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Thread: RAF greatcoat

  1. #1
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    Default RAF greatcoat

    Don't know if this is the right place to post this...?

    I got an RAF greatcoat in late November. Been wearing it all this while, cold weather and all. Monday an older gentleman stopped me in the street and said "You've got to change your buttons". I looked at them thinking they were falling off, and he said it was because they had the Queen's crown on them.

    Anyone know more about this? I should have asked him if he meant it was against the law, or if it offended him, me a non RAF member wearing the coat, but I was a bit stunned. He said he was ex-RAF, he didn't look old enough to have flown during WW2, but even if he were RAF 50's - 60's I imagine the greatcoats looked the same.

    Anyway ; thoughts? I'd especially like to hear from any RAF. Should I remove the buttons and replace them? Are you offended if you see some young fellow like me who patently isn't RAF wearing a 40's greatcoat? Or is it just the buttons?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Welll, I think if he was offended by you, he'd probably have made a point of it. Check old manuals or parade books or something, maybe you have them aligned in a wrong order, or some minor flaw like that.

    Knowing British correct-ness, maybe the Crowns weren't all facing the right way

    Is it possible that the Insignia has changed?

    Of course it's possible that the Queen's buttons are reserved for a certain group of people, but if they were illegal, I doubt you would have been allowed to buy the coat with them attached?

    Of course those are just guesses - I could help you with a Luftwaffe uniform, though.
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Ha! Well, I'm afraid I don't have a Luftwaffer coat.

    Perhaps it's something only someone of his generation would appreciate. My generation knows little and cares even less about royalty. Because that's what he was talking about ; the fact that the buttons have 'the Queen's crown' on them. Which presumably means I'm not allowed to wear them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Well, I guess if I was you I'd just change them to be sure...

    A button with a Union Jack would probably be a good replacement...
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    There are no rules about wearing military uniform in the UK, although IIRC you can get done if you simultaneously claim to be a member of the armed forces (I'm not aware of anyone actually having been prosecuted for this however).

    I do regard those who dress up in military clothing and have no connection to the military as complete numpties in general (mainly those who go the whole hog - wearing just one item is pretty harmless) - a personal opinion, but one I suspect the gentleman in question shared!
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  6. #6
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Well as I say, his words were "you need to change your buttons", so if it was the coat itself he didn't like he certainly didn't say so.

    To me it's just a spiffy blue coat, 60 years old, no large insignia on it. Not really the same as walking down the street in an Army jacket Rodney Trotter style, or cammo trousers.

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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Are you sure it isn't because they didn't have the Queen's crown on them? If it's 60 years old then George VI would have been King and it would have the King's crown on it, which would therefore need changing to be current...
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  8. #8
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    King's Crown RAF buttons:





    Queen's Crown RAF button (Mess Dress):

    "Don't call me stupid !" - Otto 'Galtieri' West.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27
    There are no rules about wearing military uniform in the UK, although IIRC you can get done if you simultaneously claim to be a member of the armed forces (I'm not aware of anyone actually having been prosecuted for this however).

    I do regard those who dress up in military clothing and have no connection to the military as complete numpties in general (mainly those who go the whole hog - wearing just one item is pretty harmless) - a personal opinion, but one I suspect the gentleman in question shared!
    As PDF says, there is no actual law regarding the wearing of parts of military uniform but if someone attempts to pass themself off as a soldier for personal gain the fraud laws kick in.
    There is however the Uniforms Act of 1894, (specifically Sect 2,) but I know of no occassion when this has been used.

    Those masquerading as sldrs are referred to as 'walts' - from the short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber.

    Even these laws aren't used as often as they could or even should be.
    Take James Shortt, big cheese behind the IBA, (International Bodyguard Association,) and the most successful walt to date.
    He claims to have been in the Parachute Regiment, the Special Air Service, the Royal Marines and various other military organisations purely in order to earn money but has never even passed a Recruit Cardre !
    He also bought a false barony, (it is not possible to purchase a real Barony,) and has been pulling the wool over very many peoples eyes for a long time and earning all the while, but has yet to be nicked for it !

    Check his escapades here !
    "Don't call me stupid !" - Otto 'Galtieri' West.
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    Stupidity should be a crime. Ignorance should be punished.
    Refusal to accept corroborated facts should result in a chainsaw enema.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts View Post
    King's Crown RAF buttons:





    Queen's Crown RAF button (Mess Dress):

    I'm not sure, (at first glance I thought there was no difference between them), but I think you may be right. I think I've got the King's crown.

    Wether I misheard him or wether he said something other than he meant to say, who knows. Maybe he assumed they were the Queen's crown because it was an RAF coat - he didn't actually take close inspection of them himself.

    Thanks. I'll think on it and do some more research myself. If I can / have to I'll change the buttons, but I paid too much to just never wear it again - and it's the only winter coat I have.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    You'd only need to change the buttons if you were going on parade in it with the RAF!

    Edit: Come to think of it, I'd have more objections to you wearing the current buttons as then you might theoretically be pretending to be in the RAF. With the old-style buttons on this issue doesn't arise (unless you're pretending to be in the RAF of 60 years ago!
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  12. #12
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    Benjamin Button, anyone
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

  13. #13

    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    The Uniforms Act 1895 makes an offence of 'wearing Her Majesty's uniform, not being a member of Her Majesty's Forces' which includes the 'distinctive marks' i.e. buttons, badges and rank insignia. It's not often enforced, but occasionally it is, and convictions have resulted.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    So can he get in trouble for wearing the old buttons, or only the new buttons?
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: RAF greatcoat

    In reality it's only used when the accused has been doing something else very naughty as well. After all, when such notorious Walts as Alan Mcilwraith get off scot-free, then nobody is seriously going to take exception to wearing a greatcoat with old-style buttons on it.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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