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Royal Artillery Service dress cap

Article about: Hi everyone this is my Royal Artillery Service Dress cap i bought off ebay (Im sure most of you will know the seller, Tinlid). 2 questions When did they start using Staybrite/AA buttons on S

  1. #1

    Default Royal Artillery Service dress cap

    Hi everyone this is my Royal Artillery Service Dress cap i bought off ebay (Im sure most of you will know the seller, Tinlid). 2 questions When did they start using Staybrite/AA buttons on SD caps, and is this WW2 or just after(Aaron(Tinlid) did not know either)(These are Tinlids pictures)
    Thanks in advance.

    Matt
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    It would date to sometime between 1948 when the earliest staybright were issued and probably sometime circa 1953, though the cap itself is pre circa 1970. Sometime early post war seems most likely early 1950's.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3
    ?

    Default

    Very nice looking cap, which I would say dates to the early 1950s. Early postwar caps resemble WW2 spec, although from the photo the peak shape looks more postwar to me. This is if the side buttons are original and original to the cap.

    I think the RA were not the first to recieve AA, but you would need to check this. Generally AA were issued from the early 50s. I would imagine KC RA AA buttons to be quite unusual.

    Without the cap in my hands it hard to say more, but it would be worth researching the name. Perhaps you can find when he was commissioned.

  4. #4

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    Quote by Ocad View Post
    Very nice looking cap, which I would say dates to the early 1950s. Early postwar caps resemble WW2 spec, although from the photo the peak shape looks more postwar to me. This is if the side buttons are original and original to the cap.

    I think the RA were not the first to recieve AA, but you would need to check this. Generally AA were issued from the early 50s. I would imagine KC RA AA buttons to be quite unusual.

    Without the cap in my hands it hard to say more, but it would be worth researching the name. Perhaps you can find when he was commissioned.
    I did find a P Lawson here but you have to put into the unit box royal artillery:https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk...Surname=Lawson
    Is it because the peak is a more rounded shape? I don't realy know much about SD caps but I will get some more pics of the buttons as the back of the buttons look like brass.
    Last edited by Steelhead10; 03-13-2015 at 08:57 AM.

  5. #5

    Default

    These hats are very difficult to date as although they have been around since before the first world war the design has not changed significantly since WWII. The main problem is that they have been made by many different tailors which means that although made to an official specification there will always be slight variations.

    Being officers private purchase items the materials have tended to be fairly constant (higher quality than OR's bulk standard stuff!) with differences occuring due to manufacturing improvements rather than government cost cutting as with OR's uniforms.

    Staybright buttons are a good indicator in that a hat with these is likely to have been made after their introduction but this is not certain as buttons are easy to change and might well have been by an officer who preferred the "new and shiny" look. It is true that the earliest staybright buttons had brass backs and that newer ones do not but this is not really an indicator at all as stocks of the early types remain for some regiments/corps and hats made last week can be found with older buttons possibly obtained from the QM Dept as they are the same as OR's in most cases.

    The maker of this hat is Moss Bros who are still in business but I don't think they still make uniforms so that might help with a "cut off" date. However they made uniforms for a long time so it won't help that much. Given that this type has been in use for so long and that an officer tends to keep the same hat throughought his career (sometimes more than one owner per hat over time) I don't think it makes that much difference unless verifiable provenance is available.

    Here are pics of a hat in my collection that entered "the hobby" in the late '70s but who knows how long it had been in service for. It has a white metal/brass cap badge (typical of officers badges but in the case of R.Sigs no help at all as the officers badge is the same as OR's apart from the embroidered type on berets) and staybright, brass backed buttons. The maker, Herbert Johnson of Bond St is a long established and well regarded maker still producing identical hats for £165 less badge and buttons. These are an attractive if somewhat plain item but if you collect military hats you should probably have one of these. I don't but every time I read one of these threads I find myself thinking "I have one of those somewhere". This is what I call "collection background". A true miltaria collector will always have this background clutter

    Regards

    Mark

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    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    These hats are very difficult to date as although they have been around since before the first world war the design has not changed significantly since WWII. The main problem is that they have been made by many different tailors which means that although made to an official specification there will always be slight variations.

    Being officers private purchase items the materials have tended to be fairly constant (higher quality than OR's bulk standard stuff!) with differences occuring due to manufacturing improvements rather than government cost cutting as with OR's uniforms.

