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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Other Ranks' Service Dress Jacket

ID Number    UNI001

Title               Other Ranks' Service Dress Jacket

Maker            Reed & Bush

Object Type   Uniform

Place made     Australia

Date made      1916

Physical          Cotton; Oxidised brass; Brass; Leather; Wool

An other rank's unlined khaki wool service dress jacket with a stand and fall collar, pleated breast pockets with pointed flaps, and large expanding pockets on each hip, also with pointed flaps. The front of the jacket, pockets, cuffs and shoulder straps and collar are fastened with pressed leather buttons – these having replaced the original vegetable composition buttons. A fabric false belt is sewn to the waist and the free end fastens with a brass slide buckle. A box pleat runs from back yoke down the length of the jacket for expansion and ease of wear. The back of jacket is also loosely pleated into the waistband while the front is shaped by four vertical darts running behind the pockets. The collar bears oxidised brass 'Rising Sun' general service badges, and the shoulder straps have straight oxidised brass 'AUSTRALIA' titles. There is rank insignia for sergeant on the upper right sleeve (being made from a corporal to which has been added a single stripe) and four blue woven service chevrons sewn to the lower right sleeve (these are in fact upside down with the point down as opposed to up), indicating 4 years overseas service beginning in 1915. Above the left hand chest pocket is two small incisions to which a ribbon bar for the Military Medal has been added. A printed cotton manufacturer's label sewn to the inside back yoke reads, 'REED & BUSH SIZE 20 1916. The jacket has been altered by a tailor to give a better fit by the partial removal of the collar and creating two large darts that run diagonally from the front of the collar to the outer corner of each breast pocket, and then replacing the collar. The sleeve length has been reduced by removing the cuff and shortening the sleeve and reattaching the cuff.  A hook and eye have been sewn to the edges of the collar to allow it to be fastened together, thereby creating a smart look that was much in fashion with some individuals. The chest pockets have had glove snaps sewn to their insides to prevent the corners from turning up. There is evidence of unit colour patches having been removed in the past.

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