Original WWII Australian Felt "AKUBRA" Slouch Hat by Dunkerley - as used in Southeast Asia

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very desirable Australian-made felt "AKUBRA" brand Slouch Hat made by DUNKERLY LTD.. The maker name and model is stamped in Silver capital letters on the leather sweatband, together with size 7 and MADE IN AUSTRALIA. The company is associated with bush hats made of rabbit fur felt with wide brims that are worn in rural Australia, and exists to this day under the name AKUBRA. The name is believed to be derived from an Aboriginal word for head covering.

These were the Slouch Hats used by Australian forces in South East Asia against the Japanese and are noted for their use by the "CHINDITS" Special Forces Group. Hat comes complete with its correct King's Crown Cap Badge attached to the under the brim which is turned up and clipped to the main body of the hat. The brass badge displays the Crown in a Sun burst over an inscribed ribbon stating:


This slouch hat does not come with an exterior hat band or chin strap, and it appears that it was never fitted with them. The sweatband does not show much staining at all, so it's possible that this cap was never issued in the field. Original and having come from decades of family storage now ready to display. Hard to Find.

More About the "Slouch Hat":

A slouch hat is a wide-brimmed felt or cloth hat most commonly worn as part of a military uniform, often, although not always, with a chinstrap. It is a survivor of the felt hats worn by certain 18th century armies. Since then, the slouch hat has been worn by military personnel from many different nations including Australia, Britain, India, New Zealand, Southern Rhodesia, France, the United States, the Confederate States, Germany and many others. Australia has had a slouch as standard issue headwear since the late Victorian Era.

The distinctive Australian slouch hat, sometimes called an "Australian bush hat" or "digger hat", has one side of the brim turned up or pinned to the side of the hat with a Rising Sun Badge in order to allow a rifle to be slung over the shoulder.

The slouch hat was first worn by military forces in Australia in 1885 when the newly created Victorian Mounted Rifles adopted the hat as part of their uniform after their commanding officer, Thomas Price, had seen them worn by police in Burma. On 22 December 1890, the military commanders of the then separate Australian Colonies prior to the Federation of Australia met to discuss the introduction of the khaki uniform throughout Australia. They agreed that all Australian Forces with the exception of the Artillery would wear the slouch hat. It was to be looped up on one side: Victoria and Tasmania on the right and the other colonies (later states) on the left. This was done so that rifles could be held at the slope without damaging the brim. After Federation, the slouch hat became standard Australian Army headgear in 1903 and since then it has developed into an important national symbol.

The slouch hat (also known as a Hat KFF, or Hat Khaki Fur Felt) is worn as the standard ceremonial headress for all members of the Army, except those belonging to units or corps that have an official headress such as a beret, and is treated with the utmost care and respect. It is also worn in some units as general duty dress. When worn for ceremonial purposes, the "Grade 1" Slouch hat is worn with a seven-band puggaree, six of which represent the states of Australia while the seventh represents its territories of Australia. A Unit Colour Patch is worn on the right of puggaree, while a Corps or Regiment Hat badge is placed to its front and the General Service Badge (The Rising Sun) worn on the left brim which is folded up and clipped into place. When worn for general duties, the "Grade 2" Slouch hat is worn with the left brim down and the Rising Sun badge removed.

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