Allied prisoner of war trousers

Place Europe: Germany
Accession Number RELAWM05406.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Calico, Cotton drill, Steel, Wool
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1917: Prisoners of War/Gallantry
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1914-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Pair of coarse black, straight legged, woollen trousers with a wide brown cotton drill strip extending down the side seams and turn-up cuffs. The trousers have a concealed six button fly, including a single button closure at the waist. Three pairs of buttons (one missing) are set around the outside of the waistband for the attachment of braces. All buttons are of black painted steel. An inset pocket is set into each side seam at hip level. The waist, inside pockets and inner crutch reinforcement are of unbleached calico with one side of the fly lined with black polished cotton.

History / Summary

First World War allied prisoners of war (POW) from the ranks in Germany were issued with black dyed uniforms with an identifying brown cotton band or stripe. Most uniforms were supplied by the British Red Cross, who had an arrangement with Germany to transport the uniforms on neutral ships. These POW uniforms were standard British Army khaki uniforms that were dyed and modified for easy identification of the wearer's status. Officers were permitted to wear their own uniforms.