Royal Marine in Brodrick Cap

The Brodrick cap was introduced to the British Army in 1902 and by 1903 had also been adopted by the Royal Marines. This unpopular cap was actually to service with the Royal Marines for many decades more than with the army, with photographic evidence showing it was still being used as late as 1934 for the King’s Squad. This week’s postcard is a fine studio portrait of a Royal Marine wearing one of these Brodrick caps:

The Brodrick cap can be clearly seen, being a peak-less cap made of dark blue wool with a red half moon patch to the front, with the Royal Marine’s cap badge worn centrally:

The cap was introduced by G.O. 113 in December 1903 which read:

The ornament is to be worn on the front of the new pattern cap and will be fastened in the centre in a position allowing about one half of the ornament to appear on the red patch, and the other half on the front piece of the cap. The top loop at back of grenade will be fastened through the patch and the lower loop through the front of cap, R.M.A. The two loops of the R.M.L.I. ornament will be fastened through the red patch immediately above the blue front piece. The cap will be marked with the man’s name and register number across the inner lining of the crown, the patch being marked at the back with the register number only. The white cover will be marked with the man’s register number (not name) on the inner side of the double band around the cover, the number (thus “Po.6391”) being placed immediately after the inspection date etc. Whenever caps are forwarded to H.M. Ships for issue as annual clothing they are to be fitted up complete with patch, ornament and white cover before being packed for shipment, care being taken that the instructions contained in Clause 32(k) of the Instructions to Part 1 Establishment are complied with.

The Royal Marine shown above is clearly dressed very smartly and has gone out to be photographed in his best walking out uniform, including polished belt buckle, gloves and swagger stick:

Perhaps the long service life of the Brodrick cap with the Royal Marines indicates that not all members of the military detested the cap as much as is commonly held to be the case, 30 years being a fairly good innings for any piece of uniform.

One comment

  1. Hi,
    I have a WW1 cap in my collection, I believe that at Antwerp i.e on active service ashore many marines removed the red patch (I imagine because it was a possible aiming point) and refitted the cap badge. Very hard to find nowadays unfortunately.

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