The British Uniforms of World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special


Matthew Moss helped us with this episode, check out his website: The British Army was probably the best equipped at the …


20 Responses

  1. I'm wondering what did soldiers do for entertainment in the trenches or during a barrage

  2. Alex Woods says:

    I still have my Grandfathers leather jerkin. He served for the Canadians in WWII! (Fits me like a glove!)

  3. hanbaal says:

    Hello folks! (said in a goon show type voice).
    Does anyone know what those big hoops the British went over the top with are for?
    I know it's not hula because i'm sure i used to know what they were for and i'm sure i'd have remembered learning about British troops hulaing across no mans land.
    Cant find references to them.

  4. airraverstaz says:

    Did Russia have any colonies or colonial troops? You often hear about the battles in Africa revolving around the French, British and Germans, but how far from home did the Russians fight on land?

  5. It is 'KAR'-KI' not 'KAK-EE'

  6. Indi Viduum says:

    102 years …
    happy anniversary for 2 years of war :(

  7. Keep up the great work! Thanks for making these!

  8. I am not insecure, but I feel some British insecurity, as you should , with your rotten imperialist past…..

  9. Cybonator says:

    I really hope you do more on the kilts of the Scottish regiments, and especially whether or not they more or less practical.

  10. Hi Indy,

    Thanks for this – as ever very interesting – like many I wore a fairly similar wool uniform (WWII pattern 'Battledress') as a school cadet in the 1960s – and learned to shoot with a Lee-Enfield .303 rifle…..stamped with the date of manufacture -1919!

    I see that these rifles are still in use with the Bangladesh Police and Forest Guards, among others.

    You made a passing reference to the 'Cor-blimey' Cap. Apparently this has now become quite rare and valuable. It was a padded warm cap with ear flaps designed for practical use in the trenches and not intended to be worn on leave or in rear areas because it was not smart enough.

    So what about the name. This is derived from a medieval expression of surprise (derived from 'May God blind me') still frequently used where I grew up. It can be applied to anything shocking and maybe most famously refers to trousers that weren´t fit to be worn, ones that would shock anyone who saw you wearing them, like the ones worn by the dustbinman in the song, 'My old man's a dustman' by Lonnie Donegan, which we all sang as kids.

    Oh, my old man's a dustman
    He wears a dustman's hat
    He wears cor blimey trousers
    And he lives in a council flat
    He looks a proper narner
    In his great big hob nailed boots
    He's got such a job to pull em up
    That he calls them daisy roots

    Congratulations on your homage to Ken Burns and on the new 'Out of the Ether' – I hope to contribute… only, as we know, the worst of the war is still to come and should be marked by commemoration not (as a BBC reporter said recently) 'celebration'.

    All the best,


  11. ENDonPC says:

    out of curiosity, do you guys know the game 'Valiant Hearts – The Great War'?

  12. JaMes says:

    If I buy a Ww1 British greatcoat un used will it be as warm as a replica?

  13. Ivan Corona says:

    Do a German and Russian uniforms too!!

  14. Boys in Khaki, Boys in Blue… Here's the best of jolly good luck to you

  15. Len Peters says:

    An interesting thing not mentioned here was that by 1916, very few officers who were anywhere near the front line ever wore their officer's uniform. Most wore a regular enlisted man's tunic and breeches, and instead of the Webley .455 carried a SMLE. The whipcord breeches became quite a term or derision in the army, and was often mentioned in the Wipers Times.

  16. Omerta0414 says:

    The Great War channel and all its employees are a testament that you don't need a channel on cable TV or or a big budget to create one of the most amazing, interesting and entertaining history-based content in the digital medium. You sirs, are awesome.

  17. The 'cor blimey' cap. hahaha Now all Australia needs is the 'ken oarth, cant' boots, the 'nah, yeah' puttees and the 'strewth' tunic. :)

  18. pumken says:

    waht ablt the aif

  19. Cold War says:

    cant wait for commonwealth uniforms episode!

  20. Rabih R says:

    Thanks this helps me understand where my own country's military uniforms came from

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