If you are interested I can scan a photo of Australian troops on the way to
Gallipoli with only one of about thirty men in a slouch hat with the brim
turned up. The rest in peaked caps, and some in helmets, etc.
Akubra produce a variety of styles these days . I should have thought with
our dollar at 49 cents US you could do better than a hundred bucks for
akubras which retail here for about $80 Australian. (My dog ate mine some
time ago). They certainly made the Army slouch hats but I never heard them
called Akubras until we became obsessed with our own mythology in the 70s.
The Mrs Porter song gives me pause. I had a bit to do with men from the
Gallipoli campaign in their last years in the early 70s. Although in male
company second world war men often used the word "cunt" casually in those
days I did not hear it from the First World War men who might use the word
"snatch", perhaps. A chap who was a good friend of mine then in his late
80s discussed with me a painting of a naked woman which used to hang in a
hotel bar in Melbourne and his conviction that the genitals had been
altered. The discussion was I recall detailed but that word did not occur.
Now granted this is a small sample - a handful of old men, probably the
abstemious ones who lived long ( still they seemed to live hard even then).
Granted we all deny aspects of our youth. But I wonder how representative
these reputedly authoritative accounts of taboo usage are, and whether there
isn't a subtle agenda in the reporting of it acadamically. I suspect there
were marked differences between ourselves and all you other people for that
matter. Twenty years ago I saw a man asked not to use the word "mother
fucker" in a bar in this country by a man who punctuated his own
conversation with the verb on its own. Yet we had already heard Lenny Bruce
tell the story of the bouncer "Ya mudderfukka whadya trung glasses?"