British Army Uniform Question

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by Gerald, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    I've recently discovered a family group photograph taken c. 1916 which shows my great-uncle in his khaki army uniform. Only his head and shoulders are visible but this is enough to show that he is wearing what looks like a piece of white cord around his right shoulder which seems to be placed underneath his epaulette and loops under his arm.

    Unfortunately, I haven't yet discovered details of his regiment and rank. I would be very grateful to anyone who could let me know what the white cord may signify. Many thanks.
  2. Vladimir

    Vladimir Siberian Tiger

  3. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Thanks for your reply, Vladimir. Unfortunately, I can't see the image you posted. I appreciate your help, nonetheless.

    Having seen some other pictures showing a similar feature to the one I mentioned, I think the thin white cord could have something attached to it which is contained in the breast pocket of the tunic. A whistle, perhaps or some other item of equipment?
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Siberian Tiger

    Sorry for the image. They disabled image sharing.

    Could you please go to this link:

    The problem is that the white cord is in the left shoulder, not right.
  5. Emma

    Emma New Member

    Hi Gerald.
    I'd be really interested to know the answer to this question too. I've got a photo I'm trying to identify too (see my profile photo) - I'm not even sure who it is. Could be my great-great grandfather, who fought in the 21st Rifle Brigade during WWI (and possibly also in the Boer War).

    He wasn't awarded the Star, which I believe means he didn't sign up until 1916 (when he would have been 42). I have another photograph of him taken before he left, which shows the shoulder cord more clearly. I have learned that they are called aiguillettes, but I haven't got any further with identifying why he is wearing one.

    If everyone wore one, then that weakens the theory that the man in the profile photo and the man in the second photo are one and the same. But if they mean something more distinctive, perhaps my theory holds!

    I'm also interested in why the mystery man hasn't got a collar on his army uniform. I wonder if this is usual?

    Incidentally, in both photographs, the cord is on the left-hand shoulder. Could it be that the image has been reversed when your print was made, Gerald?
  6. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Thanks for that, Vladimir. It's certainly similar to the item I referred to. Sorry about the delayed reply, by the way - I've been really busy lately and haven't had much time to use the internet.
  7. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Hi Emma. I read somewhere that these pieces of braid were worn by members of the Pay Corps but they could've been more widespread. I'm going to be consulting some relevant books at my local library before the end of the week so hopefully I'll be able to post some useful information by then. All the best with your researches.
  8. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

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