    Staybright buttons are a good indicator in that a hat with these is likely to have been made after their introduction but this is not certain as buttons are easy to change and might well have been by an officer who preferred the "new and shiny" look. It is true that the earliest staybright buttons had brass backs and that newer ones do not but this is not really an indicator at all as stocks of the early types remain for some regiments/corps and hats made last week can be found with older buttons possibly obtained from the QM Dept as they are the same as OR's in most cases.

    The maker of this hat is Moss Bros who are still in business but I don't think they still make uniforms so that might help with a "cut off" date. However they made uniforms for a long time so it won't help that much. Given that this type has been in use for so long and that an officer tends to keep the same hat throughought his career (sometimes more than one owner per hat over time) I don't think it makes that much difference unless verifiable provenance is available.

    Here are pics of a hat in my collection that entered "the hobby" in the late '70s but who knows how long it had been in service for. It has a white metal/brass cap badge (typical of officers badges but in the case of R.Sigs no help at all as the officers badge is the same as OR's apart from the embroidered type on berets) and staybright, brass backed buttons. The maker, Herbert Johnson of Bond St is a long established and well regarded maker still producing identical hats for £165 less badge and buttons. These are an attractive if somewhat plain item but if you collect military hats you should probably have one of these. I don't but every time I read one of these threads I find myself thinking "I have one of those somewhere". This is what I call "collection background". A true miltaria collector will always have this background clutter

    Regards

    Mark

    Click image for larger version. 

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    How would the buttons be held on one of these because I cant see how due to the lining, are they sewn on? I also have a modern OR cap and the buttons are held on by brass paper clips. And Thanks again to everyone that helped

    Matt

  7. #7

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    Hi Matt,

    On both officers and ORs hats the prescribed method is to stitch them to the outside of the band and with officers hats this is typicaly done by the tailor producing the hat. I don't recall ever seeing this done any other way as 99% of officers tend not to do anything at all to their kit (even clean it more than they absolutely have to ) but there is always the possibility that if a hat changes hands it may need different buttons fitting but that is still more likely in my experience to be done by attaching to the outside and probably by a tailor.

    As I say, the prescribed method is the same for ORs but as you have seen this is not always the case. In fact it is very common for ORs to attach the buttons (even when a hat is issued with buttons sewn on as above) by making a hole in the headband, inserting the shank of the button and fitting some kind of cotter pin (paper clip, split pin or even matchstick) to the inside. Sometimes it is necessary to slightly crush the shank with pliers making it longer and thinner so as to fit better. This is done to facilitate easy cleaning of buttons and chinstrap (less of an issue with staybright buttons) plus it makes the button sit neat and flush rather than at an angle (just not smart you see!). Some regiments will insist on a particular method and the reall keen "bullshit" merchant will use the brass split pin from collar badges (polished of course) and sometimes a small washer (all the better if it is brass too!).

    I hope this helps

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  8. #8
    ?

    Default

    Speaking of Herbert Johnson, here is a photo ( sorry for the mediocre quality) of the very first cap I ever acquired, bought in their shop in London, back in 1976.
    Being a young and perhaps cheeky colonial, I asked if they had any used caps for sale, and, after a bit, they produced this one, for the Queen's Own Hussars. I forgot the price long ago, but I still have the cap.

    BobSClick image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

    Default

    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    Hi Matt,

    On both officers and ORs hats the prescribed method is to stitch them to the outside of the band and with officers hats this is typicaly done by the tailor producing the hat. I don't recall ever seeing this done any other way as 99% of officers tend not to do anything at all to their kit (even clean it more than they absolutely have to ) but there is always the possibility that if a hat changes hands it may need different buttons fitting but that is still more likely in my experience to be done by attaching to the outside and probably by a tailor.

    As I say, the prescribed method is the same for ORs but as you have seen this is not always the case. In fact it is very common for ORs to attach the buttons (even when a hat is issued with buttons sewn on as above) by making a hole in the headband, inserting the shank of the button and fitting some kind of cotter pin (paper clip, split pin or even matchstick) to the inside. Sometimes it is necessary to slightly crush the shank with pliers making it longer and thinner so as to fit better. This is done to facilitate easy cleaning of buttons and chinstrap (less of an issue with staybright buttons) plus it makes the button sit neat and flush rather than at an angle (just not smart you see!). Some regiments will insist on a particular method and the reall keen "bullshit" merchant will use the brass split pin from collar badges (polished of course) and sometimes a small washer (all the better if it is brass too!).

    I hope this helps

    Mark
    Yes thank you Mark it has helped alot and yes the buttons on the original posted cap are sewn on.

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