1880 The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto Dress RSOs

31st March 1880 Dress Regimental Standing Orders

Dress Regulations for Officers

Every Officer, on appointment, shall at once provide himself with the uniform prescribed, below, subject to such changes as may from time to time be made.

The Majors are responsible for the dress of the Officers, and must at once check such as are improperly dressed, or whose dress may be at variance with these regulations.

The Badge

The Badge of the Regiment (Gazetted 7th Feb. 1879), shall be a Maple Leaf, on which is a scroll or garter clasped with a buckle, and bearing the legend, “Queen’s Own Rifles,” and the motto, “In pace paratus,” encircling the figure 2, and surmounted by the Imperial crown.

Officer Tunic

Rifle green cloth, edged all round, except collar, with black, square cord; collar and cuffs of regimental facings (scarlet); single-breasted; the collar edge with half-inch black lace, with badge of rank; the cuffs to be pointed and ornamented according to rank. On each side of the breast five loops of black, square cord, with netted caps and drops, fastening with work olivets; the top loop eight inches long, the bottom one four inches. On each shoulder a square cord loop, with a black netted button. On the back seams a single cord, forming three eyes at the top, passing under a netted cap at the waist, below which it is doubled, and terminating in an Austrian knot at the bottom of skirt; the skirt nine inches deep, for an Officer 5 feet 9 inches, with variation of 1/8 inch for every inch of difference in height; to be rounded off in front, closed behind, and lined with black.

Distinctions of Rank

Field Officers – Collar, laced all round with black lace, with double row of figured braiding within the lace. A crown at each end for Lieut. Colonel, a star for Majors.

Sleeve ornament of lace and figured braiding, 11 inches deep.

Captains – Collar, laced round the top with black lace, with single row of figured braiding below the lace. Crown and star at each end.

Sleeve ornament, an Austrian knot of square cord, with row of braided eyes all round the knot, 8 inches deep.

Lieutenants – Collar, laced round the top with black lace and plain edging of braid. A crown for Lieutenant, a star for 2nd Lieutenant at each end.

Sleeve ornament, an Austrian knot of square cord and traicing braid, 7 inches deep.

Collar Badges,

The collar badges to be black silk, relieved with scarlet, and worn on tunics of all ranks, but on patrol and shell jackets by Field officers only.


Black lambskin, 5 inches high in front and 7 ½ inches at the back; the top 6 ½ inches long and 6 inches wide, covered with rifle green cloth; at the top, in front, an oval black silk cord cockade, relieved with scarlet, 2 inches deep and 1 ½ inches wide, with small bronze crown in centre; bronze chain ½ inch wide, on scarlet morocco leather, and lined with black velvet, with bronze rose fastening at the sides, and a hook at the top, on the right. The Regimental Badge, black, the fibres of the leave and the numeral relieved with silver; to be worn in front, point of stem 1 inches above the lower edge.

Cap Line

A double black silk cord passing around the cap, hooked up in front, and at the sides and back, and curved downwards between the hooks, with slides on the pendant part and acorn ends.

The pendant shall be worn by mounted officers only.


Black goat’s hair, cut square at top, 6 inches high from the top of the Busby, with small scarlet feathers at the bottom, an inch high from the top of the bronze socket.


Black silk tag across the throat.


Rifle green cloth, trimmed down the outer seam, with stripe of 2 inch black mohair braid, to be worn with full dress or mess uniform; rifle green serve, with same stripe as cloth, to be worn with patrol jacket.


Goat skin, 3 ¼ inches wide, with silver regimental plate, whistle and chain.

Pouch-belts are to be worn under the shoulder-cord; the pouch to rest in the centre of the back; the belt-plate in the centre of the breast.


On the left breast a lion’s face, in high relief, on a plate within a conventional foliated wreath, or raised border. Diameter over all, 2 inches.

Pendant from the lion’s jaws, a double chain, to hang two inches below the edge of the belt, of plain, circular links, of 1.3 inch in diameter, with a whistle thereto attached.

A whistle case affixed to the belt below the right breast, octagonal and tapering in shape, each of the eight sides ornamented at the top and also at the foot with an oak leaf (conventional), the whole ornamented or encircled at the top and also at the foot with a wreath or raised border of oak leaves, and ending at the foot in an acorn. The length from the top or ring of the whistle to the foot of the case 3 ½ inches.

