South African Navy Warrant Officer’s Cap

Last week we looked at the uniform of a South African Navy warrant officer. Today we are taking a closer look at the matching peaked cap:

The design of the cap is similar to that of many other navies and the design is clearly heavily influenced by that of the Royal Navy, from which the South African force was descended. The white top of the cap is made form vinyl, with a black mohair band and a black leather type peak. The cap has a simple chin strap, secured at either side with a pair of South African Naval buttons featuring the lion holding a tusk emblem used by the South Africans during minority rule:

The cap badge itself again shows British influence, but updated to suit South Africa:

The crown has been replaced with the lion motif, and the sprigs of oak leaves either side of the anchor have been replaced with red flowers called protea more appropriate to the nation as they are indigenous to Southern Africa. The protea was used extensively in South African heraldry at this period and was part of a wider movement from the 1950s onwards to adopt heraldic symbols appropriate to the nation rather than just using inherited European symbols.

The cap has a leathercloth sweat band and a clear plastic liner to it, with just a sticker for its manufacturer- no stores or sizing information is visible at all:

It is nice to be able to have a complete set of uniform like that for this South African warrant officer and we will be looking at a reconstruction later in the year and put the full set together.

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