Peaked cap : Pilot Officer J C Burraston, RAF

Accession Number REL34401.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Headdress
Physical description Cotton, Gilded brass, Gold bullion thread, Leather, Mohair, Patent leather, Velvet, Wool
Maker Gieves Ltd
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1940
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Officer's RAF blue wool peaked cap with black mohair band, black patent leather chinstrap, brown leather sweatband and a gold bullion, velvet and gilded brass officer's cap badge, showing laurel leaves and eagle surmounted by a king's crown. he cap is lined with blue top stitched cotton and bears a woven manufacturer's label for 'Gieves Ltd 21, Old bond Street, London, W1'. 'J.C. BURRASTON' is written in ink across the bottom of the label in space provided for the owner's name.

History / Summary

Worn by Jack Clarence Burraston who served as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Burraston was born in Glen Innes, NSW, in July 1917. He joined the Royal Australian Artillery in 1937 and was posted to Darwin in May 1938. Returning to Melbourne in January 1939 he successfully applied for a flying course at Point Cook. Opportunities to join the RAAF were limited pre-war and Burraston successfully answered an advertisement from the RAFseeking Australians for officer and pilot training. He embarked for England aboard the Orama, together with 21 other Australians accepted for the scheme, on 13 August 1939. War was declared while the group was still at sea. In England Burraston undertook officer, basic and advanced flying training at Cambridge, Ansty and Cranwell. He was killed in a training accident on 6 July 1940 when he accompanied another pilot during acrobatic training. After making a stall turn the aircraft failed to recover and crashed into the River Trent, killing both men. Burraston was buried at St Andrew's Church, Cranwell, on 10 July. He was the first of 12 men among the 22 Australians to lose their lives in the Second World War.