The centre ornament ( Gazetted 7th Feb., 1879), on a plate between two wreaths of maple leaves in orle, conjoined in base, a maltese cross of black enamel, fimbriated; between the respective limbs of the cross four lioncels, passant, guardant; charged upon the cross, a plate of black enmael inscribed with the figure “2,” within a border also of black enamael and fimbriated, inscribed with the words “Queen’s Own Rifles.” Over all, the Imperial Crown of England, resting upon a soutien or supporting tablet. Breadth of ornament, 3 inches; height, 3 ¾ inches.


Black patent leather, to hold a field glass, with silver bugle, figure 2 in centre, surmounted by a crown.


As worn by Rifle Regiments in H.M. Service; hilt and scabbard nickel plated.

Beside parades, swords are to be worn at levees and balls, in the presence of Her Majesty, her representative, or a General Officer.

Sword Belt

Black goat skin, 1 ½ inches wide, with slings 1 inch wide, snake clasps and silver mountings; to be worn under the tunic and patrol jackets.

Sword Knot

Black leather cord with acorn ends.


Black patent leather, 3 slings of goat skin, each ½ inch wide.


Black for parades; white for ‘Balls, Levees, Concerts, & c.


Worn with trowsers, steel, crane neck, nickle plated, 2 inches long, leather under-strap; with pantaloons, jack spurs, nickel plated, with chain under-strap.

Patrol jacket

Rifle green serge, with scarlet cloth collar, rounded in front, and edged with inch black lace all round; 4 inch openings at side seams; black shoulder cord with netted button; without rank lace; pockets over each breast, without flaps; hooks and eyes in front; 28 inches long for an Officer 5 feet 9 inches in height, with 1/8 inch variation for each inch difference in height.

Forage Cap

Glengarry pattern, rifle green, with scarlet ball on top, bound with black leather; no rosette; regimental badge, in silver, placed on left side, 2 ½ inches from the front, stem just above the binding.

Shell Jacket

Rifle green cloth, edged all round with inch black lace and tracing braid, forming a crow’s foot at corners and at the side seams, black shoulder cord with netted button; scarlet collar, with ½ inch lace and trace braid as follows, below the lace, in each case forming a crow’s foot at centre behind: Field Officers – Double row of eyes. Captains – Single row or eyes. Subalterns – A single line, with ¾ inch lace above the bottom of collar. Black cuffs, with point of 1 inch black lace 6 ½ inches deep, with tracing braid as follows, in each case forming a crow’s foot at the peak, and a braided figure below: Field Officers – Double row of eyes all round the lace. Captains – Single row of eyes all round outside the lace, and single line inside. Subalterns – Single line all round. Black silk lining; pockets inside the breasts; hook and eye fastenings.

The collar of the jacket may be thrown back, but not turned down.


Rifle green cloth, no collar, open half way down, edged all round with ½ inch black lace and tracing braid, forming a crow’s foot at corners; pockets, edged with tracing braid, crow’s foot at corners and centres; hook and eye fastenings.


For Mounted Duties, Rifle green cloth or serge, with stripe of 2 inch black braid. Worn with tunic and patrol jacket respectively.


For Mounted Duties, riding boots according to pattern; for others, Wellington or ankle boots.


Black leather, 8 inches high behind, arched over instep to 6 inches high in front, 3 straps and buckles to fasten on outside.

To be worn in wet or muddy weather with all orders of dress, but not when off duty.

Great Coat

Dark grey cloth, double breasted, to reach within a foot of the ground; Stand and fall collar, 4 ½ inches deep, with fly to cover the band of cape when buttoned on; loose round cuffs, 6 inches deep; 2 pockets at the waist, in front, 2 openings behind at the side seams, with pointed flaps 11 inches long; and a breast-pocket on the left inside; a slit in the left side for hilt of sword to pass through; an opening behind 19 inches long, with a fly; 2 rows of regimental buttons down the front, 6 in the row; 3 buttons on each skirt flap; 4 small buttons at the opening behind, and 5 small buttons under the fly at the collar; a cloth back-strap attached to the top button of the skirt flap, to confine the coat at the waist; 2 hooks and eyes at the collar.


Of same cloth as the Coat, to button on, and coming down to the waist, with 4 small regimental buttons in front, and 2 hooks on the collar, with bronze rosettes and chain fastening.

Capes shall be worn with great coats on parade, unless otherwise ordered.

Horse Furniture




Black lambskin, 3 feet 4 inches in length; 1 foot 9 inches deep in front, and 12 inches behind, with rounded corners in front and rear, covering saddle and wallets; scarlet cloth edging 1 inch deep; moleskin lining; black leather seat.


