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When Did the British Army go metric ?

Article about: My question concerns headgear in the British Army. When Did the British Army stop using the measurement of inches for helmets and beret sizing ? Gary J.

  1. #1
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    Question When Did the British Army go metric ?

    My question concerns headgear in the British Army.

    When Did the British Army stop using the measurement of inches for helmets and beret sizing ?

    Gary J.

  2. #2

    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Hi Gary, good question. And one I don't honestly know the answer to being a post war thing. But Lez seems to think her WRAC caps in the early 1980's were sized in Imperial measurements.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    When I joined the Army in the 90 s it was still in inches then

  4. #4

    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Interesting batch of allegedly 1950's - 60's badge, hackle & beret arrangements for sale on evilbay at the moment - with metric measurements.........

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Hi guys,
    There was a switch over period in the late 1980s when both measurements were in use.
    I transferred from infantry to RE in 1988 and my RE beret is metric, (I still have both my khaki infantry beret and dark blue RE one, unfortunately I cant make out the markings on my khaki beret, issued in 1981/2, but I know it was in imperial)
    I have just checked one of my old combat smocks that my son still has, I cant make out a date stamp in it, but I do know I was issued it in about 1982, and that still has the British army number sizing in it, I wish I could still get in a size 2 combat smock! LOL)

    What must be remembered though, is that QM's have a natural aversity to issuing kit, let alone getting rid of it and it would still be issued out regardless of whether the size marking was/is metric or imperial so there was still stuff being issued with imperial marks on until they were all gone off the racks

    So, to recap:

    mid > late 1980s overlap of measurements
    1990 ish onwards = metric

    Clear as mud! LOL

    Hope this is of some help

    Regards etc

    Ian D
    AKA: Jimpy
    Last edited by jimpy; 12-23-2010 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Addition

  6. #6
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Quote by leigh kitchen View Post
    Interesting batch of allegedly 1950's - 60's badge, hackle & beret arrangements for sale on evilbay at the moment - with metric measurements.........
    If this is the case Leigh, then I would say that these are modern, (post 1980s berets being passed off as older ones, see my posting above)

    Regards etc

    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  7. #7

    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Absolutely, no doubt about it, berets produced way too late to have ever been worn by the regiments concerned who were long gone by about 20 years by the time these berets were produced.
    The beret of a type still in use, the badge of a type still in use, some hackles to be generous may be "original" from the period or may be more recently made ones readily available for "Old Comrades" or whoever wants to buy them, other hackles are of the type currently in use - very distinctive from those worn in the 1960's.
    I have'nt paid much attention to them other than to snort in derision, but one sold a day or two ago, for, I think 25,

  8. #8
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    I think im right in saying that when the new "95" Kit was first issued , it was in metric, and the plce equipment may be the same, but as for berets i think it was a case of whatever was in the stores at the time but the older stock had to be issued first, so in theory this could have progressed right up to the late 90s

  9. #9
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Quote by davejb View Post
    I think im right in saying that when the new "95" Kit was first issued , it was in metric, and the plce equipment may be the same, but as for berets i think it was a case of whatever was in the stores at the time but the older stock had to be issued first, so in theory this could have progressed right up to the late 90s
    Dave,

    Im fairly certain that the combats issued pre 95 kit were also in metric. (The crappy, thin combats with the bellows pockets and the half-lined combat smocks, NOT the 68ptn kit that we all loved, until they got soaked and then took forever to dry out)
    Regards etc

    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  10. #10
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    Default Re: When Did the British Army go metric ?

    Yes you are right Ian, ive just had a look in the loft and my 95 thermal fleece is in metric as is my 1980s para smock, also my old smock combat with the lining has a size 3 and then nato size 6070/0515 i think the date is 69, i found out that these type of camo gear are worth a fair bit of money ,about 180 just for the jacket, they are really hard to come by now. Wish to god id kept my original Para smock from 1973, i believe it was wartime stock reissued to TA units.

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