Unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services 

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Australian & New Zealand Slouch (Digger) Hats

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Reproduction of the WW1 Light Horse slouch hat & emu plumes

Reproduction of the WW1 Infantry slouch hat with band band


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The famous New Zealand "Lemon Squeezer" slouch hat. WW2 version above and more recent version. Below is the other version of a "bash" as worn by Mounted Rifle units and some infantry units. This one has a Logistics Corps badge.

New Zealand Mounted Rifles style slouch hat

Hat Protector

Since the slouch hat became a " ceremonial parade dress only" item careful storage has become a more important issue. 

Some Diggers have taken to using a storage box as displayed. 

They are not an item of issue but are useful and do ensure that the hat is stored in such a way as to protect it. 

Originally they were "home made' but now commercial models are available.

The Digger Hat

I've seen some lids in days gone by
From Bris. to Dunedoo;
Top hats that strive to reach the sky,
And cloth caps round the "Loo;
The sombrero and the stockman
That shade from Queensland suns,
The topi that is favourite
On many outback runs

I've have seen in busy roadways
All the fashions cities know-
The bowler and the pork-pie
With its crown so very low.
I have seen the swagman's relic,
The turban and the fez,
And all the hats that cut a style
From Sydney to Suez.

But there's a hat I'm wearing,
And I think it beats them all
From the Cape to San Francisco,
From Melbourne to Whitehall;
For it's been in many countries
And in each it did its share,
From the mud and slush of Flanders
To Sinai's heat and glare.

So I'm proud to wear my rabbit's fur
Although she's creased and worn,
And not so slick as polished caps
The Tommies' heads adorn;
For it has an air of Aussie,
Of "Come and have a drink?"
The good old easy style that leads
To glory or "the clink."

It exudes the smell of gum leaves
From crown to sweaty band
And often makes me homesick
In this Palestinian sand;
But it stands for Right and Manhood-
And who'd want more than that?
That's why, one day in '40
I took the Digger hat!

Tip Kelaher

Tip Kelaher was born in Sydney in December, 1914. In 1940 he enlisted in the 2/2nd Machine Gun Battalion and later that year sailed for the Middle East. In the Palestine camp of Khassa, Tip turned his hand to writing poetry. Tip Kelaher was tragically killed at EL Alamein on 14 July 1942 in action at the Battle for Egypt.

Australian & New Zealand soldiers in the Gallipoli Museum

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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces