Garter Tabs

Cambridge District Scout Archive

This small item of uniform rarely gets a mention, but it was considered a necessary piece of the whole.  The elastic garter was a usual piece of clothing to hold the sock in place both for neatness and warmth.  When wearing shorts a long thick sock was necessary.  Fabric technology had not yet created the elasticity of modern socks.

1943    ‘I do know that uniforms were in short supply… but I did get some green binding tape for Mum to make flashes for my socks, they, of course, fitted to the elastic garter that kept my socks up.’  From ‘A Child’s War, Growing up on the home front’ M Brown

Cambridge Archive

8/10/1947       District Minutes            As part of a review of all aspects of uniform, seemingly intended for National consideration, it was recorded, but unusually not unanimously,

Garter Tabs: It was agreed that garter tabs should be retained.’

Slip on garter tabs and an elaborate tied version

Green garters were for Cubs, Scouts and Scouters, Red for Rovers and Rover leaders.

Three colour variations and an elasticated band with the tabs attached.
Adjustable elasticated tabs

Except for Cub Scouts who retained short trousers, garter tabs stopped being uniform at the adoption of the 1966 Advance report recommendation of long trousers.

1917 Leaders garter tabs (and clasp knife)

JWR Archivist Feb 2019