An original 1917 dated British Army trench cap in outstanding condition, complete with an original Essex Regiment cap badge.
This pattern of cap came into use with the British Army in March 1916 replacing the stiff Service Dress Cap and 'Gor Blimey' winter cap. The soft flexible nature of this pattern was introduced as it could easily be stored in a soldiers kit when the new shrapnel helmets were being worn.
This particular example really and truly is excellent and has survived the last 100 years incredibly well! The condition is excellent as can be seen in the photographs. There is no mothing or damage anywhere to the exterior and the interior is also very clean with one period machine repair which has been very neatly done. The leather chin strap is original and in good condition and the cap badge is a nice original bi-metal example.
Inside the cap is nicely marked with the markings still be nice and clear. There are two stamps; the uppermost being the makers stamp which is stamped in a semi-circle and bares the manufactures name, the size and the date. The size is marked as 6 5/8 but it will fit slightly larger. The second stamp is the War Department stamp with the broad arrow between the letters W and D. There is a serial letter stamped below this as is correct for Great War items such as this.
The stitched peak features the correct 6 rows of stitching rather than the 5 seen on post Great War examples.
This really is a very fine example of an original Great War trench cap which is clearly dated and has all the correct markings. This would truly be very hard to better!