Tom King

Police Mess Dress

43 posts in this topic

I remember when I first joined Inspectors and above wore a a mess dress type jacket? It had the rank on the lapels instead of the eppaulettes obviously inside the nick never outside.

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I remember when I first joined Inspectors and above wore a a mess dress type jacket? It had the rank on the lapels instead of the eppaulettes obviously inside the nick never outside.

Station Jackets/Coats or Ice Cream Jackets as they were also called in the Met could only be worn in the police station by Inspector ranks and above. They were a grey blue colour with the rank on the epaulette faces. Times change, they went out in the late 80s I believe.

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Would it be the case that mess dress was optional and dependant on the pocketbook of the individual concerned? I know that this was the case for the US Army for some decades and I believe is still the case for Canada's Reserve Forces: invitations would specify 'full dress OR mess dress', as the mess dress is private purchase and not used very frequently in most cases. Or am I dating myself?

Peter

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ID: 29   Posted (edited)

For your viewing pleasure - and click on the pics to enlarge them -

RCMP officer's mess jacket (always unbuttoned) plus the vest.

I took a closeup pic of the shoulder insignia because it is different from the standard shoulder insignia -

on the mess jacket, the crown and pips are gold/brass colored only, and are smaller than the items worn otherwise.

The collar badges are the same as on other uniforms.

The back of the vest is bright red.

As mentioned in an earlier posting - only officers wear this mess kit, not the NCOs.

Edited by insigniaguy

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ID: 30   Posted (edited)

this is an Australian Queensland police mess dress being worn recently

Edited by rod g

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Regarding the RCMP posting just 2 posts above this one - the photos here were not loading properly for me yesterday, so I added some pics that were already posted 5 months ago - I did not see the pics in my prior posting, which would have jogged my memory - so some of what I posted yesterday was a "rerun" - my apologies. But at least I added a photo of the vest worn with the mess kit. Thx.

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ID: 32   Posted (edited)

Queensland police ladies mess dress (Superintendant )

Edited by rod g

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Ref posts 30 and 32 - Queensland Police Mess Kit. Male and Female.

Interesting to see miniature medals worn on both lapels,Not the usual practice in the UK military or police circles ? I wonder what are those on the left (as viewed) ?

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Ref posts 30 and 32 - Queensland Police Mess Kit. Male and Female.

Interesting to see miniature medals worn on both lapels,Not the usual practice in the UK military or police circles ? I wonder what are those on the left (as viewed) ?

In the UK medals/ribbons worn on the left of tunic by the military and police would be those such as the Royal Humane Society, Liverpool Shipwreck & Humane Society, RSPCA and similar.

Dave.

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ID: 35   Posted (edited)

In the UK medals/ribbons worn on the left of tunic by the military and police would be those such as the Royal Humane Society, Liverpool Shipwreck & Humane Society, RSPCA and similar.

Dave.

dave the medals on the right are medals awarded under the Australian honours system The QPSM is an unofficial award and is not recognised under the Australian Honours System.

As such, the medal is to be worn on the right breast. (this is the case for all states ) hope this answers your question

Edited by rod g

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Rod,

Thanks for your reply. The original question was asked by 1314. He wanted to know what the medal was that is on the LEFT side. I guessed that those of the right would be awarded by the Australian Government and suggested that those on the LEFT would be awarded by non-Government organisations. Incidentally, you have a very nice collection of Australian police insignia!

Dave.

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Hi Rod and Dave,

I think we are getting mixed up with Left and Right as seen in photo, referring to L&R as you look at picture does not convey the correct order of wearing. Official awards ie Government etc are worn on the left breast and unofficial awards on the right breast.

Best

Peter

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Many thanks for these prompt and informative replies.I was aware of the wearing of full size Life Saving medals etc on the LEFT as viewed,RIGHT as worn,lapels but have not,to date, seen this in miniature.

We live and learn,that's what the forum is all about !

My thanks again.

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ID: 39   Posted (edited)

Peter,

To add to the confusion, you have to consider whether the negative (if there was one) has been reversed prior to publication. I've noticed that this is frequently done (not on this forum) giving the impression that the medals are worn on the wrong side. We're probably better leaving it there otherwise we will get ourselves totally confused!

Dave.

Edited by Dave Wilkinson

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ID: 40   Posted (edited)

I have posted some pics of Australian police medal in house awards on my room hope you all enjoy

Edited by rod g

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On 04/09/2009 at 15:24, Mervyn Mitton said:

"......the British South Africa Police in Rhodesia had full kit - they had special small rank badges and on the collars of the jacket, gilt insignia of the Force......"

Only Superintendents and above were members of the Officers Mess in the BSAP, and they would have had Mess Dress. 

In 1975, the Ranks of Inspector and Chief Inspector were elevated to "Commissioned" status, primarily to give them a degree of "clout" when dealing with junior Officers in the Army (and to a lesser extent the Air Force) as the intensifying Bush War required ever increasing co-operation between the different branches of the Security Forces.  As "the Inspectorate" - irrespective of their significant experience and responsibilities - were were not, technically, "Officers" they were theoretically outranked by even the most junior "one-pip"  graduates of the School of Infantry, and the perfectly sensible decision was taken to commission them.

In the hierarchy of the BSAP however they remained very much "JUNIOR" Officers, and were excluded from the Mess.   

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As regards the Northern Rhodesia Police,there were the following  'classes ' of Police Officers -  Superior,Senior and Subordinate - the first two were ' gazetted' ie Assistant Supers and above,the subordinates were the Inspectorate.All classes/ranks had mess kit,though for the lower orders a summer style was permitted year round.There was a 'Superior Mess' at HQ and all Divisions and Districts had their own in which all ranks in the Inspectorate (including African Inspectors) and above were full members.

African members of the Rank and File had their own Messes although they were best described as Police Clubs.

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On 19 January 2013 at 11:48, 219PG said:

Know this is an old thread but thought this was interesting to add. It appears to be a Metropolitan police Mess jacket for a sergeant .

Met police mess jacket.JPG

Met mess jacket rear.JPG

Met mess jacket badge.JPG

Although an even older thread now that I am replying to it 4 years later I thought it may be of interest to the GMIC community for posterity.

Mess dress is worn on a fairly regular basis by the Commissioner ranks of the Met Police. The rationale for this is that they are often invited to formal dinners / occasions where they are representing the MPS in an official capacity and on such occasions mess dress would be the sartorially-correct order of dress.

That said, it is not restricted to the "Commissioner" ranks and can in theory be worn by any officer; in reality anyone below Chief Officer rank are unlikely to want or need it. I own the above jacket. It would have formed part of a Met Sergeants' mess dress. The jacket has the officers' name inside and his postings suggest he worked in a role requiring this order of dress.

There are a number of photos on the internet of a number of our Commissioners wearing mess dress. It further consists of a white shirt, black bow tie, dark navy blue waistcoat and trousers, with the trousers having a 2 inch oak leaf stripe on the leg. I believe ranks below the Commissioners do not have this stripe.

Despite its traditional look I would surmise that the concept of mess dress within the Met Police does not predate the 1950s. I have never seen mess dress prior to this period, and a culmination of the "militarisation" of the service by Commissioners such as Lord Trenchard and some of his successors from the 1930s onwards and the plethora of ex-servicemen joining after WW2 may have been responsible for this. Prior to the 1930s a number of the uniforms available to Commissioners (such as their full dress still worn on ceremonial events such as trooping the colour) would likely have been worn, it being the direct ancestor of mess dress in the military too.

 

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