2divmini.gif (1134 bytes) Second Canadian Division

Formation Insignia - Uniforms

The Second Canadian Division readopted the divisional battle patch that had been worn in the First World War.  They were also the only division to adopt battalion insignia of the same type adopted in World War One.   Shoulder patches were made from three materials mainly (canvas, felt and wool) and were first issued in about 1941. 

Officers at Brigade Headquarters of the Second Division wore coloured strips half an inch wide by three inches long above the Division patch. The 7th Brigade was designated by green, the 8th by red and the 9th by blue. This system of designating Brigade staff officers was also a readoption of Great War practice.   Individual infantry battalions were designated by geometric shapes atop the division patch, with the colour of the shape designating the brigade and the shape indicating the seniority within the brigade.  The machine gun battalion adopted an arrow on the divisional patch (always facing to the front) that was similar to patches worn in World War One, and the reconnaissance regiment wore a circle, sometimes on the patch itself, sometimes surmounting the patch, and in some cases in lieu of the patch entirely.  

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calhisd.jpg (61813 bytes) Bandsman's Service Dress Jacket.  Note the Battle Patch.

Artifact courtesy of the Calgary HIghlanders Regimental Museum.
Click to Enlarge.

torscot.jpg (19006 bytes) Toronto Scottish Battle Patch.   The arrow on the patch pointed to the wearer's front. 

Artifact and photo courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge

2divbatpat.jpg (52904 bytes) Second Division Battle Patches for the FMR and RHLI. 

Artifact and photo courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge.

After the Dieppe Raid, the geometric shapes were dispensed with, and all infantry units, as well as the machine gun battalion and the reconnaissance unit, adopted standard embroidered unit shoulder titles, conforming to the practice of similar units in the rest of the overseas army.

Officers were permitted to wear a gold wire C-II device on the divisional patch, in Service Dress only.

Members of various corps serving in support units came to wear Divisional patches with letters in the middle, such as RCE (Royal Canadian Engineers), RCASC (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps), RCOC (Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps), RCCS (Royal Canadian Corps of Signals), CDC (Canadian Dental Corps), CPC (Canadian Postal Corps) and CCS (Canadian Chaplain Service). A formation patch with a maroon coloured strip in the middle was worn by some members of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) serving with the Division. 

The supporting arms also eventually moved away from the distinctive unit insignia on the formation patch, adopting their own shoulder titles worn in conjunction with the "plain" division patch.  Both styles of unit/formation identification were in use by the end of the war.

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Artifacts and photos courtesy of Bill Alexander.
Click to enlarge.
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  • Volunteers for the Canadian Army Pacific Force were entitled to wear the hexagonal patch of that formation on their Second Division patches.   
  • Canadian Postal Corps
  • Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps
  • Canadian Dental Corps

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Clockwise from left: RCOC, RCASC, RCE, (two types) and plain divisional patches (with examples of the officer's C-II).

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For further information, see the book DISTINGUISHING PATCHES by Clive M. Law, published by Service Publications.