It was quite normal to have popper studs on the tips of the pockets (usually just the top ones) and belt. Helps to keep it all neat. I'd keep them, and replace any that might be missing with the best match you can find.
There were usually three sizes of buttons, the largest for the front of the tunic, medium for the pockets (and sometimes battledress epaulettes), and the smallest for the side cap (and sometimes holding the chinstrap of the peaked cap).
In some units (the Air Transport Auxiliary for example) there was a fourth size, slightly larger than the largest, for use on the greatcoat. I have four sizes of ATA buttons.
As a slight correction on the earlier posting, the buttons would normally be brass, not gilt which indicates gold or gold plate.
This is definitely an RCAF tunic? I didn't think true RCAF personnel wore VR titles? Would it be more likely to have been medical insignia? Sorry if I'm off the ball, someone asked about RCAF and VR but way back it never got answered.
I have no clue Richard, all there is is a 2 stitcjes approx 1/2 an inch or so and there is thread on the back, your guess is as good as mine.
I would need the owner service record but all I have is F/Lt A.H.Haylock RCAF no date but most lkey was promoted after the war becuase the second set of braid is light blue when the first is white, the secnd set was handsewn too.
It going to take a lot of digging around to figure this one out, I really want to get my tunic back to it's former glory.
The stitches you refer to could be medical or dental collar badges. I have never seen RCAF VR, maybe someone else knows different? There is also another possibility, that of an Officer in the Canadian Air Cadets.
The lighter first rank stripe would be consistent with him getting promoted, I have a couple of tunics like that. As for the second being hand stiched, there is no reason why not, but it would help if you could confirm the rank the owner got to, to know it was not added by someone after.
Of the VR (and A) titles, these were worn in brass by officers only (Other Ranks wore them on the upper sleeve in cloth). The two sizes are for collar (smaller) and greatcoat shoulder (larger).
I asked some time back about RAAF VR (not RCAF VR Richard, so it might be me you were thinking of). A dealer I know had a blue cloth VR badge, but the 'VR' letters were in turquoise rather than the usual light blue, more in the RAAF style. I wondered if the RAAF had the VR?
... guys I am not sure whether the owner was in the volunteer reserve or medical. I only have two little stitches on each collar, I really want to know what would have gone there so I can rebadge the tunic and bring it back to it's former glory(all original badges).