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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
French Uniforms display some of the most interesting markings that can tell who, when and where made; when accepted and by what organization; Unit (or units) and soldier service numbers and Issue category similar to and based on the German Garniture system.

Unfortunately, almost nothing has been written in English to describe this system and some conflict with itself and with French sources--although the French sources also conflict in cases.

For English information and a quick guide there is no better source than following web link and also Mirouze's/Dekerle's 2 Volume work:

http://www.151ril.com/content/gear/uniforms/8

However, there are some inconsistences' with certain stamps with-in M/D work and also the website which I will illustrate but probably not determine what is actually correct.

I use an extensive amount of French sources too.

For quick reference I use such things as the following for capote's:



This was originally published in Militaria Magazine in Aug/Sept 1986. Militaria is a great resource if you can comprehend French.

What I want to do is to illustrate markings from items in my collection and hopefully others will post examples too. There are a great variety of how these were supposed to be marked and how they really were marked.

I will start with what I call large items of clothing which includes Capote's, Veste's, Pantalon, Culotte's, etc.

I'll start with Capote's since I attached the diagram and in this post with other pre-1914 uniform items.

The following is French Mle 1877 Capote--to maybe the 2nd Reg't de Inf;



It is a survivor of a costume company--Which can be both good and bad.

The interior lining (doublure) is made from linen and well worn.



However, you can make out some of the details.

In the center back is the size stamp(Cachets de la Taille) and manufacturers stamp (Cachet de Fournisseur), This type of stamp had been in use since 1893 and continued through the war although it could vary.



This is the one stamp that seems to have many interpretations. The manufactures name and place is straight forward--however, the information on the top line which is a 1 and 13 is either interpreted as made in the 1st trimester in 1913 or January of 1913. M/D 2 volume work actually contradicts itself quite often on this particular stamp. I have a question on a French Language forum about what those numbers mean. I actually believe that it represents Trimestre as I have never seen a number larger than 4 in the upper left hand quadrant.
So I interpret this as being made by Paul Challot of Nantes during the 1st Trimestre of 1913 (January thru March). The bottom numbers or letters indicate the Commission.

On the lower left inside are Soldiers matricule (Service Number) Stamps of at least 3 soldiers with the Cie F and Clothing issue category of II. There were 3 Issue categories instituted and did change over the years.

I--- For War and Parade--This was usually a stored item of clothing and kept in its best shape
II---For Exterior use--that is Leave etc--This is the most common stamp I come across
III--For Maneuvers--Lowest category and used for general wear and work fatigue/training etc.



There are also faint stamps for the Commission de Reception--which is unreadable and what might be a unit stamp??? This location differs from the attached diagram. If it is a unit stamp it does not appear to be to the 2d Reg't L.

The following are a pair of Mle 1867/Mod 1897 Pantalon's. Note that at one time and I believe by the unit this were let in at the back and the martingale repositioned.



The Stamps are conventionally located, but usually a unit stamp is found on the right inside lining--in this case absent. It does however, have unit buttons painted red and this is the first time I have encountered this. These were made in the 1st Trimestre of 1912 in Toulouse and accepted by the 17th Army Corps on 16 Feb 1912. In this case the Toulouse is the HQ of the 17th Army Corps.

A quick note on the stamps themselves--They were actually made of metal. In the case of the with the centers having removable date and letter codes. The link below shows a Commission De Reception Timbre:

http://lagrandeguerre.cultureforum....s-de-troupe?highlight=Commission+de+reception

A Good indication of a fake stamp is if there are what I call overshots showing the shadow a squared corner from a modern stamp.

More to follow

Joe Sweeney
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
More pre 1914 Uniform items

The following is a Mle 1879 Other Ranks Jacket (Veste) to the 8th Reg't Inf and also known as a "ras de cul" or "bare ass"



It is conventionally marked IAW the previous diagram I posted.



Here is my input into the realm of pre war Zouaves



Pantalon d'ordonnance (saroul) to the 4th Zouaves--made in the First Trimestre of 1894 with illegible size stamps and many re-issues stamps.



