Another boring historical uniform question?

Discussion in 'History' started by Skipperino, Feb 4, 2016.

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  1. As part of my attempt to be nominated as 'most boring seafarer 2016', just thought I'd ask if any of the more historically-minded members of the forum could answer the following nitbit of trivia:

    Why do CPO's reefer jackets have six buttons, but commissioned and warrant officers have eight? Could the Admiralty just not spare the cash for the extra buttons, is there some odd naval tradition explaning it?

    Any answers greatly recieved. The best answer gets a lifetime's subscription to 'Telegraph Pole Spotter's Monthly' and a sculpture of John Major made out of my bellbutton fluff.
  2. Warrant officers have 6
  3. My mistake...but anyone any idea why that is?
  4. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    It dates back to the time when officers, being posh and well fed and so were taller than ratings and needed longer jackets than stumpy POs and CPOs who had rickets, short jackets and fewer buttons.

    Admiral Beatty wore 6 buttons because he'd swapped his reefer with his exception to the rule 6' 9" tall Chief Yeoman. Beatty was an egg.

    Naval history-fascinating stuff.
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  5. UUMM let me think where am I Barge, Lill's?

    History is great
  6. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Not only taller, officers' jaws were more 'square' than those of ratings, as demo'd in In Which We Serve and The Cruel Sea.

    Back to buttons: strictly counting, CPOs have 12 buttons, POs 10, Officers 8.

    For the OP, the answer may be as simple as the answer to the question; why do Killicks have one hook and POs have two?
  7. Nice speedy edit. Maths not a strong point eh!
  8. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Not when fat fingers, iPhone size keys and the beer coefficient is included. It is Friday.
  9. Seadog must be really keen to get the magazine subscription and statuette.
  10. It boiled down to cost. When Chief and PO's first wore uniforms the cut was single breasted and comparatively cheap from rough serge Only room for 6 buttons (That were in themselves expensive.) Those aft with pots of money could afford Double Breasted in fine Barathea with room for 8 buttons and a breast pocket for their handerchiefs. The first CPO's in the US navy went straight into double breasted and 8 buttons.
  11. Speaking of, I've seen a number of images like these



    Now I've seen SCC staff wear the second insignia as "Acting" or "Probationary" Petty Officer, but anyone know their true origins? And why they're no longer in use?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Back to the jacket question. When I joined as a young scribe in 1951 (Yes I'm an old git) I and my class mates were issued with two blue suits. Rough serge, single breasted with three black buttons (and red branch badge)
  13. Didn't that look a little odd? Not to say lop-sided?!!
  14. That was when S&S were dressed as Tiffs. The 3 button jackets were single rather than double breasted.
  15. I see. Apologies. My bad.
  16. Although, rough serge sounds like a French rugby player :)
  17. Some 20 years ago, No 1 Son was an honorary midshipman at Liverpool URNU - he and his colleagues wore 6 buttons rather than 8. Was/is this standard procedure for URNUs?

    He was allowed 8 in the Merchant Navy, and subsequently collected four gold rings as a master mariner. Not much occasion to wear the full fig, though he looked smart at his wedding. He was a bit put out when a passer-by asked if he was an airline pilot.

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