Friday, August 9, 2013

Battle of the Bash

For the duration of our stay at RAAF Base Forrest Hill the Hat Fur Felt, more commonly known as the slouch hat, was standard wear when in overalls - and this was most of the time. The correct bash bore some resemblance to the picture below, bearing in mind that this hat has suffered from years of neglect. The bash was achieved by soaking the hat in water and shaping it over a wooden mould. 

This was issued to me when I left Wagga. It has survived
more than 40 years of neglect sitting in various 

Appies were a special group and we had our own unique appie bash, much to the consternation of the authorities. The aim was to shape the top of the hat so that it was as low and flat as possible. This resulted in the brim curving downwards significantly front and back. I remember a couple of Squirrels (20 intake) with their hats so curved they must have had difficulty seeing where they were going. In fact, I have a hazy recollection of them having to tilt their heads back slightly. But it looked great.

One day the powers decided it was time to put a stop to this nonsense. We were given a mould and instructed to take this back to the barracks and reshape our hats that night. It was however the mould that was reshaped. A couple of the blokes took to it with a machete or similar instrument of destruction - most likely that rebellious framey lot.

This breach of discipline could not be tolerated. A day or two later we were paraded after hours outside MTS (Mechanical Trades Squadron) headquarters and supervised as we restored our hats fur felt to the approved shape. And a pay or two later we all had the princely sum of a few cents deducted from our pay to cover the cost of a replacement mould.

What happened after that? I can’t remember if the proper bash remained or not. But, then again, we were appies.


  1. Didn't we change to berets. And have a similar occurence.