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Officers steward uniform 1946

Seaking824

Badgeman
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.
 

slim

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.
 

Seaking824

Badgeman
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.
 

alanbach

Lantern Swinger
I believe it all changed late 50s ....writers and jack dusties also wore fore and aft rig.
 

alanbach

Lantern Swinger
I believe it all changed late 50s ....writers and jack dusties also wore fore and aft rig.
 

2badge_mango

War Hero
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.

2BM
 

slim

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
 

2badge_mango

War Hero
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.

2BM
 

Skipperino

Badgeman
No doubt I'm going to have the p*ss taken out of me, and my apologies for bumping such an old thread; but Class III rig was retained for Artificer Apprentices and Local Entry Ratings (from Hong Kong) after they were generally withdrawn in 1956 for most civil branch junior ratings (this was also about the time civil branch officers lost their distinction cloth colours, apart from doctors and a few others); until it's final demise in September 1997, when it was deleted. No doubt that had something with handing Hong Kong back to China.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
No doubt I'm going to have the p*ss taken out of me, and my apologies for bumping such an old thread; but Class III rig was retained for Artificer Apprentices and Local Entry Ratings (from Hong Kong) after they were generally withdrawn in 1956 for most civil branch junior ratings (this was also about the time civil branch officers lost their distinction cloth colours, apart from doctors and a few others); until it's final demise in September 1997, when it was deleted. No doubt that had something with handing Hong Kong back to China.
The LEP chefs and stewards all wore that rig on the Rusty B when I was on there 1974 - 1977, they all disappeared when it was de-commissioned in late '76 though
 

Skipperino

Badgeman
Junior ratings of the supply and secretarial, regulating, and medical branches wore Class III rig until 1956, when they were put back into square rig (I think there may have been others), but I think there were several non-tiffs that wore it between that date and 1966, anyone have any idea who that was?

So would the chefs and stewards have worn the diagonal Serge suit with black buttons and red cap badge, or the tropical tunic with white buttons (the tropics version of Class III)?
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
They wore black buttons and red cap badge IIRC. I never saw them in full tropical rig as far as I remember. The commissioning book shows them in white shorts and trop shirts with black socks and shoes.
 
Junior ratings of the supply and secretarial, regulating, and medical branches wore Class III rig until 1956, when they were put back into square rig (I think there may have been others), but I think there were several non-tiffs that wore it between that date and 1966, anyone have any idea who that was?

So would the chefs and stewards have worn the diagonal Serge suit with black buttons and red cap badge, or the tropical tunic with white buttons (the tropics version of Class III)?

When my Great-Granddad (a former comms rating) visited me at Raleigh for my passing out parade, he wouldn't stop dripping about me being in class II rig as apparently I'd not earned the right to wear it, being an SA and not a seaman.
 
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