on my uniform or the facts presented in my post, I would love to see what my fellow forum members think of my latest addition.

    Thank you all for reading, and a have a nice day.

    Regards,

    -Jamie








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    Bill
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by Bill on Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:43 am

    Jamie, a significant issue with this. The 7th Cdn Div was disbanded in 1943. The Victoria Rifles continued to serve in Canada until the fall of 1944 when they were sent to the UK in November. The Victoria Rifles were disbanded and broken up for reinforcements the same month. A tunic dated 1945 is not an authentic period uniform. It has been put together at some point. (Note the pattern of shoulder titles do not have serifs, which is the type of titles procured after the Second WW. Wartime titles had serifs.)
    Link to a historical outline of the 7th Cdn Div. https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/organization/fieldforces/casf/7thdivision.htm
    And a link to the history of the Victoria Rifles of Canada. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Rifles_of_Canada
    (There are better references for the Vic Rifles, but the wiki ref gives the essential basics.)
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    Tankermike
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by Tankermike on Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:12 am

    The shoulder flashes are post war
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    LittleBlackDevil
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by LittleBlackDevil on Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:42 am

    Bill and Tankermike,

    Thank you for telling me, luckily I just got this battle dress and will ask a return from the seller. It is unfortunate my first wartime battle dress is a fake, but then technically it isn't my first wartime battle dress as it is a fake.

    I will try to return it immediately, I really appreciate the heads-up.

    I'll go e-mail the seller and update if he allows me to return the fake or not.

    I've made a big beginners mistake, but hopefully it can be reversed.

    Thank you all, I do appreciate it.

    Best regards,

    -Jamie
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    LittleBlackDevil
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by LittleBlackDevil on Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:39 pm

    Sorry for double post but seller has offered a refund on the battle dress. I have learned my mistake on the fake battle dress. Does anyone know a good battle dress reference book out there? I have been buying a lot of reference books lately but don't know a good one for battle dresses, assuming there is a good one.

    Hopefully I will eventually find battle authentic WWII battle dresses and headgear to regiments I collect to regiments I collect to, like the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the Winnipeg Grenadiers, or the Scottish units.

    Thank you for helping me identify this battle dress as a fake.

    Best regards,

    -Jamie

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    Bill
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by Bill on Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:59 am

    Jamie, there isn't a single reference that will cover the bill. There are several I would suggest aquiring:
    1. Dressed to Kill, M. Dorosh (Service Publications)
    2. Uniforms of the WW11 Tommy, David Gordon. (Second edition).
    3. From D-Day to V-E Day: The Canadian Soldier, Jean Bouchery.
    4. Drab Serge and Khaki Drill: The Foreign Service, Universal Service, Battle and Combat Dress Jackets of the Canadian Army 1899-2003. Grant Tyler.
    Each of these has sections about battledress, and other uniforms. Some of these are oop and are very hard to find.
    It is also essential to visit museums and trade shows where these may be offered for sale. Even if you don't buy, inspect the garments. Look for markings and construction. You really need to be familiar with the uniforms. It takes some time to be comfortable with your knowledge base. And, always insist on a money back guarantee with the vendor. Unfortunately, Canadian battledress have been the subject of widespread reproduction or outright falsification.

    edstorey
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    References

    Post by edstorey on Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:04 am

    Bill has made some good points and has directed you to some very useful references that will assist you. Be cautious with all of your references be they print, digital or actual examples as errors can crop up either by accident or design. The level of research and recording of militaria in general is constantly evolving with new information being found so the bar with respect to authenticity keeps being raised. Remember as well not to take items that are held within museum or established personal collections at face value as there could be problems with some items within those holdings (and yes this applies to the stuff I hold). In the end you are the person who is spending your hard-earned money on collectables and knowledge is power, so ultimately the final decision on how bad you want/desire the item is up to you. Good luck with your quest.
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    LittleBlackDevil
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by LittleBlackDevil on Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:19 am

    Bill wrote:Jamie, there isn't a single reference that will cover the bill. There are several I would suggest aquiring:
    1. Dressed to Kill, M. Dorosh (Service Publications)
    2. Uniforms of the WW11 Tommy, David Gordon. (Second edition).  
    3. From D-Day to V-E Day: The Canadian Soldier, Jean Bouchery.
    4. Drab Serge and Khaki Drill: The Foreign Service, Universal Service, Battle and Combat Dress Jackets of the Canadian Army 1899-2003. Grant Tyler.
    Each of these has sections about battledress, and other uniforms. Some of these are oop and are very hard to find.
    It is also essential to visit museums and trade shows where these may be offered for sale. Even if you don't buy, inspect the garments. Look for markings and construction. You really need to be familiar with the uniforms. It takes some time to be comfortable with your knowledge base. And, always insist on a money back guarantee with the vendor. Unfortunately, Canadian battledress have been the subject of widespread reproduction or outright falsification.

