The khaki beret was introduced in 1942 for wear by members of the Reconnaissance Corps and motor battalions of Infantry. It’s use was extended in 1943 to personnel of light scout car companies and in 1943 the army authorised its wear by colonels and above, standardising what seems to have already become standard practice. After the war the beret became the army’s standard headdress, although most wore the midnight blue version. The khaki example continued to be worn by some regiments however and tonight we have an early post war example to look at:
Unlike the GS cap, the beret is knitted as a single piece and when laid flat is a circular shape without any seams or stitching in the main body:
A pair of metal eyelets are sewn into the crown of the beret, just above the leather sweat band:
The size of the beret can be adjusted slightly due to a draw cord through the sweat band that is secured by a small bow at the rear:
The interior of the beret is black fabric, with sizing, date of manufacture and maker’s name stamped inside in white:
Occasionally unscrupulous sellers try to modify these to a wartime date in the hope of selling them for a higher price- changing an ‘8’ to a ‘3’ for instance. Happily this example has escaped this fate and remains in good condition and one advantage of buying a post war example is that you can be sure it’s genuine- if you were faking one you would make sure it was wartime dated!
Kangol was founded in Britain in 1920 and its name is an amalgam of three words: K was for knitting,the ANG was for angora, and the OL was for wool.