This is a replica jacket of a type worn by the North West Mounted Police from 1876. This police force was established to “maintain order” in what was a huge land mass called the North-West Territories. This included Southern Alberta. Their duties combined the roles of the police, the military and the judiciary. If one thinks about the climate and the environment of this landscape these men had to work in, one can see how this uniform was considered impractical. The police unofficially adopted a dress that incorporated locally traded materials such as buckskin and fur.
The red serge cloth was a British broad cloth that was traded world-wide, particularly through the Hudson’s Bay Company and the British East India Company. This woollen cloth was created in the South-West region, such as Stroud and Devon. It is famously said that these popular cloths were “red for the army, white for the clergy and green for the billiard table”.
This replica was produced specifically for display at RAMM from 2005 by Lionel Digby of Flame Torbay Costume Hire Ltd in Devon.