Hi Guys, I think this has to be the most famous item of headgear worn by the British Army. Now copied by almost every other modern army in the world for their Airborne Forces!
The story behind it adoption in 1942 is well known but perhaps is worth repeating here. Prior to this date the new Airborne Forces had worn the FS cap or head dress of their former Corps. However General "Boy" Browning was keen to introduce a new distinctive item of headgear for this new force. His family used a blue and maroon - red racing colours for their jockeys. A parade was organised with prototype berets in different colours. Browning's wife the famous novelist Daphne du Maurier was said to have picked the red beret. How true it all is, I don't know? But it makes a good story.
Here is an original beret from my collection. Worn by all British Airborne forces and not just the Parachute Regt.
If you intend to buy a red beret study these pictures well or any other WW2 British beret. They are all made the same way. These berets are very popular with collectors. Fakes and alterations abound!