An original 1944 dated large size 7 3/8 British Army General Service Cap, often referred to as a ‘beret’, made from barathea.
This pattern of hat came into issue with the British Army in 1943 and replaced the Field Service Cap. It saw widespread issue with the British Army for the rest of the war and is now synonymous with the British Tommy in Normandy, Belgium, Holland and Germany in 1944-45.
This particular example is unissued and is made from barathea which are now the more sought-after type. This material was used on earlier manufactured caps before switching to the same serge as used on the battledress. They are more desirable today as they look smarter than the serge examples and are rarer to find.
The interior features the original makers markings as well as the War Department broad arrow issue stamp. These are still very bright and legible with the manufactures name clearly marked as ‘J. Collet Ltd’ and the date of 1944 being very clear. The size is marked and the War Department broad arrow is also present. A separate War Department broad arrow issue stamp is also present to the interior of the cap.
The exterior of the cap is in excellent condition as can be seen in the pictures. The khaki green barathea wool is without any issue that I can see and it displays very well. There is a small hole for a cap badge to be fitted.
All in all a very good example of a wartime GS Beret in great condition, a large hard to find size and made from the early and desirable barathea material. Ideal for both the collector and re-enactor!