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Maybe of use to those with an interest in WWII British (& Commonwealth) headgear and the myriad of types they used.  It might take some time to upload these.

 

Officers caps came in a variety of types, the Service Dress cap, the Field Service cap, the Beret, the General Service cap and they might also wear a regional cap, such as for the Scottish units where officers might wear the Glenngarry cap or the Tam O' Shanter cap.  Officers might also wear the tropical sun helmet and a number of other types of headgear, including the steel helmet, the slouch hat or the cold weather cap.

 

The officers SD cap is very similar to that issued to other ranks in the pre or early war period, except the chinstrap has no buckles and the fabric is of a better quality, whilst the badge would also be different.  The officers SD cap would be a private purchase item and would not have a WD arrow mark or be dated, though I have seen one example with both of these features on it, so it just goes to show that rules were not always followed.  Pre or early war SD caps have a stiffener in the crown which gives them a distinctive appearance and usually have a green underside to the peak which is not cloth covered, whilst later the version has no stiffener in the crown which gives the cap a floppy look and has cloth covered underside to the peak.

The Coloured Field Service cap came in a wide range with a different combination of colours of the crown, body and side (curtain) and also the colour and location of the piping.  The quality is better for Officers than for other ranks and also the badge would be of better quality and would often be of bullion construction or might be of silver.  Officer cadets would wear the same type of cap, or maybe a beret and would be marked out by the use of a white backing to the badge or a white band around the body of the FS cap.  Staff officers would wear the SD cap with  a red band around it and this would also be worn by Brigadiers and Colonels, the example shown is a post 1953 version with a Queens crown on the badge and buttons.

 

Pre or early war version of the SD cap for officers

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mid to late war version of the SD cap for officers , also used in the post war period

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Officers Coloured Field service cap

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Kings Shropshire Light Infantry Officer Cadets coloured FS cap

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Staff officers SD cap, also for Brigadiers or Colonels (post war version)

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More to follow in a later post.

 

 

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As mentioned previously, officers could also wear a variety of other items of headgear, not all of which I have examples to show at this time, but I'll add those I can now and I will try and update them as I add them to my collection or get permission from other people to show their examples.

 

The General Service cap, known at the time as the cap ridiculous, was introduced in the mid war period and was the same for officers and other ranks and was a floppy cap similar to a beret.

 

Royal Engineers Officers GS Cap, named to Captain R.F. Aston.

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Officers would also wear the Beret, with in the early war period only those from the Royal Tank Regiment wearing it in black and the IIth Hussars wore two coloured example, then mid war various other colours were introduced, including maroon for Parachute troops, Green for commandos, Khaki for officers and mobile units, White then sand for the SAS and then probably other colours for other units that I can't remember.  Post war a dark blue Beret was introduced for all ranks and units, except the specials mentioned above, though in the main it is the same as the WWII versions, but as or when I can I'll add a WWII version.

Post war Officer's blue Beret.

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Officers would also have a Sun helmet which is distinguished from the OR's version by having a leather trim to the edge of the brim and would be a private purchase item without a WD arrow or a date.

Wolseley pattern Officers sun helmet

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Two other versions of the sun helmet might be seen, the Sola topee, which might be an issue example or private purchase or the India pattern also known as the Cawnpore helmet, which I will show OR's versions of both of these later.

 

Officers might also wear the Slouch or Bush hat, depending on wear they served, and again private purchase examples were available, but many officers would wear the issue example.

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The steel helmet would be the same as for the OR's, though they might have an officers badge brazed to the front or have a painted insignia or a decal, though these tended to be more common in WWI or the early part of WWII.

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Other ranks headgear, for the early war years the Universal Pattern Field service cap or the side cap as it was commonly known was worn by all OR's, though some units such as the Tank units wore the Beret, whilst all could also wear the OR's version of the SD cap and the Guards continued to wear this as well as the FS cap.

 

Officers could also wear the FS cap, but it was the same as the OR's, except it was made of better quality fabric.

 

1939 dated OR's FS cap badged to the Grenadiers Guards and probably from a member of the Royal Household Home Guard unit.

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1940 dated OR's FS cap for the Welch regiment

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1941 dated Canadian made OR's FS cap, notice it has a blue lining which differentiates it from the British made examples.

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Officers FS cap

 

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Tommy helmet mkII, early war type with khaki green textured paint on the exterior and smooth khaki paint on the interior, thought by most people to be the type used by the BEF in 1939/40.

 

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Another type of headgear worn by OR's and probably by officers as well is the Cold weather cap, this one dated to 1943.

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More to follow.

 

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Some more OR's headgear, firstly some of those used by Scottish regiments.  The Glenngarry cap was the Scottish equivalent of the FS cap, though these are more akin to the coloured FS cap with a lot of variations used by the different regiments, including whether they have a diced band or not and what form it took, also the the shape of the backing cloth behind the badge could either be a cross or a bow and other variations regarding the tails and how they were cut all helped to differentiate between the regiments along with the different badges used.  The colour of the pom of material on the top, known as a Toorie was a different colour depending on the regiment.

 

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders pattern, OR's, though the officers version would be the same except in the quality of the fabric and the badge used.

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Unknown variation, badged to the Highland Light infantry.

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Tam O shanter cap also known as a Balmoral bonnet, badged to the Gordon highlanders, sadly missing its khaki Toorie.  this is the Scottish equivalent of the Beret or GS cap.

