Slouch hat : Lieutenant J B N Osborne, 1st Australian Horse

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales
Accession Number REL/04696
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Headdress
Physical description Feathers, Ferrous metal, Fur felt, Gilded brass, Silk
Location Main Bld: Soldiers of the Queen Gallery: Main Room: Colonial Forces
Maker Unknown
Date made c1898
Conflict Australian Colonial Forces, 1854-1900

Myrtle green soft fur felt slouch hat with bash, and wide brim trimmed with narrow dark green silk ribbon. Black ribbed silk pugaree with three folds and buckram backing. On the right side of the bash are two coated metal eyelets; on the left side tucked into the pugaree are black, non original cock's feathers in a metal socket with the left side of the brim turned up and hooked in front. Original Australian Horse badge is missing but has been replaced with another from the collection, in gilded brass. Hat has no sweat band or chinstrap. Regulation chinstrap would have been of black patent leather with a bronze buckle.

History / Summary

Fur felt slouch hat, with plumes for full dress, worn by Lieutenant James Bunbury Nott Osborne as a member of the 1st Australian Horse. Born in New South Wales on 14 May 1878, and educated at Rugby College in England, Osborne was commissioned into the 1st Australian Horse on 1 January 1898, when he joined a contingent of the unit raised at Bungendore by his father, Pat Hill Osborne. The unit's first Easter camp was held at Currandooley, the nearby Osborne property, where Pat Osborne provided free rations, transport and forage. He also entertained the officers, including his son James, to dinner. During the Boer War, the Australian Horse provided two contingents, in 1899 and 1900. Osborne served as second in command with the first contingent, arriving in Cape Town on 13 December 1899. He was present at the Relief of Kimberley and while there, left the Australian Horse and took up a commission with the British 16th Lancers. He was closely involved in the surrender of Bloemfontein. Osborne took part in operations in Orange Free State and Transvaal between January 1900 and November 1900 and saw action at Reit River, Klip Drift, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, Dreifontein, Karee Siding, Belfast and Slingersfontein. He was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with five clasps. After taking ill, he was invalided to England. Osborne eventually returned to Australia and took up the family property 'Bowylie', at Gundaroo, NSW. He died in 1934.