Police Shako; Hill, Charles & Sons; 1926-1930; MT1996.135.3


Police Shako

About this object

Shako; a New Zealand Police shako issued to Constable Lester James (Jim) Brazier who was in charge of the Mataura Police Station from 1935 to 1957. Constable Brazier was well regarded and there are several anecdotes about him in our Society's book 'Mataura, City of the Falls' and in 'The Southern Beat: A History of Policing Southland and Lakes District by Michele Poole'. In the 1950s, Constable Brazier would wait at the Mataura Railway Station to screen seasonal freezing workers. If he didn't approve of them he would simply tell them to stay on the train and move on!

Constable Brazier was also a talented fund raiser. The local swimming pool fund benefited from demonstrations by the famous shearer, Godfrey Bowen. Brazier also brought Jackie Marr, the Australian boxing champion to Mataura to fight NZ title holders. These fights and raffle sales netted enough money to buy and equip a new gym for Mataura.

The New Zealand Police wore shakos between 1886 to 1913 and then again from 1926 to 1930. Constable Brazier joined the Police in 1921 at age 18, so this hat dates from early in his career. It was made by Charles Hill & Sons of Wellington who supplied hats to many branches of the public service. The New Zealand Police Museum advise that it is unusual to see the letters 'P.C.' stencilled on the front and that this is likely to be a later addition. The shako would usually feature the New Zealand Police badge. The two holes in the crown were to attach this badge.


Hill, Charles & Sons

Maker Role

Hat maker

Date Made




Place Made

New Zealand, North Island, Wellington

Medium and Materials

organic, vegetal, processed materials, bark, cork
organic, vegetal,processed materials, cotton

Inscription and Marks

printed on front of hat: 'P C'
printed inside hat, manufacturers insignia
handwritten in pen: 'V MARTEN / BRAZIER'




h 155mm x w 200mm x l 290mm

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

genealogy/personal and family names

Credit Line

From the collection of the Mataura and Districts Historical Society Incorporated.

Object Type


Object number



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