I've sat back and observed on this jacket since it was first posted. At first, I just chuckled and thought to myself that this was an odd one for sure. After reading through the now two pages of posts, I figure, why not jump in myself? I, like everyone else, find the uniform to be very unusual, and I just have to keep scratching my head when it comes to the oddities that I see. For me, the most obvious anomaly that I see to the uniform is the British/ Canadian ribbons that are sewn to the blouse. I think that they were added by somebody who has no knowledge of British medals. Having collected British and Commonwealth RAF and airborne for years, I have consistently seen "the real deal" and when oddities pop up, big alarm bells go off in my head. For starters, the ribbons are in the wrong order. I know, all of you US collectors are going to shrug your shoulders and say "what's the big deal? US ribbons are out of order all of the time!" Yes, US ribbons are typically out of order, and that is normal. It is NOT however the least bit normal to see ribbons out of order on the uniforms of serving British and Commonwealth forces. Americans didn't know the proper order for campaign ribbons, and a lot of them came out late in the war. British forces on the other hand wore their ribbons regularly and not having them in proper order would have incurred the wrath of the regimental sergeant major or other subaltern. So, let's look at these ribbons on this uniform. I am giving you a link here to a website that will QUICKLY explain the ribbons and when I quote, I am referencing this site- http://www.petergh.f2s.com/medals.htm The first ribbon on the rack is the Canadian Volunteer Service ribbon with maple leaf device for foreign service. This would have been the last ribbon on the rack, as it was a territorial medal and not a medal prescribed by mother England.
As there are no decorations in the group, the first ribbon should have been the 1939-45 Star, which is the second ribbon here. The next campaign in order of precedence is the Africa Star. NOW GET THIS- SOLDIERS of the British army wore a silver NUMERAL on the ribbon- either a "1" or an "8" to denote the British army in which they served in North Africa, Abyssinia, Somaliland, Eritrea, and Malta, between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. This ribbon doesn't have a numeral, it has a rosette. How can that be? Well, it is possible. Regulations state "A silver rose emblem is worn on the ribbon by personnel of the Royal Navy Inshore Squadron and Merchant Navy vessels which worked inshore between 23 October 1942 and 12 May 1943, and by personnel of the RAF serving between the same dates. Staff of the 18 Army Group Headquarters who served between certain specified dates under a specified General also qualify." It is most likely that if this man earned a rosette, he did so in the navy or merchant marine.
The next ribbon that SHOULD be in line is the Italy Star, but the next ribbon on this uniform is the France and Germany Star. The Italy Star was awarded for "operational service on land in Sicily, mainland Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Aegean and the Dodecanese, Corsica, Sardinia, and Elba, at any time during the campaign from 11 June 1943 (capture of Pantelleria) to 8 May 1945. Service in Sicily after 17 August 1943; in Sardinia, after 19 September 1943; or in Corsica, after 4 October 1943, did not count."
So, our Canadian hero puts the France and Germany Star before the Italy Star, but the bloke would have been getting these ribbons as he earned them, rather than getting a bunch of ribbons all at once like what happened to most American troops (which is why we had confusion on the ribbons). The France and Germany Star was awarded "for operational service in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, or Germany, between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945."
I'm not going to worry about the Defence Medal or the War Medal of 1939-1945. They are pretty obvious. The last ribbon is the biggest puzzler of all. It appears to be that of the Inter-allied Victory ribbon which was given to a lot of soldiers at the end of World War I Are we to assume that the soldier was claiming WWI service? What would be the reasoning for adding the ribbon? To me, the answer is that a WWII veteran would not have worn it. A collector adding ribbons to a uniform? Why not? Maybe they needed one more ribbon to even out the bars? Also, why would the British ribbons be sewn on and not put on a bar? British uniform regulations prescribed that the ribbons be sewn to the uniform. The ribbons were issued as a piece of cloth, so the only way to put them on a bar would be to find a bar and stitch them on. Last point- even Canadian soldiers serving in the First Special Service Force, were not being awarded US ribbons, just as US soldiers in the Force were not receiving British ribbons. There were some awards of decorations that crossed over from the Canadians to the US and vice versa (mainly to officers), but NOT campaign medals. Getting tired of reading yet? OK, I'll stop, but I can go on if anyone wants to cling to the hope that this is anything other than a fantasy piece.