scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Baden Powell Uniform
Grant O'Neil (grant@ONEIL.COM.AU
Fri Feb 18 2000 - 01:25:23 CST
It is possible that if you look farther afield, or are prepared to do some
modifications you could get a satisfactorally "authentic" BP style uniform.
Firstly, are you aiming to look like BP himself, or a scout or scoutmaster
of BP's vintage? If BP, there are ample photos on which you can base your
look. If a scout or scouter, read on.
Most of my comments are based on pre-1972 Australian uniforms. It is my
understanding that prior to then there had been little significant change
in uniforms in Australia since scouting was first established, and that
virtually all British Commonwealth countries had about the same uniforms.
Basically, look at "Scouting for Boys" for your inspiration. Ideally, you
ought to have a long-sleeved khaki shirt, preferably collarless and with
epaulettes. The very early scout uniforms were not something you bought
from supply division - indeed, the reason for the style of uniform BP chose
was that at that time it was a style of clothing that would have been
relatively cheap and easy to come by for most boys. So if you ready
Scouting for Boys you will note that BP says that the scout alwasy has his
sleeves rolled up ready to go to work - hence the long sleeves (rolled up,
of course) From what I have seen of U.S. military shirts with epaulettes,
the style is somewhat different to the British style that provided the
inspiration for the scout uniform. Probably the ideal shirt would be a
British (or Australian) army surplus khaki shirt. To get an idea of the
shirts I have in mind, think of WW2 war movies depicting the British 8th
Army in the Western Desert (Destert Rats is an outstanding example.) These
shirts will generally have collars, but it would be comparatively easy to
cut off the collar and hem the edge. Alternatively, the style of scout
shirts used here until about 8 years ago were hardly different to the style
of shirts in use in the '20s (based on examples I've seen in the scout
museum) so shirts like that may provide an answer.
Khaki shorts, longer than average (i.e. almost knee length) and khaki knee
socks (preferably with two dark green bands around the top) would round out
a reasonably authentic look. A brown leather belt with metal two-piece
scout belt buckle would be ideal, although possibly rather hard to come by.
The scarves generally worn then were larger and somewhat bulkier than is
common now. If you are going for the scouter look, the two strand leather
turks-head Gilwell woggle is a must; otherwise almost any style of woggle
would do, although the more elaborate hand-carved wooden woggles that I
have noticed are rather popular among BSA members I have never seen in
photos from that period. Finally, a "Lemon Squeezer" (BSA Campaign Hat) to
"top off" the look. Preferably well-worn; still maintaining a "regulation"
shape but not necessarily parade-ground rigid with perfectly flat brim. For
a scouter, a coloured plume worn on the left side of the leather band above
the left ear indicating the position held.
Insignia may be a little hard to come by - you can't use any BSA insignia
(after all, we're talking Baden-Powell, not Seton!) For a leader you would
wear a tenderfoot badge (British style, not BSA - they are dramatically
different badges) centred on the left pocket. A scout may have this badge
replaced my the second class or first class badge if earned, and would wear
the appropriate proficiency badges on his sleeve. The top of the right
sleeve would bear a tape with the name of the scout troop. Scouts would
wear a "knot" at the top of the left sleeve indicating their patrol - three
coloured ribbons, the combination of colours designating the patrol. The
ribbons would be about 5" long, folded in half and pinned to the top of the
sleeve at the fold.
Another possible source of "authentic" items would be the Baden-Powell
Scouts - I know they have branches in Britain, Canada and Australia.
Although not affiliated or recognised by WOSM, they are a breakaway
movement that is devoted to a return to "traditional" scouting, and wear
uniforms and follow an award scheme that is about the same as in BP's time.
I know very little about these organisations, but your Canadian neighbours
have a website at http://www.bpscouts.ca/ and the UK association has a
website at http://members.xoom.com/bpscouts/
At 23:20 14/02/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>I am going to be the Baden Powell Patrol Program Director at summer camp
>this year and I would like to get into the role a little bit by coming up
>with a Baden Powell type uniform. I have been following Ebay and have not
>come up with anything close to anything that I could wear.
>Is there anyone out there that knows where I could get a pattern and the
>material to have a Baden Powell style uniform made?
>Thanks for your help.
Grant O'Neil _r| Ll\
ACSL 2nd Ballajura Cub Scout Pack | |_|__\
Swan Valley District => \ |_|_ /
Western Australia ~~ `_'