Tomorrow (25 April) is a significant day for many Kiwis and Australians, it is a day we remember our war dead and honour those who have and those who are serving in the Defence Force.
The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea.
Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a sixth of those who served on Gallipoli (there is ongoing debate about this casualty figure).
For more info about Anzac day and its significance have a look at this NZ Defence Force website: http://nzdf.mil.nz/news/events/anzac/default.htm
As my own tribute to commemorate the day I thought I would show some of my examples of one of the most identifiable pieces of kiwi “kit”, that piece of headgear that is commonly called the Lemon Squeezer.
The first example is a WW1 lemon Squeezer that was worn by a member of the NZ Machine Gun Corps. It has had a bit of a hard life but it is a nice example of a English made felt hat with the cotton puggaree.This example has 4 vent holes and a fabric edge to the brim. Many collectors refer to this type of hat as an “Officers” style as the materials used are a bit finer than those used on other examples but the original owner of this particular hat wasn’t an officer and I believe they would have been available to all ranks of soldiers not just the officers.Unfortunately only about half the liner has survived but in the photos below you can see the pins holding the Machine Gun Corps badge on and the hook under the liner for attaching the chin strap.
The example below is a World War two Lemmon Squeezer. The badge and puggaree identify this as a NZ Engineers hat.
Again this example is a British manufactured felt hat. It still has the four vent holes but is missing the fabric edge to the brim. This particular hat was manufactured in 1942 by Denham & Hargreaves Ltd, Atherstone. The puggaree on this example is wool on wool, unlike the WW1 example above.The lining in this one is much better and though it does show signs of wear is at least complete. These photos show both the manufactures details stamped into the liner and the details of the original owner written in ink.