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The Royal Tank Regt black beret

Article about: yep il go with that how many squeeks do i ow you now??? you could not get better proof than that Ade , cheers ian

  1. #1

    Default The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    Hi Guys, the Royal Tank Regt was the first unit of the British Army to adopt a beret as a form of headress. Inspired by the French Chasseurs Alpines beret, this proved to be a popular and practical form of headgear to wear within the confines of a tank. It's colour helped hide the oil stains too! The Black Beret was approved by HM the King on 5 March 1924.

    The Black Beret remained the exclusive distinctive headdress of the Royal Tank Corps until its practical value was recognised by others and its use was extended to the whole of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1940. After WWII, on the introduction of the "Midnight blue" beret, the Royal Tank Regiment reclaimed their right to the exclusive use of the Black Beret, which may not be worn by any other regiment or corps with the exception of the Westminster Dragoons. In July 1944 LT COL T. E. Williams then GSOI Armoured Corps at AHQ, proposed that Armoured Corps personnel be issued Black Berets instead of the khaki which had been worn since the Corps was first formed in 1941. This was approved by CGS LT GEN J. Northcott on 3 August 1944.


    I have two WW2 dated examples in my collection, which I will show here.

    The first is something of a mystery due to the cap badge which came on it. The cap badge appears to have been there for some time, however the North Staffs Regt were not an Armoured unit. It was indirectly obtained from the estate of a deceased veteran. The original owners surname was "Sands". The other items which came with it were a pair of RAC coloured arm of service strips and medals ribbon bars for 39/45 Star, France & Germany Star, Defence medal and Africa Star with 8th Army clasp.

    Note how the adjustemnt ties have been neatly sewn in place. The British Army have never allowed these to hang loose like their French counterparts.



    The beret is made by "Kangol Wear Ltd" and is dated 1944. Points to note are the leather covered air vents and the loose thread which can be seen stitched in the liner. The "WD" white ink stamps are inspection marks.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    In contrast, here is a mint unissued black RTR beret. This one is made by "Supak Manufacturing Co Ltd" and is dated 1945. Size is a "7".

    Once again, note the way the beret is made. Most WW2 berets of any colour will display these same manufacturing traits.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    Here's another maker for comparison.

    René

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    Very nice example from a known wartime maker.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    Very nice example from a known wartime maker.

    Cheers, Ade.
    G'day Ade.

    Shame I don't have an original badge

    Happy New Year Mate

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    Hi Rene, same to you too

    RTR cap badges are not too hard to find. This one I received as a gift.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    nice caps guys heres mine ,it came with both badges,i think the other is a general officers with queens crown,i got it from a couple who found it in their loft with badges attached, the soldier may have worn it postwar or for reuinions, rgds Dave
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  8. #8
    Andy Baillie
    ?

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    I got this one for £1.75 in my local Dorothy House Charity Shop
    (Cap badge didn't come with it though)


    Corporal E.P.Cato 2085391
    Kangol Wear Ltd 1944
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  9. #9

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    Nice original berets guys. Thanks for showing them.

    Cheers, Ade.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Royal Tank Regt black beret

    I've known infantrymen during the 1970's to wear a black tanky beret instead of infantry dark blue, just from unauthorised preference
    Could be that your North Staffs man wore the old black beret (there are still tons of 1944 dated black berets around nowadays in preference to dark blue?

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