    Hello Bill,

    Thank you so much for your invaluable reference book suggestions. Some may be hard to find but I will try to acquire all of them eventually, I'll start out with the ones I can find. I will take some serious time to go to trade shows and museums as you said, to inspect and study the pieces. I realize that if I don't take the time to study the uniforms, headgear, badges, medals, etc. then I will always be a beginner collector. I really do appreciate your suggestions and advice. It is a shame that there are so many fakes these days but with studying, inspecting the pieces and with time I will hopefully become more knowledgeable. Thank you once again, I will take in your suggestions and advice.

    Best regards,

    -Jamie

    edstorey wrote:Bill has made some good points and has directed you to some very useful references that will assist you.   Be cautious with all of your references be they print, digital or actual examples as errors can crop up either by accident or design.   The level of research and recording of militaria in general is constantly evolving with new information being found so the bar with respect to authenticity keeps being raised.   Remember as well not to take items that are held within museum or established personal collections at face value as there could be problems with some items within those holdings (and yes this applies to the stuff I hold).   In the end you are the person who is spending your hard-earned money on collectables and knowledge is power, so ultimately the final decision on how bad you want/desire the item is up to you.   Good luck with your quest.

    Hello Ed,

    I really appreciate your advice. I will be cautious with all of my references, as I now know there can be mistakes sometimes thanks to you. I am way more cautious with my money now when it comes to collectibles, as I realize there are way higher risks when it comes to fakes now, but as you said knowledge it power, so I am going to try to get the reference books that Bill has suggested, and really take to the advice of you and Bill.

    Thank you so much, I appreciate everything.

    Best regards,

    -Jamie
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    jholl72
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by jholl72 on Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:16 pm

    Hey Jamie,
    We've all been caught with put together uniforms and fakes before. Along with all the great advice from Bill and Ed, I would suggest trying to find some collectors in your area you can get together with and examine their uniforms.
    As Ed said always keeping in mind they may have put togethers too.
    We used to have monthly get togethers with four collectors and everyone would bring some things from their personal collection. We would all go through everything together and discuss it, whether fake, original and why.
    The first time I saw them pull out a magnifying glass and flashlight I was floored. I never thought to get into that much detail. Material composition, stitch patterns etc is the detail you need sometimes to determine authenticity.
    I used to travel with a loupe and reference books when out on the hunt.


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    Jeff
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    LittleBlackDevil
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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

    Post by LittleBlackDevil on Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:13 pm

    jholl72 wrote:Hey Jamie,
    We've all been caught with put together uniforms and fakes before. Along with all the great advice from Bill and Ed, I would suggest trying to find some collectors in your area you can get together with and examine their uniforms.
    As Ed said always keeping in mind they may have put togethers too.
    We used to have monthly get togethers with four collectors and everyone would bring some things from their personal collection. We would all go through everything together and discuss it, whether fake, original and why.
    The first time I saw them pull out a magnifying glass and flashlight I was floored. I never thought to get into that much detail. Material composition, stitch patterns etc is the detail you need sometimes to determine authenticity.
    I used to travel with a loupe and reference books when out on the hunt.

    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for the advice, I do really appreciate it. I look forward to getting big collection... of reference books Very Happy

    I already have a few but certainly not enough, so I will try to find a lot that have to do with my collecting interests, including the ones Bill has generously listed above.

    Hopefully I will become more knowledgeable soon, and with time may hopefully come some welcomed additions to my collection.

    Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.

    Best regards,

    -Jamie
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    Tankermike
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    Battle Dress

    Post by Tankermike on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:47 am

    I would recommend joining the Military Collectors Club of Canada, there maybe a chapter that meets near your home town.

    http://www.mccofc.ca/



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    Re: Victoria Rifles of Canada Battle Dress

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