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H.G.FRASER
Gallipoli Historical Tours

UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE AIF DURING WW2

This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to an Australian Soldier of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in Australian militaria. It is not exhaustive and will be added to over time. Any reader who wishes to contribute photographs and text will be recognised and credited with such information. I also invite collectors of other nation's militaria to forward content (please see our other countries listed on the drop down menu) - so that a comprehensive list of "Axis" and "Allies" uniform/kit is detailed.

 

WW2 Australian Slouch Hat - 1942 (side view)

Side view of the Australian Slouch Hat. This photo clearly shows the Unit Colour Patch - which was generally applied to the right hand side of the hat (the left side being the portion of the brim which was folded up or laid flat according to the 'occasion' or desire of the wearer. The colour patch was hand sewn to the Pugeree (external hat band), which came in two forms:- khaki cotton or a two inch woolen band. The World War 2 dated khaki cotton pugerees had six pleats stitched along the upper edge; in comparison to modern pugerees which have seven. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.

WW2 Australian Slouch Hat (Angle View)

Angled view of the World War 2 Australian Slouch Hat. The colour of the vent holes is generally brown (as seen in the image) or a dark green colour. If the colour of the actual eyelets are a very similar colour to that of the actual felt, this may be an indicator that the hat is of a later era (and not circa World War Two dated). Of course, the true indicator of age is the date which is stamped or impressed onto the inner sweat band (leather brow band or liner) of the hat. However, as it was common for the wearer to remove this sweatband (or the fact that some simply fell out as part of wear and tear) then you will need to rely on other methods to determine the year (era) of manufacture. Of course, hats with a dated sweatband are more valuable - from a collector's perspective.

Manufacturer Stamp - 1942 Australian Slouch Hat

The manufacturer's stamping on the leather brow band (sweat band or liner) of the pictured Slouch Hat. Dated 1942; this hat was made by a factory in the state of New South Wales, indicated by the "N121" stamping. The term "FUR FELT" relates to the fact that these hats are made from rabbit fur. It requires the hair fibres of between eight - and ten rabbits; to make just one hat. The numeral '7' relates to the size of the hat (Imperial measurement in inches) and the date '1942' obviously refers to the date of manufacture. From a collecting point of view, hats of this nature are becoming very sought after. Especially when many surviving hats have had the inner brow band removed. This was often done during service in the tropics, due to the fact that the leather band would cause excess perspiration and discomfort in the heat. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.

Australian Slouch Hat During World War 2

An image of an Australian soldier (Second AIF) taken circa 1941; during World War Two.  This photo shows the Slouch Hat being worn with the brim turned up on the left side.  This configeration is iconic to Australian tradition (despite the fact that Australians were not the first to wear a fur felt hat with the brim turned up like this).  The plain woollen pugeree that was common to early issue Slouch hats, can be seen and the unit colour patch is also evident.  A leather chin strap can be seen in use here; which secured the headwear in position.  The actual photograph is that of NX68905 Corporal Walter BOOTH who served with the 2/3 Reserve Motor Transport Company - 8th Australian Division.  Walter had served during the First World War in the 6th Light Horse Regiment; and then put his age down for service in the Second World War.  Having served in Malaya and Singapore, he was captured by the Japanese when Java fell and is mentioned in 'Weary' Dunlop's War Diaries (page 296) as a result of being savagely bashed by a Nipponese guard.  The medal ribbon on his chest is that of the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal from his service during the Great War. 


Wish to read Walter Booth's story?  PLEASE CLICK HERE


Walter's war medals were returned to his family in 2004.  CLICK HERE to read this Success Story.

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