What do you know about the slouch hat?
Although believed to be uniquely Australian, similar styles of slouch hats were used by many other countries long before it was part of the Australian military uniform. The first Aussie users of the hats were soldiers fighting the Boer War when there was a severe shortage of helmets. The simple khaki felt hat was chosen for the then newly created Victorian Mounted Rifles by their commanding officer, Colonel Tom Price, in 1885. Price had served in Burma where the native police wore a similar hat. The right side of the brim was turned up to cater for rifle drill and for the “eyes right” command. Some units adorned their hats with the plumes of birds such as eagles, swans, ostriches, etc. The best known, particularly after the Light Horse’s WW1 exploits in the desert, were the emu feathers, still worn today with the brim pinned by the rising sun badge. Since Federation the Australian slouch hat has the left hand side turned up.