General officer's full dress scarlet tunic : General Sir Harry Chauvel

Place Europe: United Kingdom
Accession Number REL/04262.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Brass, Gilded brass, Gold bullion lace, Silk, Superfine wool, Wool
Maker Hawkes & Co Ltd
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1937
Conflict Period 1930-1939

Scarlet superfine tunic with dark blue wool stand collar and rounded cuffs. Collar edged all round with gold oak leaf pattern lace and white wool piping along upper edge and opening. At the shoulders, brass fittings covered with red wool to take shoulder slides of gold cord which attach to shoulder with screw fitting gilt general staff buttons. The cuffs are trimmed with two rows of wide gold oak leaf pattern lace and a black wool, three pointed flap trimmed with white wool piping, gold lace and three gilt general staff buttons. Eight large gilt general staff buttons made by 'PITT & Co. 31 MADDOX St. LONDON. W' at front of tunic, two at back waist and two each on back skirt sword flaps. Front edges of tunic, closed back skirt vent and sword flaps all edged with white wool piping. Back flaps and vent also trimmed with gold lace. Left front of tunic has embroidered eyes to take medals and decorations. Brass belt hook at left waist. Body of tunic lined with quilted fawn silk twill with two brass hooks sewn to edge of lining at left front waist. Corresponding brass eyes sewn into lining at right front edge. Three small ferrous metal spring clips stitched between first three buttonholes on inside left front, designed to support multiple neck decorations. Skirt lined with satin weave white wool. No inside pocket. Collar lined with black silk twill with matching neck tab and fastened with two brass hooks and eyes. At the back neck a tailor's label for 'Hawkes & Co. Ltd 1 Savile Row. W.1.', a 'BY APPOINTMENT' crest, and typed below 'General Sir H.G. Chauvel 15.4.37. Fol. 128.'.

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.