This came with private purchase Gilet and Veste (Bolero) of the 2nd Zouaves for a re-enlisted Private First Class.



Joe S
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
With the start of the war the French Army changed uniforms in a big way but tried to keep the acceptance system about the same.

Here are photos of previously posted 3rd Mle Poiret Capote to the 58th Regiment.



I will try and put a better post but its only marking still legible is a Commission De Reception stamp dated in 1915.

Below is a Mle 1914 Vareuse of the first type--These usually have exterior lower pockets but this has interior ones and is a bit of a transition to the later type.



This too only has a Commission De Reception Stamp dated in June 1915. For this type garment it is a bit unusually to be accepted at Regimental Level--You will note that the upper stamp is to a 2 digit Infantry Regiment.

I


The following is a pair of Mle 1914 Culotte's made of brown corduroy (materiel d' fortune) and made prior to April 1915 when piping was required in service colors.



The only remaining or only marking is the size stamp:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Items of Uniformity or after 14/15

After a period it appears that marking of uniforms did return to a fairly standard norm.

This Capote to the 77 a fairly standard set of stamps IAW the previous attached diagram:



The Unit mark is found on the right inside Doublure and size and manufactures stamps (not sure if this is a postwar costumers stamp instead) in the center back.



The Commission De Reception Date is indistinct and could either be in 1916 or 18. It is also located on the capote's right interior near the unit stamp.

The 99th Capote follows the same convention as the 77th Capote.



These are 2 pairs of Mle 1914 Culotte's for the Infantry.



Both were made in 1917 and accepted in 1917-The stamp is now located a bit differently on the right inside reinforcement for the martingale. I'm not sure if this became an official location or not as all my late war Culottes have stamps in this location.



In this case Western Costume was a good thing as these are in very good condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Below is a set from "supposedly" the same man and is late war comprising Vareuse, Culotte and his Mle 1918 Calot is in his pocket.



This type Jacket I've encountered with many different types of designation--Mle 1914 Second type, Mle 1915 or Mle 1914/15. In an event this design dates from after the fall of 1915.

The interior is conventionally marked but in most cases indistinct and no Matricule or Unit stamp.



The Culuttes are Mle 1914 made late war in late 17 or 18. The Commission De Reception stamp is in same location as the previous Mle 14 Culottes. The only difference between these and the earlier pairs was the lower leg had blue cotton without ties or buttons (these had them added) replacing the tied ends.



This is a Mle 14 second type ( and my helper Elwood) in Moutarde for units such as Tir. Algeriens and Zouaves. The only remaining stamp is an unreadable Commsion de Reception stamp.



This last is the Varuese Mle 1916 for Chasseurs a' pied et Alpin introduced in March 1916. Its only remaining legible marking is to the 30th BCA

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Previuos articles of clothing werewhat I consider major items. There were also small items that needed to be marked.

The Journal Militaire goes into some detail on how to mark these. The attached documents below are from 1898 and show that articles in this category are accepted at Regimental Level and usually with a much reduced marking burden.



These Fatigue trousers from 1915 show what is probably the most regulation correct markings I have in my collection and adhere to the above instructions.



The shirts were to be marked on the left outside and in my case I have 2 shirts and only one with an illegible mark in the correct place.



These under-drawers are also marked IAW the above regulations and may actually be marked for TC--Troupes Coloniale, although the stamp is too indistinct to tell for sure.



This Mle 1913 Shoulder roll shows the soldiers matricule stamp.



Then there are articles that have been issued and reissued (Mle 15 Capote) and at one time issued to the 151st Regiment.



Hope this is of interest and please post your examples.

Joe Sweeney
 

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Hello Gents,

While wading through my various hard drives of old files, I stumbled across the file of photos I took years ago of the markings in the three main pieces of my 1st Zouave Regiment. I'll leave the expert commentary to Joe when he eventually checks in! I have included close ups of some of the stamps and on one example which is extremely faded, I played around with the contrast and color to try and bring out the markings enough to potentially identify.

Saroul









More to follow................
 
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