British Columbia Game Warden - Conservation Officer Cloth Insignia History

From 1929 to 1950, Game Wardens wore a uniform with blue epaulettes.  After the BC Provincial Police was disbanded the epaulettes and hat band changed to dark green.

The insignia consisted of brass epaulette titles and collar insignia (see badge page).  Predatory Animal Hunters did not wear a uniform.

The Game Commission, as it was known at the time, was overseen by the Attorney General's Department.  Within the Game Commission, the field services component was known as the Game Department.
 



The first shoulder patch was introduced in 1951, along with an "Eisenhower" type jacket, also known as a battle dress, for use by the Predatory Animal Hunters.  I have never seen an example of this very rare shoulder patch.

Game Wardens in the Wildlife Protection Division (Enforcement) continued to wear the fancy uniform until 1955 when the patch below was introduced and worn on an Eisenhower jacket.  No patch was worn on the shirt.

The following are two patches issued during the same period. By this time there was only one Commissioner and there are no known photos of him ever wearing a uniform.  These are extremely rare patches.  I would reward anyone who could find a Commissioner patch for me.  There were four Inspectors in charge of Game Divisions.

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This patch was introduced in 1956

In 1957, the Game Commission became the Fish and Game Branch, within the Department of Recreation and Conservation. The felt patches were worn on the jacket and the cloth version on the shirt.  Game Wardens were assigned to the Wildlife Protection Division and were the local resident general-duty staff.  Staff in the Predator Control Division were the Predatory Animal Hunters, who dealt with dangerous wildlife and wildlife that was reducing game populations, but they also provided some support to the Game Wardens as required.
 




The Inspector tab was worn below the patch sets shown above.  Inspectors supervised the Game Wardens in each of the Divisions that the province was split into for administrative purposes.

In 1961, Game Wardens were renamed Conservation Officers. These versions were introduced around 1965 and were replaced approximately 1967. The Fish and Game Branch was renamed the Fish and Wildlife Branch in 1966.

   

    

As you will note there were several different color variations of these shoulder patches - after the creation of the Conservation Officer Service in 1980 they continued to be used by technical staff for some time.


The crests above are not shoulder patches but were worn on the uniform blazer circa 1962-1966 and 1966-1970.  These were worn primarily by Headquarters and Regional office staff, who had to purchase the blazer with their own funds.  Any other member of the branch could buy one, but few did.



In 1980 the Conservation Officer Service became a separate branch within the new Ministry of Environment.  They were now assigned the task of conducting enforcement duties for all of the other Branches, not just Fish and Wildlife. With the new role, came a distinctive new blue and gray uniform. A "sky" blue shirt was combined with gray pants and a navy blue jacket.  The Ministry underwent a number of name changes over the next 13 years and a number of different patches were worn.

   
1980                                                 approx. 1983                                   1983-1988                                    approx. 1988-1993

The patch below was never officially worn on duty as it was too small to be sewn over the older versions.  It was introduced in 1993, and some shirts came with it affixed, but it was immediately replaced by the current version, which was large enough to cover the stitch marks from the older patches when they were removed.

 

The next six designs were variations that have been worn on ball caps.  The first one was an unofficial version used only in the Vancouver Island Region.  The second one is an official version but contains a spelling error.  There was a corduroy ball cap issued in the early 1990's that had the design embroidered into it. The last patch was introduced in 1993, a darker version saw use after the introduction of LAPD blue shirts, and it was ultimately retired in 2004.

  

Conservation Officer Blazer patches c. 1980-1998 and 1998-2002. Blazers were discontinued in 2002 when the uniform tunic was re-introduced.


Un-approved prototype - 1993


 1993 - 2004
Earlier versions had a dark blue background and were worn on a light blue shirt. Later versions had a dark navy blue background to better match the LAPD blue shirt they were worn on.
 


      Chief Conservation Officer's patch - intro'd 2001
 

The tunic was re-introduced in 2002 and originally has a downsized version of the standard shoulder patch and was worn with a light blue dress shirt. With the change to a new shoulder flash in 2004, the tunic was updated with a white shirt and rank insignia. Flat brim Stetsons, complete with badge, lanyards, Sam Browne belts and special insignia were issued to members of the Ceremonial Unit.

  

A new shoulder patch came into use on June 1, 2004.  The centennial tab was added to shirts and the patrol jacket for 2005 and may be worn until the shirt or jacket is no longer serviceable.

A new ball cap/sweater breast patch was also introduced but its use on the cap was discontinued after only a few months. 


It was replaced by a plain black cap that simply stated "Conservation Officer" in block letters. This was followed by a navy blue cap with a large badge logo, and the Conservation Officer wording on the rear of the cap, and now finally a version with the Conservation Officer wording embroidered below the large badge - pictures to come

 
 

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