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Khaki Drill (KD) Service Tunic to Squadron Leader Merrick Sadlier (Mick) Holgate, DFC 400117
This is a standard KD tunic for officers. It was manufactured in Australia in 1940. The buttons are black backelite. Note the scalloped pocket flaps and the sewn-in belt. Also note that with field dress uniforms like KD or battle dress, officer ranks appeared as loops on the shoulder straps, not on the sleeves.
*Click on any picture to see full size.
From the research I have been able to put together on this Officer, it appears he began wireless training at Ballarat Australia in 1940. He was the only trainee to be commissioned. From there he went on to North Africa. It is unclear what unit he was with at the time.
S/L Holgate (second from left) at his investiture for his DFC at Buckingham Palace with other RAAF officers in 1944.
(Photograph © Australian War Memorial)
S/L Holgate went from N. Africa to 207 squadron RAF. He won the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943 and was gazetted 13th July, 1943.
S/L Holgate was rated as a Signaller as represented by the "S" half-wing. It is similar to the RAF style with the exception that the wreath was blue vs. brown.

The manufacturers tag for Holgate's tunic reflecting is Australian heritage. Note lack of extensive QM marks here at the start of the war.
Underneath the slip on epaulettes appears S/L Holgate's name. The name is written on both pairs. Note that the loops are not of the same batch, signifying Holgate's promotion in theater where matching material would not be available and older loops had become faded.

© Tod Rathbone
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