Officers steward uniform 1946

My father served his national service the RN 1947, he was on HMS Dido in 1946 or 1947 at the King of Denmarks funeral.

I have several pictures of him in uniform at that time, he was an officers steward or "wine steward" rating but he never wore the standard uniform of a rating like me, bell bottom trousers and white cap etc.

My pictures of him show him in a collor and tie with a black peaked cap, although he was not a PO. Can anyone shine a light on this please.

I have searched in vain for information on why he wore this particular uniform, my mother even remembers always washing his white shirts and said from his time of joining the RN that's all he ever wore.

Any help would be appreciated.


War Hero
In days of old many non senior rates wore what is now seen as a senior rates uniform. They included Artificer apprentices, Officer Stewards, Sick berth ratings (SBAs the forerunners of MAs).
There may well have been others.
Well well, many thanks for the speedy reply, I knew there had to be a reason somewhere. I had no idea OS ratings in that era wore jacket and ties.
Seaking 824
I was an Officers' Cook. Joined in 1952 and was issued with what was known as "class III uniform" (class II being "men dressed as seamen", class I senior rates)
We wore a single breasted rough serge suit with black horn buttons and red branch badge, a peaked cap with a badge similar to a PO but all red, white shirt, black tie. We were issued with six detached collars, three shirts, a navy blue pullover (short sleeve V neck), plus all the usual No 8s etc.
On completion of part one training, adult ratings were allowed to make an allotment to a naval tailor in order to purchase a double breasted suit with a gold branch badge, juniors were not allowed to make allotments and therefore had to wait until rated assistant cook/steward, or probationary SA, writer, sick berth attendant etc. My dad sent me £16 to buy a "tiddley"
suit when I was in part II training. We, with the exception of SBAs, did our part II training at HMS Ceres, near Wetherby, Yorks, which subsequently returned to it's former role as a secure unit for young offenders, which it still is, when training was transferred to Chatham.
I could PM you a couple of photos if you are interested.
Conversion to class II rig started in 1956. I was serving in the W'Indies in 1958 and was still able to alternate uniforms, going ashore sometimes dressed as a seaman, and other times in an ice cream suit. I finally dropped the class III rig in 1961, but am not absolutely sure when the official final date was. Artificer Apprentices were still wearing class III when I left the RN in 1975.
Hope this is of help- please feel free to PM me if you need any more info.



War Hero
Artificer apprentices continued wearing what 2BM termes class III uniform until there demise. I don't know the exact year but I left in 1985 and it was still in then.
The first unit to wear this uniform was the Royal Naval Air Service. It did not take very long for senior Air Service officers to realise that the seamans costume was not suitable for working on aircraft and a war they would mostly fight ashore. After a few months they went into kahki as well, the officers and men.As Flight Commander Charles R Samson said "The Royal Naval Air service was the best service ever."If you are in the same service then all personel should wear the same uniform. On the subject of uniforms can some one explain why the ratings beret badge has not got a crown on it, ater all it is the ROYAL navy
As a slight deviation, but generally on the same subject, during, and for many years after WWII, cooks worked in AWD, ie No 8s. When we changed back into whites, mid 1955, we were issued with T shirts (vests, knitted, cooks) which went baggy in the wash and looked like nightshirts after a few washes. Most ships and establishments turned a blind eye, and allowed us to wear tropical shirts, and later a reasonable garment was substituted. When we changed to square rig, we could no longer wear our class III jackets over whites when moving between the mess and the galley (quite a hike in some shore establishments), so we were issued ex WWII battledress jackets, and I can well remember turning to early turn at Yeovilton with cooks in any one of three different rigs. Whites, with class III peaked cap and uniform jacket, or peaked cap and battledress jacket, or class II cap and battledress jacket. I left Heron in March 1961 and joined Raleigh as Captain's L/Cook, so was "out of the loop" for the best part of 3 years. By the time I joined my next ship in Nov 1963, all supply ratings had completely changed rig.

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