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Category: Colour patches

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Scales of Issue

Australian Imperial Force, 1915-1919: 6 per man, one pair for each jacket and greatcoat. Auth. 1st Aust. Divisional Order No. 562, 8.3.1915, and 3rd Aust. Div. Inst., para. 4, August 1916.
Permanent Military Forces, 1921-1943: 4 per man, except for wan-ant officers of the AIC, RAE, Survey Corps, AASC(P) and AAOC(P), and NCO's of the Survey Corps, who were only issued 2 per man. Auth. SO Clothing Part 1, 1935.
Citizen Military Forces, 1921-1942: 2 per man, with an anticipated service life of five years (initially three) for officers and four years for OR's. 'Auth. SO Clothing Part H, 1921 and 1935.
Senior Cadets, 1921-1942: Cadets: I per cadet until 1926, then as CMF.
Captains and Lieutenants of Cadets: As for CW. Auth. SO Clothing Pt H, 1921, and as amended by Serial 14 notified by AAO 195/1927, 23.4.1927, and SO Clothing Pt H, 1935.
Garrison Battalions and personnel on Full Time Duty, 1940-1942: Other than tropical stations: 4 per man, one pair for each jacket and greatcoat. Tropical stations: Nil until at least December 1940 when I per man for the hat band was issued to garrison troops in Darwin. Auth. MBI 0.17/1940. Special Instructions in Regard to Clothing, &c., Garrison Battalions, and Personnel Called up for Full Time Duty. 
Australian Imperial Force, 1939-1942: 4 per man, except officers appointed to transports for 'Voyage Only'. Auth. Standing Orders, AIF, 1940, Chapter X, para. 209. MBI 59/1939, issued on 18.10.1939 in relation to the administrative aspects of the formation of the 2nd AIF, provided for the issue of 3 pairs per man immediately prior to embarkation or as otherwise authorised. `  This would have been increased by at least July 1940, following authority for wear on the greatcoat and hat. It was initially only possible to issue two per man.
Voluntary Aid Detachments, 1942: 4 per VA serving in non-tropical areas and overseas, including territories. 3 per VA serving in tropical areas. Auth. GRO 0.348/1942. War Scales of Clothing and Necessaries for Personnel of Voluntary Aid Detachments - Full Time Duty.
Aust. Army Nursing Service, 1942-1949: 4 per all ranks, regardless of area. Auth. GRO 0.327/1942. War Scales of Clothing, Necessaries and Personal Equipment for Personnel of the Australian Army Nursing Service - Full Time Duty.
Aust. Army Medical Women's Service, Aust. Women's Army Service, and, AAMC (Female Officers), 1942-1949: 5 per all ranks, regardless of area. Auth. GRO 0.554/1943. War Scales of Clothing and Necessaries for Army Women's Services (Full Time Duty)
Volunteer Defence Corps, 1942-1945: Normal scale - 5 per man. Tropical scale - I per man. Auth. GRO 0.372/1943. Amendment to GRO 304/1943, Volunteer Defence Corps - Uniform and Equipment - Scales of Issue.
Australian Military Forces (Other than Women's Services), 1942-1949:
Scale 'A' (Normal) - 3 right arm patches and two left arm patches per man. Scale 'B' (Tropical) - I right arm patch per man. Auth. GRO 0.349/1942 and 205/1943. War Scales of Clothing and Necessaries for all ranks on Full Time Duty - A.M.F. (Other than Women's Services), as amended up to August 1943.

Note: (a) GRO 0.560/1943 approved the issue of an additional set of service dress in certain areas according to climatic conditions. One additional set of colour patches was to be issued with each additional S.D. Jacket.

(b) Quantities of left and right arm patches approved by GRO 349/1942 and 205/1943 would have been reversed for personnel of armoured formations wearing berets.

Note: The various War Scales of Clothing and Necessaries, etc, were cancelled by GRO 395/1944, 27.10.1944, and replaced by MGO Equipment Order Clo - Gen/1 and Gen/3.

The material on this section of the site is drawn from "Distinguishing Colour Patches of the Australian Military Forces 1915-1951" by Keith Glyde. ISBN 0-6460-36640-8  


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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces