Country of Origin: United Kingdom
In days of yore, nearly all military British uniforms including those intended for combat operations were constructed from the itchiest wool weaves imaginable, all complete with high collars and long unrollable sleeves. Comfort for the most part for the soldier was an afterthought, but the lessons of various Imperial expedition, particularly the Boer War taught the British Army many valuable lessons in keeping the soldier comfy as he fought. Among the many developments in food and creature comforts, was advances in the Victorian-era, 1860s production "Greyback" shirt - the standard issue undershirt of British and Imperial soldiers.
By 1914, they were well suited to keep the soldier comfortable while wearing his wool tunic in the field and in garrison. This reproduction of the Great War issue variant "Greyback" is constructed from a blue-grey cotton flannel, and features a lot of airflow at the thin collar strip, cuffs and shirt sides. The thin collar strip is constructed from cotton as the originals were, to protect the wearer from turn of the century high collared uniforms. There is also the additional thin strip of white fabric stitched to the stomach area, to allow the individual soldier to display his name and prevent his kit from getting nicked. As the shirts are intended to be tucked into the trousers, they are intentionally cut quite long allowing for a wide range of heights to utilize these shirts.
Top notch kit, and not bad for the 18th and 19th century. Variations of these shirts, would see service from Rourke's Drift, to the beaches of Normandy. That's a bloody impressive service life, and a testament to how essential (and comfy) these simple shirts were.
We are proud to carry exact replicas of the Great War issue greyback shirts, featuring the plain white collar and name tape strip, produced identical to the blue-grey colour of the original issue uniforms.
These shirts are a must have for all Imperial and Commonwealth reenactors, workable for those reenacting the Crimean War, all the way up to the Second World War. Otherwise, they make for a pretty warm, and cozy pajama shirt, that'll still hold up when your aid station gets charged by a few thousand Zulus fresh from combat at Isandlwana!
- Size 36: Small, 36-38 inch chest
- Size 38: Medium, 38-40 inch chest
- Size 40: Large, 40-42 inch chest
- Size 42: Extra Large, 42-44 inch chest
All prices are in Canadian Dollars (CAD). We ship internationally!