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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

NZ Gallipoli slouch hat ?


Florent

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I bought this hat about 10 years ago when a huge old collection of military headgear was sold.

It was sold as an Australian one( maybe because an old label was glued on the sweatband with " Chapeau Australien 1915 " (in french).

I knew that the badge is the 14th south Otago.

The " Pugaree" is missing but one can see its shadow.

A Name and a serial number are written on the sweatband : 8/1817 PARR.

After some researches in New Zealand, I found that Corporal Cuthbert Parr, 8/1817, from Pleasant Point, South Canterbury,left NZ with the 4th Reinforcement on 17th April 1915 and landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on 7th June 1915.

He survived to Gallipoli and arrived in France after till end of war ( he became an officer).

My question: I didn't know that Kiwis wore turn up slouch hat like the Australians. I presume that this the type they wore at beginning of the war before to wore the lemonssqueezer hat and maybe Parr give up this hat in France when he was issued a new one model . Am I right ?

Waiting for your comments.

Thanks

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post-10602-1213536846.jpg

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post-10602-1213536961.jpg

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Hey FLORENT nice find and welcome to the forum. The Kiwis most definatly did wear that style of hat. In your third pic there is a shiny popper in the centre of the photo ? can you read the manufacturers name on it ? Although this may have been added later "MO"

kiwislouchcropcc.jpg

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Thanks for your reply!

the popper has "RG" (with the R turned to the left )mark.

It was professionaly made not added after I guess (with the 2 small vent holes above).

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Hi, Florent

Yes, we turned our hats up at the side, too. You'll find photos of them doing just that in both the Boer War and WW1. You can have a read about our hat styles here.

Allie

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Hi Florent

A very nice hat you have.

I would say it was English Made, it is not the type worn by New Zealander's to Gallipoli, you will find they were issued with new uniforms on arrival to the UK, the issue uniforms would have been lice ridden and very tatty after couple of moths at Gallipoli.

The hats they departed NZ with did not have air vents or press studs

They had the type with the lions head attached to a leather strap, if turned up on its side.

The press stud type I have seen here are English made although they did receive some Australian made hats in the Sinai Palestine.

Hats were also purchased private purchase in the UK and I have seen ads advertising, felt hats for sale for this purpose.

The slouch hat style was worn up till the later part of 1916, so that is not unusual, and it is also possible it was shaped that way at some later date by its French owner, if you view it from the top can you see a cross type shape, that it has been reshaped, if not as I said the other style was worn up to late 1916

Hope this is of some help

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Thanks for your replys,

English made seems interesting. Perhaps it is an Australian type with press stud, english made, supplied/purchased in England before to arrive in France ?

Did you see the badge , I guess it's a local made ( cast).

So I understand that this type of hat were worn possibly by NZ infantrymen till end of 1916.

Last thing; I will ask Parr file to the NZ Archives, what can I hope it contains ? Are personnal file very accurate , like unit, wounds...

I want to know in which regiment/company Parr belong.

Thanks again

Florent

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Hi

Yes it looks to be English made, can you add a picture of the air vents from the outside of the hat and also the press stud on the outer side.

Sand cast badges were produced, In Egypt, for the troops,.

I am not sure why you would give your hat and badge away, when you were on leave a hat was always present.

I guess we will never no how it stayed in France.

The issue hat was one hat one chinstrap and Puggaree, The hats were not shaped, that was up to the solider himself to do.

The files will be worth getting is he served all the way through the war as you have said, you will find all the info you will need on him.

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Florent,

the shape of the crown's mothing would indicate that it was origionally 'lemon-squeezered'. After returning from Gallipoli,there was a shortage of equipment,so an Aussie( or English made ) hat would do just fine. Replacement badges ,made in Egypt were common at this time also. It also shows signs of having had a pugaree( Infantry=khaki,red,khaki ) origionally.

There is no reason for him to replace it later,so probably continued to wear it in France, maybe even as a type of 'old-hand's'mark of distinction.?

Cheers !

Steve

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Thanks for your interesting and useful comments .

I will add some new photographs this evening as I am at work now.

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when he was commissioned would he be issiued with an officer grade hat? and then discarded his other ranks hat.??

mike. perth.

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Mores details of the hat:

post-10602-1213641333.jpg

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post-10602-1213641920.jpg

First billet occupied by 14h Company, 1st Battalion near Sercus, on arrival in France (Avril-May 1916)

from Official History of the Otago Regiment.

Hats seems of same shape as mine, isn't ?

Florent

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Hi Florent

That is the same shape as your hat.

