Until recently, the uniform worn by Cadets was a simplified version of their adult counterparts. The first Ambulance Cadets wore black shorts and a grey flannel shirt, with a black cap and knitted tie. The Nursing Cadet uniform was, by Victorian standards, a simple, practical and modest grey cotton dress with a rounded white collar and a white handkerchief-style cap. Despite changes in fashions and duties, dress regulations remained little altered until 1968 leading to practical concerns amongst its wearers. It wasn’t until 1975, that Nursing Cadets were permitted to wear trousers on occasions where a dress was unsuitable. In 2010, St John Ambulance introduced a new uniform consisting of a green service delivery shirt and black combat trousers. For the first time, all St John Ambulance members wore the same uniform.
From helping the wearer to stand out in a crowd, to evoking a sense of pride and belonging, nothing elicits such strong and divisive opinions amongst St John Ambulance volunteers as uniform.
From the collection:
Haversack with First Aid supplies
The equipment Cadets are provided with has changed over time. The white haversack, although practical for storing key First Aid items such as bandages and dressings, was frustrating to keep clean and stocked up. In 1987 it was replaced with a smaller pouch that Cadets wore on their belts.