Pocket shape; black patent leather cover (for undress), with silver studs

Bridle and Breast Plate

Brown leather, cavalry pattern, bridle with green front and rosettes, and silver plated buckles, bent branch bit, with bronze bosses, having bugle in the centre, encircling with the words “Queen’s Own Rifles.”


Black horse hair, 18 inches long, with silver ball socket.


Bright steel with swivel rings and spring lock.


The Adjutant is directly responsible for the dress of the Non-Commissioned Officers and men; The Sergeant- Major assisting him in this duty.


The uniform of NCOs and men shall be such as issued by the Militia Department to Rifle Corps, with however, the following distinctive marks.


The collar to have a piece of inch black braid round the top, shewing a light of ¼ inch scarlet below; the shoulder straps plain, having the letters QOR, worked in scarlet worsted. The Band and Buglers wear “wings” on the shoulders, of a regimental pattern; with the latter, the arm and back seams are piped with Bugler’s cord. Sergeants shall wear an Austrian knot of black square cord in place of the braid on the sleeve, and 1st Class Staff-Sergeants Tunic shall be frogged similar to a subaltern Officers, having the shoulder strap in place of the cord.

Patrol Jacket

Staff Sergeants shall wear for undress a serge patrol jacket similar to the officers, but having the shoulder strap in place of the cord.


Government issue with ¼ inch scarlet stripe; Rifle green cloth for 1st Class Staff Sergeants with full uniform, serge with undress.

Tunics and Trowsers must be made to fit as close as the free action of the limbs will allow, necessary alterations being at the expense of the wearer, and strictly in accordance with regimental patterns.


Black sealskin, according to pattern, with Regimental badge (Bronze), in front bronze chain on a scarlet leather ground, and bronze bosses.

Must be worn perfectly straight upon the head, the lower edge to rest half an inch above the eyebrows.


Black leather, 8 inches high behind; arched over instep, to 6 inches high in front; 3 straps and buckles to pasten on outside.

The trowsers to fall two inches over the top. Worn in wet or muddy weather with all orders of dress, but not when off duty.

Forage Cap

Glengarry pattern, with scarlet ball, bound with leather; no rosette, but bronze regimental badge on the left side; the stem of the leaf to rest above the binding, and the edge 2 ½ inches from the front.

To be worn on the right side, the right edge to touch the right ear, and covering in front about one-third of the forehead, the upper edges close together at the front.

Sergeants Cross-belts

Staff and Company Sergeants shall wear a crossbelt with ornaments similar to those of an Officer, except that the lattor shall be bronze with scarlet enamel cross (General Order No.5, 14th March, 1879). They are worn in a similar manner to the Officers, and shall be procured at the expense of the wearer.

Cross-belts rank and file.

Government pattern.

Cross-belts should be worn so tight that they can be distinctly felt by the wearer; the snake to be permanently attached to the adjusting end of the belt, and so placed that when fastening it it hooks upwards the adjusting end to be worn on the right side.


Government pattern

Are worn on the right shoulder under the shoulder strap. When in use they will hand over the sword, the top immediately below the hilt. When empty they will be rolled up, and rest inside the hilt of the sword on the front.

Great Coast

Government pattern.

Shall be folded for the knapsack to a size of 13 inches deep and 15 inches wide. When worn on parade the back-strap must be taken off and the coat drawn in closely in two folds, turning inwards, so as to show the scarlet piping behind the hips.


Crossbelts or waistbelts are not upon any account to be cut or altered. If they cannot be made to fit by the ordinary means they must be returned to the store for exchange, or for alteration by a competent mechanic.


Varnish, jet or any substance with a brittle surface must not be used in the cleaning of belts. Harris’ Composition or common blacking only will be allowed.


Officers and men are particularly cautioned against the unsoldierly habit of appearing in public, when coming to or returning from parade, or on any occasion when they may be in uniform apart from the Regiment with tunics, serges or great coast unbuttoned. Non-commissioned Officers and men shall invariably wear the waist-belt when in uniform, except on fatigue duty.

Review order


Full dress; horse furniture, for mounted officers, complete.

NCOs and men

Tunic, busby, cross-belt and black woolen or cotton gloves.

Field Day Order


Serge uniform and forage cap. Horse furniture for mounted officers same as Review Order, without shabraques; wallets with covers.

NCOs and men

Serges, if issued; otherwise cloth tunics, forage caps and cross-belts.

