H.M.S. Dorsetshire - Royal Navy Silver Sennet Hat Dish, 1934
Sennet hats became part of the naval rating’s uniform in the mid 19th century but were in common usage as a part of the sailor’s irregular uniform as far back as the Napoleonic wars. They were removed from ratings’ from kit lists in 1921 in favour of the tropical helmet.
H.M.S. Dorsetshire was a county class cruiser that served initially in the Atlantic Fleet in the early 1930s, before becoming the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Africa in 1933, and then to the China Station in late 1935. She remained there until the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, when she was transferred to the South Atlantic. There, she reinforced the search for the German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee. In late May 1941, Dorsetshire took part in the final engagement with the battleship Bismarck, which ended when Dorsetshire was ordered to close and torpedo the crippled German battleship. She joined searches for the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper in August and the auxiliary cruiser Atlantis in November of that year.
Silver. Presentation dish in the form of a hot weather sennet hat inscribed ‘H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE’. Maker’s mark of Adie Brothers of Birmingham. Hallmarked 1934.
Diameter: 3.7in (9cm).