WW1 Canadian Nursing Sister uniform – part 1 – Service Dress

The next posts will be a serie of 4 texts on the subject WW1 Canadian Nursing Sister uniform. I do not pretend that these texts are the definitive source of information on the subject but rather some educated observations made after looking at several pictures of WW1 Canadian Nursing Sisters .

After many years of reading on the subject of Nursing sisters, I was never able to find the official Dress Regulations or any official information produced by the Canadian Government on the subject of the uniform of WW1 Canadian Nursing Sisters. These 4 posts are the starting point to something that could evolve as I get new information on the subject.

Post 2 will cover the Ceremonial Dress and can be read by clicking here. Post 3 will cover some aspects on how the uniform was worn (or supposed to) and can be read by clicking here, post 4 covers the subject other uniforms that were worn by WW1 woman medical personel from Commenwealth Forces. It can be read by clicking here.

This first post present a summary of what was the work uniform for the Canadian Nursing Sister during WW1, the Service Dress.

Pictures of a WW1 Canadian Army Medical Corps Matron (left) with the Service Dress and Nursing Sister (right). Matron had three brass ranks on the shoulder strap and Nursing Sister had only two. Matron had the rank of Captain and Nursing Sister had the rank of Lieutenant.

click on the image to enlarge

Picture of Nursing Sisters Corelli (left) and Stronach (right)  after their Royal Red Coss investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. They were wearing their Service Dress. Although it was considered the work uniform, the Service Dress could also be worn for ceremonial purpose. If you look on the right sleeve of Nursing Sister Corelli (left), you can see near the cuff, three V shape stripes, these are chevrons and each one denoting one year of good conduct service overseas.

click on the image to enlarge

Left on picture, Nursing Sister Ruby Peterkin in the field wearing the Service Dress but with a white apron over it. She is also wearing the leather boots. Right on picture, Nursing Sister Gertrude Ellinor Halpenny wearing the Service Dress with white shoes and the summer hat.

click on the image to enlarge

Picture showing a group of Nursing Sisters wearing the Service Dress with apron except one who is not wearing the apron over her Service Dress.

click on the image to enlarge

 Picture of the top of the Service Dress. This blouse has been stripped of all its brass buttons and ranks on the shoulder straps.

click on the image to enlarge

Pictures sources Library and Archives Canada and Canadian War Museum (last picture).

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