HMAS Success Sun Hat

An interesting item of headgear was regularly sold in ship’s canteens for purchase by the crew of a warship or auxiliary, that being a soft ‘cricket’ hat with the ship’s name and silhouette embroidered on the front. These were usually made of a soft blue fabric and their broad brim made them effective items to protect the head from the sun when on the upper decks: 

This example is named to the Durance class replenishment oiler HMAS Success which served with the RAN from 1980 to 2019 and the ship’s profile, pennant number and name are embroidered on the front of the cap: 

Turning the cap over we can see that a cotton sweatband is sewn into the cap: 

And a chin strap with toggle provided, essential for service at sea where hats are vulnerable to being blown overboard! 

The label gives care instructions, but the lack of NSN number or /|\ mark shows it is not an official piece of clothing: 

One former sailor recalls the caps: 

Definitely worn, usually when working on the uppers doing ships husbandry (chipping and painting). These weren’t issued, usually bought from the ship’s canteen onboard. I use one of my old ones for working around the yard these days… I wore ball caps most of the time and still have nearly all of them from the many ships that I served on. The floppy or cricket hat that I have is from one ship where I spent a lot of time on the upper decks especially when doing race tracks off Christmas Island 

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