Uniform query

Discussion in 'History' started by Taz_786, Feb 14, 2006.

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  1. Go on then - give us a clue! Should there be a picture attached to your post by any chance?
     
  2. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    The Kings clothes comes to mind, but who can see it? :lol:
     
  3. They may mean the ice cream suit, not issued since the early 1990s but still can be worn by those issued with it (ie people like me - though it was tailored for my svelt 21 year old frame, and therefore I can no longer fit into it! Wardrobe shrinkage!).

    The bush jacket is the present sole issue item for tropical ceremonial (used to be issued alongside the ice cream suit, was it 4Ws and 5Ws?), though I've heard a rumour that the ice cream suit is making a return.
     
  4. It is the old 'ice cream suit' super-smart for extremely formal occasions

    Completely impractical - it has been replaced by the bush jacket at sea to all intents and purposes (the material changed too, so it is possible to wear white uniform for more than 10 minutes wihout looking like a scran bag)

    I think it is still theoretically available for certain ceremonial occasions by senior officers - presumably most of the ones HRH attends!
     
  5. It is the ice cream suit. It is no longer routine issue but it is sometimes loaned out occasionally for ceremonial occasions in sunny climes. The CO and Gunz of my last ship had both been issued it for the Queen's Birthday Parade that took place during the visit to Grand Cayman.

    Apparently, it's horribly starched and very uncomfortable to wear.
     
  6. It looks like the one the Americans wear in all their films, accompanied by cliched salutes and quotes such as "You can be my wingman any time!" - there again I suppose if its RN tradition then why not?

    While we're on this subject can anyone shed any light on another query, I have a photgraph of my grandfather in his seamans suit from the Second World War, his jumpers collar is the same black colour as the rest of the jumper and there are no three white lines on it. The whitefront underneath isnt white at all but looks black as well (its a black and white photo). His cap is black too and he has no lanyard either. What uniform was this?

    Also the badge on his arm is of a lightning bolt with 2 wings either side of it. What trade does this denote? He was something to do with wireless I have been told.

    Edited to add: His cap tally doesnt bear the name of a ship but just HMS. Was he waiting to be posted to a ship when this was taken then?
     
  7. A few of the points I can answer - the black jumper is winter rig - a relatively corse jumper that is supposed to be worn in place of the white front in cold weather. I've only ever seen it worn once in the '90s and is/was very unpopular with the JRs - is it still issue?

    The caps in winter were black, with a white cover over them in the summer. During the uniform revamp in the '50s caps went to permanent white cover.

    In wartime, to prevent identification of units by enemy spies, all ratngs wore just 'HMS' on their cap tallies.

    The difference with the jumper and wearing of the lanyayd may be down to a daily working rig, not as ornate as the best rig, in the same way that until relatively recently Officers had a much better quality reefer jacket for ceremonial occasions.
     
  8. Trade badge is a Radio Operator (Communicator).
     
  9. Thanks guys. On the collar and lanyard I think you're right, as I saw a photo of some modernday USN ratings and they had similar to my grandad, no lanyard and a solid collar the same colour as the jumper, although they were in their whites. They also appeared to be using a yellow duster as some sort of gay cravat!

    By reefer you mean the doublebreasted suit jacket? As a point of interest what do senior rates wear when seamen wear their white jumpers and officers wear "ice cream man" suit?

    I think the non-named cap tally to hide units thing is very funny, obviously spies wouldnt just get a hotel with a sea view and train a pair of binoculars on the ships in the harbour then!!
     
  10. Senior rates have their own ice cream suit with four buttons instead of five.
     
  11. Well, you have a lot of Matelots moving around the country in wartime, joining ships, going on leave, going on courses etc. Lets say a ship is just leaving build, enemy spies will suddenly see lots of sailors with, for example, the cap tally HMS COMPASS ROSE, on the trains, buses etc travelling to a Chatham, or Guzz, or Pompey etc. They'll know that ship is about to commission. Similarly, they can keep an eye on what units have arrived, without having to look suspicious by viewing the port area, just by what sailors cap tallies are in port. Movements of a Ships company joining or leaving a ship can be tracked - not a good thing in wartime - ie of there are lots of them on the trains from the same ship you know that the ship is probably going to spend more than a few days alongside.
     
  12. Ah right makes more sense now. Is that the reasoning behind the cap tally HM SUBMARINES as well? They do not have tallies with Tireless or Turbulent or whatever on so that the comings and goings of submarines that might be off on something a bit sneaky-beaky are not observed so easily?
     
  13. It's the same reason submariners have HM SUBMARINES on their cap tallies - can't be too careful. I think the Aussies simply have HMAS on all their cap tallies, but that may just be because they forgot to change back after the war..
     
  14. The Ice Cream suit is back. Rumour has it Big Al didn't like the fact that the Septics still had them and we didn't. Any way, legend has it that in the days before the action coverall it was the action rig of choice for officers and senior rates because of its outstanding anti flash properties. Then again perhaps you should not believe every thing an old GI tells you!
     
  15. I'd have said that the Blue Suit with a collar the same would have been 'Night Clothing' - usually the "No.2" suit of serge with no cotton collar worn. The 'jumper' underneath would have been a sea jersey - winter clothing which was worn instead of the white front.
    The branch badge would indeed have been that of a Radio Operator, but called 'Telegraphist' in those days, in fact up until the late 1950s.

    Cap Tallies - 'HMS' and 'HM Submarines' - the explanation by 'PartTimer' seems fine to me, though I'm sure there were economic reasons as well. There was also a great deal of personnel movement between ships as well and with the best tallies being made of gold (OK, golden) wire, I'm sure it saved some money. The use by submariners of HM Submarines was originally more due to the great deal of movement of personnel between different boats, e.g. from 'Spare Crews' etc, at short notice, though this has reduced now (most of the 'Diesel' Squadrons could comprise up to 10 boats). It was also the submariner's mean of identifying himself as a member of the elite, when in working dress - the 'badge' came a bit later and was only worn in square rig anyway.
     
  16. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Gook asked
    Double breasted suit jacket? Pongos have been filled in for less. They'll tell you that our (Officers'/WOs'/SRs' ) best uniform is nasty (but not as nasty as the Crabs' No1s). It's just a civvy suit jacket with some fancy buttons and badges etc. I see what Percy means but they are still basstards!

    'Reefer' is fine.
     
  17. Neggers Cheggers. We all get issued the bush jacket now. (I'll check the number of buttons next time I go up into my loft)
     
  18. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    "Bush Jacket-Mans-RN Officers and Class I & III" says the label in mine from Slops, less than one year ago. Four buttons not including the smally ones (for everyone). Yet to be worn in anger.

    My anorak label says.............
     
  19. Aussies still wear full whites for all ranks in summer. The difference for the sailors is that the collar is a button-on one not with the tapes. The cap tally has the name of each ship or submarine i.e. HMAS Anzac or HMAS Collins. Oz Submariners never wore HM SUBMARINES since they acquired their own boats but may have worn them during the war. Notice that RN submariners now wear the name of the boat i.e. HMS Trafalgar
     

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