Good afternoon gents,
Once more the idiot PC brigade are trying to do away with another iconic item of the military uniform traditions of many armies across the world but in particular targetting the British Army;
End of the line for bearskins | Daily Mail Online
I won't launch into political or moral argument here just suffice to say that the fact that these people are able to make such protest is thanks in no small amount to the exertions of those very armies (I can think of six or seven besides the British Army).
The article above makes clear why there is no problem with the use of bearskin and very good reason for it to continue so enough said there.
Therefore, I thought it a good time to show here what a real bearskin looks like just in case
Point to note; many refer to this type of headress as a "busby" this is totally wrong. A busby is typically beaver pelt (largely synthetic these days). This is and always has been a "Bearskin".
Some also refer to the plume as a hackle. A hackle is made from feathers and a plume is typically horsehair but you will generally not cause more than disdain if you call it a hackle. Call the hat a busby at your peril however!
In the case of the British Army the type I show here is worn by the five regiments of Her Majesty's Foot Guards.
The Grenadier Guards (which this one is from) being "right of the line" wear their horsehair plume on the left.
The Scots Guards (the third regiment of the guards but more of that in a min) do not wear a plume.
The Irish Guards wear a blue plume (sometimes looks greenish) on the right.
The Welsh Guards wear a green and white plume on the left.
The Coldstream Guards (although they are the 2nd regiment of guards form the left flank when the brigade is paraded together because their motto is "nulli secundus" or 2nd to none and their history actually predates that of the ancestors of the Grenadiers). They wear a red plume on the right
So, the hat;
The skin is from the pelt of the Canadian Black Bear over a cane frame little changed since first made in 1831.
The liner is black leather.
The chin strap or "chin scales" is of black leather with a chain of brass scales stiched to it. At each end a black leather strip is looped through and has holes punched for length adjustment when it is fitted over brass wire hooks inside the frame.
The horsehair plume fits into a pocket trimmed with a pointed leather tongue on the appropriate side (the bearskins are made "sided" and have the pocket on only one side or not at all according to regiment eg the Grenadier and Welsh Guards are the same as are those for the Coldstream and Irish Guards).
The whole thing is much lighter than people imagine at about two pounds and is really quite comfortable.
Here are some pics;
PS the army have tried synthetic fur for these before and had to give it up as a really bad idea. They looked like props from a really bad musical