Marching Order


Same as Review order, with watch coats folded and carried, with straps, same as knapsack. Mounted Officers, watch coast rolled and strapped across the saddle, over the holsters and shabraque.

NCOs and Men

Same as Review order, with complete kit and equipment. The great-coat to be folded on the back of the knapsack, with the forage cap, badge outwards, between the coat straps on the back.

Drill Order


Same as Field-day order.

NCOs and men

Same as on Field-day Order, but no cross-belt for rank and file.

Mess Order


Shell jacket and waistcoat, cloth trowsers, black neck-tie. Officers on duty will wear pouch belt, with jacket hooked up at mess, and appear in the ante-room with swords.

Divine Service Order


Same as Review Order

NCOs and men

Same as Review order, without cross-belts for rank and file.

No Medals, save those given for actual service, meritorious conduct, or saving of life, shall be worn by either officers or men.

Watch-chains or trinkets shall not be visible in uniform.

Rank Badges


Chevrons shall be worn on both arms by all NCOs, each stripe being ½ inch black braid on a scarlet cloth ground, shewing 1/16 inch light between and on the edges.

With tunics they shall be worn by all NCOs on the upper arm, the point being one inch above the elbow.

With great-coast and serges, Staff Sergeants shall wear them inverted just above the wrist; others above the elbow, as with tunics.


The Several ranks are entitled to chevrons and badges as under:

Pioneers – Crossed axes, in scarlet worsted, on both arms, two inches above the elbow.

Corporals – Two stripes

Sergeants – Three stripes

Pioneer Sgt or Cpl – Crossed axes, worked in scarlet worsted, on both arms, above the stripes.

Col. Sgt – On right arm, Badge of Crossed Swords and Crown, surrounded with a wreath worked in scarlet and black silk, with one stripe underneath, and on left arm three stripes.

2nd Class Staff Sgts – orderly room clers, armourer sgt, Hospital Sgt, paymaster Sgt all wear three stripes

1st Class Staff Sgts

  • Bugle major Four stripes & Crossed Bugles.
  • Sgt Instr of Musketry Four stripes & Crossed Rifles
  • Quarter Master Sgt Four stripes
  • Bandmaster Four stripes and Lyre
  • Sergeant major Four stripes and Crown

Staff Sgts distinctive badges shall be in black silk relieved with scarlet, worn on both arms.

All rank badges shall be procured at the expense of the wearer.


For the encouragement of NCOs and Men in the Regiment, distinctive badges shall be awarded for Good Service, Marksmanship and Drill. These badges shall be first issued at the expense of the Regiment, but in case of their becoming worn out or lost, they must be replaced at the expense of the wearer.

Good Service

The Good Service Badge is not to be given for service alone; good conduct, punctual attendance at drill, and cleanliness in dress, shall also be taken into consideration. They shall be awarded by the Commanding Officer, and may be by him recalled should a man disgrace himself, the main object being that only deserving men shall wear them.

(Size, 1 ¼ inches square – to be worn on the right arm, just above the sleeve knot.)

To NCO and Men of three years continuous service… A star in scarlet worsted.

To NCO and Men of six years continuous service… A Maltese Cross in scarlet silk.

To NCO and Men of Nine years continuous service… A Maltese Cross in scarlet silk, surmounted by a Crown.


These badges shall be awarded in accordance with such regulations as the Rifle Committee may issue from time to time, and must be at once removed from the clothing of such men as fail to establish their right to retain them.

(Size, 3 inches wide by 2 ¼ deep – to be worn on left arm just above the sleep knot.)

To Marksman of the Second Class…. Crossed Rifles in scarlet worsted.

To Marksman of the First Class…. Crossed Rifles in scarlet silk.

Best Shot of the Regiment…….. Crossed Rifles in scarlet silk, surmounted by a crown.

Drill Instructors

To be awarded to such number of NCOs or Men as the Commanding Officer deem necessary, who, having passed a special examination, are qualified as Drill Instructors, and who shall be so employed when required.

(Size, 2 ¾ inches wide by 1 ¾ deep – to be worn on both arms, immediately above the stripes of NCO, or an inch above the elbow with men)

To Drill Instructors…. Crossed Sword Bayonets in scarlet silk.

One thought on “1880 The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto Dress RSOs”

  1. I have a patch that I am trying to identify. Is it possible to send a picture to someone for help with identification. It is approximate 40 x 65 mm, black on green, has a crown, crossed rifles below. Where the rifles cross, there is a 12 mm red/orange circle.

    I am enjoying your website.


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