Aeronautical Headgear British
Price = n/a
RAF Khaki Felt Bush Hat
Otherwise referred to as a 'Slouch Hat' they had their origins in the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, when the British Army learned from the Boers that their chosen civilian headgear had more practical advantages on campaign in both hot and wet climates over the 'Foreign Service' helmet. By the conclusion of the war virtually all British and Empire troops were issued with the slouch hat as a standard headdress. Comfortable to wear, the hat's wide brim shielded the eyes in bright sunlight and gave adequate protection in even the worst downpours and could be stowed easily, not suffering the consequences of being crushed. A cloth puggaree adorned the base of the hat, and when moistened with water this would cool the brow of the wearer in the hottest conditions. Those troops who fought in the initial campaigns against the Japanese in the Far East wore conventional European headdress but from 1942 the Slouch Hat regained favour and was issued on a large scale to all personnel, including Royal Air Force, as this example.
Ours is made from khaki coloured felt and the pattern is as issued to personnel serving in the Far East as well as the Western Desert in WWII. In exceptional display condition other than minor spot staining to the rim and very minor nibbles to the underside. It is fitted with the original cloth Puggaree with RAF 'flash' attached with 4 ventilation holes fitted to each side. The inner leather lining band is in good condition and is size stamped '71/8', 'V5553', dated 1944 and 'Patent Serial No.115305'. The inside of the leather hat band lining is nicely marked in ink with the original owners name 'Nash' ; sadly we don't have any history on him or where he served. No chin strap is present and we can't see any evidence of one ever having been fitted. Generally a good issued example and now becoming increasingly hard to find in any condition.