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Another type of regional cap is the Kilmarknock or pillbox cap, a type once commonly used in the Victorian period by many British units, though by WWII it was only used by a few "foreign" units and this example is badged to the 8th Gurkhas, though it was probably manufactured for the Malay regiment, but this is not known for certain and as it came with the Gurkhas badge I have left it as found.  Nicely London maker marked and double dated, by date stamp and also the letter code above the WD broad arrow.

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Some examples of the OR's sun helmets, differentiated from officers by the use of a cloth edge to the brim and also they should have a WD arrow mark, though many were requisitioned from civilian suppliers.

 

Wolseley pattern, painted white for police or parade duties. 1941 dated.

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Wolseley pattern, 1942 dated.

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Khaki sola topee hat with Royal Army Ordinance Corps flash

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India pattern with Royal Engineers flash, private purchase or civilian type.

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Some of the types of makers labels and other stamps you might see in these type of headgear.

 

All the Commonwealth nations used a different version of the Broad arrow WD mark, the Canadians had a C/I\ mark, the Australians used a D/I\D mark etc.  The British during the WWII period usually had a letter above the /I\ mark and these are known to represent a different year,

 

R=39 Q=40 P=41 O=42 N=43 M=44 L=45, though for 1945 you also see Z being used 

 

Some pictures of the marks from OR's headgear.

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Private purchase or officers makers marks and labels

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The first British army Mk1* & Mk2's of WW2 were painted khaki green textured paint outside & khaki green smooth inside.

This happened from 1938- 1941, some time in that same year of 41 they started painting them textured khaki green inside as well. This is often not easy to determine as the textured paint makes it hard to read the dates & maker names.

 From 1942 they started painting them dark brown. This anyway is all the ones I've come across to date, but as we know, one will come along & throw this all up in the air.

  Here's an near mint textured khaki green painted one inside & out, liner dated 1943 & made by BMB. Being made by BMB it has an red ink stamp on the inside liner,(only some BMB liners have this stamp). The liner  itself is slightly different as it is white or an light colour on the inside.

Next to it is an dark brown painted Mk2.

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Hi, Sorry to confuse, but both are Mk2's. Just to show the difference in colour on the Mk2 helmet as the war went on.

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A Mk3 with the early khaki green textured paint as apposed to the more common dark brown. It has an original green net that has left an imprint on the paint (which is hard to show in the pictures)

 The shell was made by BMB, rim join smooth welded, not butted up like RO&Co & F&L made mk3's.

 The liner is dated 1944 & made by CCL

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Another khaki green Mk3 this one without a net, of interest is the larger Mk2 nut & bolt, as opposed to the more common smaller Mk3 nut & bolt.

 Again another BMB shell, liner dated 1944 & made by CCL.

 For comparison of colour, a dark brown next to the khaki green.

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A dark brown BMB made Mk3, this one has never been painted on the inside, which makes reading the date/maker name very easy.

 As with all the BMB made Mk3's,the rim join is smooth welded together, & the date/maker name will be vertical to the rim.

 RO&Co & F&L made Mk3's the rim join is butted up together with up to 4 welded stamps. The date/maker name will be horizontal to the rim, & can be anywhere on the inside, & have heard even on the outside?

 Due to the vertical stamping of the date on the BMB made Mk3's, it is often seen showing through on the outside as well.

 

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An F&L made Mk3, the rim join is a bit of a mix of the  BMB & RO&Co. Sort of overlapping with weld stamps either side, the F&L stamp is between the front & the  chin strap lug, & horizontal with the rim.

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Finally the RO&Co made MK3,rim join butted up with welded stamps either side. The RO&Co stamp is to the front & horizontal to the rim.

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Post war these helmets carried on their service, being repainted & refurbished with post war dated liners. During the last months of the war olive green started to be used on vehicles & equipment. Hence post war at unit level helmets were painted on the outside in this colour, they were also completely stripped of their wartime colour & resprayed in smooth olive green inside & out.

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This one has a bit of a camo on the outside, but has it's wartime dark brown inside.

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This one (RO&Co) has been stripped of it's textured wartime paint & repainted smooth olive green. It has an post war liner fitted, CCL 1952. 

 Probably not done at unit level, as with just the outside repainted, this has had the full works.

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This one has mostly been repainted olive drab with just a few small area's of the original brown showing giving it a camo. Inside repainted over the textured wartime paint. Post war liner CCL 1952

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This is an odd one that I can't fathom out, a very fine textured paint which is not khaki green, but a grey green.

 Inside is smooth paint, they seem mostly to come with repro' liners. So who & when these were repainted?

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Not a problem David, hope some use can be gleaned from it.

This is an F&L Mk3 dated 1945, completely stripped inside & out & repainted smooth olive drab.

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Another post war repaint, not even bothering to remove the stacking mark, painted straight over it. But it does have an flash of the Royal Artillery.

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Hi TinLid.I always wondered what those marks were and now you have just confirmed it for me. :thumbup:

What is the best way to remove these marks without damaging the paint work ?

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I've never tried to remove them, but maybe a spirit based product should soften the tar, try a small area & see what happens.

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For me, unless a netted helmet (MK2 or Mk3) has not got an shadow or imprint of the net on the paint due to the last 70+years then it is not original to the helmet.

 Most of the shadow will be on the crown of the helmet, & the rim will have  the majority of the paint worn away.

 This very tired Mk3 has those things that you look for.

 

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