The press stud has a very distinctive pattern on it.

No officers pattern felt hat existed, they were all the same most likely private purchase, if anyone had the money you could own a private purchase hat, so I still can not see why he did not reshape it and keep wearing it.

The leather sweat band looks quite clean so he did not wear to death.

Jonathan

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Florent,

the shape of the crown's mothing would indicate that it was origionally 'lemon-squeezered'.

Steve

I disagree with this Steve , In fact I think the opposite . I dont think this hat has ever been squeezed. Some of the British made hats just did not lend themselves to squeezing, the crown being much too low. Although I am no expert on Kiwi stuff I would like to bet that not every soldier "squeezed" or was ordered to squeeze his hat and that the slouch style hat was worn by some NZ troops right up till the end of the war ? And as for how it got to be left in France ? who knows . Stolen in a pub , given to a lady friend etc etc . Still a very nice find though "MO"

P.s. as a matter of interest when was "Squeezing" introduced ? I have pics taken early 1916 with a mixture of squeezed and non squeezed hats and then there,s this one of officers and men ? doing a Haka in Bournmouth in Sept 1916 and not a squeeze in sight .

hakameyrickbouurnmouth370cc.jpg

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I agree with you Montbrehain, this hat was never "squeezed". From the shape it has and because too low.

Nice to learn that such hats were worn till end of the war, I believed that "lemon-squeezer" definitivly replaced old type hats in the middle of the war.

I like your photograph ! same hats, but without badges on front.

What means " MO" ??

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Mo, according to diggerhistory, the lemon squeezer was originally used by the 11th Taranaki Rifles under Malone, in 1911. He then took the style with him to 1st Battalion the 5th Wellington Regiment when they were readying the expeditionary force for WW1. So those are the only two regiments you'd see it with to any great extent initially.

Allie

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Hi

Here is some info it may be of some help.

In reorganization after Gallipoli campaign Major General Godely endeavored to standardize the wearing of headgear. He instructed that all troops, apart from the mounteds, would wear the slouch hat with brim horizontal, and and crowned peak with four dents.

This came in, I can not locate it at the moment was around 1916.

the following is an extract from the diary of Corporal James W.McKenzie No 1 Field Ambulance NZMC referring to the public reaction to wearing of the 'lemon squeezer' as experienced by himself and his comrades whilst on leave in Paris

Very few Parisians noticed our faces, but all the eyes of Paris were fixed on our hats. A few only knew us as New Zealanders, and we overheard people calling us Americans, Mexicans, Spaniards, Russians, Italians, Australians, but most of them fancied we were Boy Scouts. i was never the centre of so much interest in all my life and I suppose after all, it was my hat more than myself that drew attention.

As for a hat too low to be shaped into a lemon squeezer, that is wrong even a boy scout hat can be squeezed.

I have a few English made examples from very large crowns to tiny, I have seen many examples and have a few hundred photographs, all sizes exist.

After seeing the pic from the side,it appears to not have been squeezed. and yes a very nice hat it is :).

Jonathan

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Hello Jonathan , thanks for that . I had read the description of what the French thought the Kiwis were before :lol: Although I have no proof , I still reckon not all NZ troops "Squeezed" their hats. Hopefully somebody maybe able to put us right on exact dates and stuff ? I never said British made hats were not squeezed (because I have seen, held and worn some that were). But some British made hats just did not look right when squeezed. The original ones I have seen vary so much in shape an size its unbelievable. Ranging from some with a brim much wider than an aussie slouch hat to minuscule brims with hardly any crown. I suppose they wore what they could get ? As you would know , The first rule of collecting is Nothing is certain ;) "MO"

greytowershirewscrop.jpg

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Hi MO

I found this

N.Z.E.F Order 135/1916

Dress: SLOUCH HAT, WEARING OF.

The slouch hat will be in future be worn by all ranks as follows:-

Brim horizontal-Crown peaked

The only exception to that was the Mounted Rifles.

The photo you have shown of troopers wearing slouch hat style are New Zealand Mounted Rifles Troopers of 1st Canterbury Mounted Rifles and 2nd CYC Mounted Rifles and a trooper of 7th Southland Mounted rifles, one Army service corps also some NZMR in the photo are wearing lemon squeezers that is why you can see both styles.

By 1917 it would be unlikely to see anyone NZ infantry wearing slouch hat style

Also the other photo of the Haka being performed is New Zealand Engineers

Jonathan

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Thanks Jonathan , Good info ! The group photo was taken at Grey Towers in February 1916 (at least that's when it was posted). "MO"

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