The British Commonwealth Soldier in Jamaica (Circa 1940) Recreated

JAMAICA 1940With the war in Europe going badly for the allies, it was deemed necessary to withdraw the British infantry battalion that usually garrisoned Jamaica and Bermuda to reinforce the heart of the Empire. The Dominion of Canada was asked to field a replacement battalion and agreed at once. ‘Y Force’, as it was known, arrived on May 27 and consisted of the Winnipeg Grenadiers, a machine-gun regiment. This force took up residence in the British base at Up Park Camp outside Kingston as well as the cantonment of Newcastle in the Blue Mountains. (Foster)

This Second Lieutenant of the Grenadiers has just finished reviewing his platoon on the parade grounds of the Newcastle Cantonment and looks to the retaining wall where the crests of all the previous regiments that served in the West Indies station are displayed. The crest of the Winnipeg Grenadiers will be added to the wall before they depart, in September 1941, for the Colony of Hong Kong.

1) Wolseley pattern sun helmet; here shown with the Winnipeg Grenadiers flaming bomb device affixed to the front of the puggaree.

2) Officers’ Khaki Drill Service Dress Tunic; almost identical to the wool service dress used on home service by officers, but manufactured in a KD material. Unlike the KD tunic used by other ranks, officer’s tunics were tailored open at the neck so that a collared shirt and tie could be used. This tunic features two upper patch pockets with box pleats and scalloped flaps, two lower patch pockets with bellows, pointed false cuffs, belt hooks, brass buttons on split rings, stepped lapels and epaulettes. Note the brass pips on the ends of the epaulettes that denote the rank of Second Lieutenant.

3) 1937 pattern officer’s set; the Second Lieutenant wears a set of recently acquired 1937 equipment that was manufactured by Zephyr Loom & Textile Limited in Ontario, Canada. Canadian-made sets were nearly identical to those manufactured in England by firms like Mills, but were made in a yellower shade without the reduction weaving. (Bouchery)

4) Khaki Drill Shorts.

5) P1902 khaki cloth puttees; here worn without hosetops in a manner similar to British soldiers prior to the Great War. (Chappell)

6) Hobnailed ‘Ammunition boots’; here in a brown shade typical of officers.

7) Webley Mark IV revolver, .380in. caliber.

2 thoughts on “The British Commonwealth Soldier in Jamaica (Circa 1940) Recreated

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