Breeches, Service Dress (Khaki Drill): Officer's, Royal Flying Corps
Calf-length Service Dress breeches of light khaki drill, cut wide at the hips and narrow at the calves, featuring a button fly, three pairs of brace buttons around the outer waistband, two horizontal slash pockets to the front hips, one horizontal slash pocket to the right rear, reinforcing panels to the inside legs with chevron stitch detailing and lace fastenings to the cuffs. Buttons are of light tan horn.
Breeches were universally worn by Army officers with Service Dress (excluding Highland Regiments) , but those of 'Bedford Cord' were intended for mounted officers, to be worn with brown field boots, whilst dismounted officers were to wear 'knicker-bocker', or pantaloon style breeches with either leggings or puttees and ankle boots. Regulations were frequently ignored and it is known that variations of Service Dress were worn, adopted to personal taste (and expense). This pair are typical examples of the type used when in warmer climates overseas and known to have been worn by an officer serving in the Royal Flying Corps.
Sydney Wright Ellison originally joined the Officers Training Corps whilst studying at Queen's University, and went on to join the Royal Flying Corps. 2nd Lieutenant Ellison was posted to the Italian Front and died in June 1918 after crash-landing. His Commanding Officer wrote:
'I very much regret to inform you of the death of your son who died in hospital at 1 a.m. 17-6-1918. He had been on a few bombing shows and must have been hit in the engine and forced to land; he crashed badly and never recovered enough to speak before his death. He is a great loss to my Squadron as he had just got his first balloon and I was expecting him to do great things'.
[Note that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's 'Debt of Honour' database records his death as 16 June 1918]
CONDUIT ST LONDON.W.
ASCPT, CAMBERLEY & ALDERSHOT
NAME Lt. Ellison