The Brodrick Cap was something of a dead end in British uniform development, a peakless cap that was worn for a few years at the start of the twentieth century and then consigned to history with more than a little relief by those who wore it. Despite its limited service life and generally poor reputation, it has proved to be of enduring interest to the collector- its scarcity no doubt adding to the appeal. Up until now there has not been a good reference book on these caps, but this gap in the historiography has now been filled by Toby Brayley’s new book “A Monstrous Piece of Cloth, The Brodrick Cap”.
The book covers the full history of the caps, with plenty of information gleaned from primary War office sources and the press of the time. Equally importantly, the book is extensively illustrated with period photographs, surviving examples of the caps and computer generated recreations of all the different regimental variations.
The book is only a slim volume, but is comprehensive in its coverage and covers not only the caps themselves, but also accessories such as khaki and white field covers. One lovely feature of the book are the watercolour illustrations on the covers and end papers illustrating the caps being worn which helps get over how colourful troops must have appeared at the time in a way that black and white photographs cannot.
The book is published by The Military Historical Society and is priced at £12 plus postage. Copies can be ordered here.