Officer’s Service Dress Cap

For the most part, British Army officers have purchased their own uniforms using a grant from the War Office. There are thus many ‘variations on a theme’ with different regiments and tailors having slightly different cuts and styles of uniform. Although there was an increase in government purchased and issued officers’ clothing during the Second World War, the majority of officers’ uniforms were privately purchased. Tonight we are looking at an example of a private purchase officer’s service dress cap from around the time of the Second World War:imageAs can be seen the body of the cap is made from khaki barathea cloth, with a bronzed cap badge to the Royal Army ordnance Corps fixed to the front:imageThere is a leather chin stay that can be expanded to allow it to fit under the chin in windy weather so the hat does not blow off:imageI must confess I have never seen the chin stay used in any period photographs. The chin stay is secured to the cap with two small bronzed buttons bearing the Royal Cypher:imageInside the cap is a paper size label and a cord for making slight adjustment to the size of the cap:imageThe leather sweat band is marked ‘Real Roan Leather’:imageAt the front of the cap a stiffener is fitted to push the crown upwards, but as is common this has been detached to give the cap a lower crown as was the fashion at the period:image

Sadly there is no manufacturer’s mark on the inside of the cap so we can’t identify where it was made, however this advertisement from a 1936 copy of the ‘Royal Artillery Journal’ is typical of the advertisements aimed at officers:imageThe wearing of Service Dress in the field had fallen away by the Second World War, with most officers wearing battledress which was more comfortable and practical. Despite this the cap was often retained behind the lines as it was a clearly recognisable symbol to all that the wearer was an officer. This view of senior Canadian officers with Field Marshall Montgomery shows widespread use of the officer’s SD cap with battledress:604px-Simonds

1 thought on “Officer’s Service Dress Cap

  1. Pingback: 1950s Officer’s Service Dress Cap | Tales from the Supply Depot

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