History, Uniforms, Medals & Insignia

Rhodesia Prison Service Uniforms

The RPS uniforms were similar to those used by the B.S.A. Police. The summer uniform consisted of shirt or tunic with shorts, cap, leather belt, khaki stockings and brown shoes. The detail colours were green as opposed to the B.S.A. Police blue, i.e. Green cap band, green tie, green hose tops. Initially the cap badges for all ranks were chrome metal and apart from badges of rank, all ranks wore identical uniforms, Commissioned officers wore no distinguishing headgear for instance. In later years embroidered cap badges were used for Officers. The Winter dress followed the B.S.A. Police pattern of barathea over a green shirt. Mess dress was the standard barathea (winter) uniform and was worn with conventional belts.

The Woman Prison Officer’s uniform was of similar style to that of the Rhodesian army (see photograph below).

RPS Personnel Contact II p.153

Rhodesia Prison Service personnel - Source- Contact II p.153

African members wore starched Khaki tunic and shorts, khaki stockings with green top and brown boots, Khaki pith helmet with green pugaree, brown leather belt with two part buckle (see background of photograph above)..

Band – Khaki pith helmet with green pugaree, green long sleeved tunic and long trousers with brown shoes. Possibly wore green and white ‘Bandsmans’ wings at the shoulders. One assumes that they might have worn bandsmen/drummer trade badges as well! (See band section for photograph of uniform).


RPS CAp RPS TUnic RPS Tunic back    
RPS cap with officers badge
RPS Chief Supt. tunic - Thanks to Carl Keith for the photograph
RPS tunic - back- Thanks to Carl Keith for photograph


Woman RPS Officer

UBottomleyBottomleyBottomleyImages of Dep. Dir. Bottomley, courtesy of his Grand Daughter Nielen de Klerk


Copyright © Wayne M. Kennerley 2017