Surviving the Canadian Climate: British Winter Uniforms

Surviving the Canadian Climate: British Winter Uniforms

von Germann

Friedrich von Germann sketched this British soldier dressed for the Canadian winter in 1778.


As depicted in von Germann’s drawing, British soldiers donned blanket coats, wool leggings, and fur-trimmed “Canadian caps” to keep warm in wintertime.

When the men of the 8th Regiment arrived at Michilimackinac in 1774, they, like the rest of the British army posted in Canada, found themselves in a remote wilderness with pleasant, temperate summers and harsh, bitter winters. The Canadian winter climate was significantly cooler than what most soldiers were accustomed to in Britain. Fortunately, several uniform pieces allowed these men to live and even fight in the coldest of Canadian winters.


With the lapels buttoned over, collar turned up, and tails let down, a soldier’s regimental coat helped protect him from the cold. Blue wool leggings further protected his legs.