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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Facial Hair in the Navy


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I was led to understand (or is it just an urban myth) that the RN only allowed its personnel to be clean shaven or to sport a "full set". This photo, probably of two brothers/cousins from the prolific Sussex Gratwicke clan, show two ratings both with moustaches (albeit fairly ephemeral on the seated one) Any ideas as to what this might mean?


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The photo is of two former RN ratings now members of the Royal Fleet Reserve. When these men turned up from civilian life for their annual training I believe they were not required to change their appearance by shaving off for the week or two that were were in the Fleet.

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Exactly. I well remember a civilian policeman many years ago challenging a man in naval uniform but with a moustache, only to be told the very same thing.

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