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An original 1944 dated 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 maker's markings as well as remnants of the War Department broad arrow acceptance stamp. The manufacturer's name of ‘J. Collet Ltd’ and the date of 1944 are present as is the size of 7 1/8.
The exterior of the cap is in good condition as can be seen in the pictures. There are a couple of small holes and other signs of age but overall it displays well. There is a small hole for a cap badge to be fitted. The interior shows signs of where a cap badge was fitted previously and general signs of wear and use.
All in all a good example of a wartime GS Beret made from the early and desirable barathea material. Ideal for both the collector and re-enactor!