Khaki service dress tunic: General Sir Harry Chauvel

Accession Number REL/04259
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Brass, Cotton twill, Gilded metal, Gold bullion thread, Silk grosgrain, Wool, Wool twill
Maker Hawkes & Co Ltd
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1937
Conflict Period 1930-1939

Khaki wool twill, single breasted tunic with open lapel collar decorated with red wool gorget patches that have a line of gold oakleaf embroidery down the centre and a small gilt general staff button. Wool twill shoulder straps each with gold metal rank badges for the rank of general, fastened to the tunic with gilt general staff button. Four large general staff buttons at front of tunic made by 'PITT & Co. 31 MADDOX St. LONDON.W'. Two patch breast pockets with central box pleat and three-pointed flaps fastened at each edge with small brass press studs and small general staff button in the centre. Below fitted waist at the sides are two expanding pockets with rounded flaps and small buttons. Above left breast pocket are two rows of medal ribbons. On the top row Order of St Michael and St George, Order of the Bath, Queen's South Africa Medal, 1914-15 Star and British War Medal 1914-1920; and on the lower row Victory Medal with MID, George V Jubilee Medal, George VI Coronation Medal, Egyptian Order of the Nile, and French Croix de Guerre. On the lower section of this pocket are two vertical rows of three embroidered eye loops to hold full sized decorations. Plain sleeves have pointed cuffs. Back of tunic has centre back seam that opens from the waist to the hem as a vent. Body of tunic above waist lined with khaki cotton sateen. Sleeves lined with white cotton twill. Two brass hooks and eyes at the inside to secure waist. Maker's label at back neck for 'Hawkes & Co. Ltd 1 Savile Row. W.1'. Also typed on the label 'General Sir H.G. Chauvel. 13.4.37. Fol. 120.'. Khaki cotton hanging tab also at back neck across label.

History / Summary

Tunic made and worn in England during General Sir Harry Chauvel's visit to London in 1937 as leader of the Australian Contingent to the coronation of King George VI. Born in 1865, Harry Chauvel served in the Boer War as a Major in the Queensland Mounted Infantry. He later assisted in the establishment of the Royal Military College, Duntroon. In 1914 he commanded the 1st Light Horse Brigade. After serving at Gallipoli, Chauvel led the Light Horse across the Sinai and received his knighthood after the battles of Magdhaba and Rafa in December 1916 and Janaury 1917. Chauvel was the first Australian to command a corps and in 1917 and 1918 his Desert Mounted Corps assisted the British army in driving the Turks from Palestine. Chauvel was chief of the Australian general staff from 1923 to 1930 and in 1929 was the first Australian to become a full general. He retired from the army in 1930. In 1940, aged 75, he was recalled to duty and appointed Inspector-General of the Volunteer Defence Corps. He died in 1945.