This is the third in a series of blogs about First World War uniforms and covers the basic aspects of the Australian Imperial Force headwear during the First World War.
The most distinctive and recognisable article of clothing worn by the Australian soldier was the khaki felt slouch hat. This item of headwear had been worn in Australia for some years before the turn of the century and was also popular elsewhere in the world. A similar hat was worn by the New Zealanders, the Canadians, the US Army, the Ghurkhas, and even the colonial German troops during the First World War, but it is very strongly identified with the Australian Imperial Force.
The slouch hat was first adopted in Australia by Colonel Tom Price in 1885 as the head dress for the Victorian Mounted Rifles, which he commanded. Originally it was worn looped up on the right hand side. The hat was widely worn by Australian troops during the Boer War, and in 1903, after Federation, it was universally adopted for the Australian Commonwealth Army.