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April 22 2007 at 6:20 AM
Alex  (Login gate1)
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Response to Tunic question

(sorry my last posting was anon)

I'm not doubting the use of open necked tunics by senior ranks, but as mentioned, this was the exception rather than the norm. It is likely that senior NCOs in general would be able to get away with it if anyone.

As I mentioned in my previous postng, this was in most occasions allowed as a working dress, which by your comments appear to bear this out. The Flight photo would be considered a formal occasion, and those showing the Sergeants overseeing the bombing up, or working on the Wapiti more so (in fact these would very much be working dress if anything).

If the band photo was taken in 1920 its highly probable that the Sergeant was still using the older style tunic (which was only approved in the blue grey colour from October 1st 1919). If you have a parade of RAF in London, or similar it might be different, but those you mention, with the exception of the Band photo (when only one member is wearing a tunic) seem to show working or informal situations. I have a photo of a formal inspection of 1924 and only the officers have the open collar, but the size wont allow me to post it here.

On the subject of breeches and trousers, the argument of Breeches and putties being official does not hold firm. An Air Ministry Order of 25th March 1920 (AMO 292/20) made the wearing of field boots and putties optional for all ranks, the same order replacing the blue shirt with white and also authorising the greatcoat.

Incidentally, a widely known fact is the use of the closed collar tunics and peaked caps by Poles during the war, using the remaining stocks until more stocks of the side cap and open collar became available.

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