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I recently attempted to answer a question on a uniform ID and the NCO in the photograph is wearing the "round" or "station-master" forage cap. http://gmic.co.uk/in...729#entry450729

In trying to date the photo I began to wonder when the peaked/visor cap that we know so well today was first used. It is mentioned, with photograph plate 8 in the 1900 DRs, and co-existed with the round cap.

It was called "Staff Pattern" and the earliest photograph that I have seen is of General Sir George White's HQ (1899) at Ladysmith which clearly shows an officer wearing one. And Indeed a painting of the Relief of Ladysmith shows Sir George White and other officers wearing this style (1900) http://en.wikipedia....erick_Bacon.jpg

There are plenty of photos showing Generals and staff wearing these caps during the 2nd Boer War but I haven't been able to locate any prior to the 1899 stated above.

Going back to the 1894 DRs only the round forage cap is mentioned so we can assume from this that the peaked forage cap appeared after 1894 and probably say around 1898. I say this because the DRs always lagged behind the actuality of what officers wore.

I think the cap had replaced the round style by 1902 when I think it also began to filter through to the general soldiery, that is, non staff but I shall have to do some more checking.

Any help always appreciated.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

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I came across this painting entitled The Relief of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville painted in 1897. It clearly shows a Russian officer wearing a peaked cap. Go Figure :unsure: Does this mean that they were around in the 1850s or that Caton Woodville was taking a licence? Anyway it does indicate that they were around at least as early as 1897.

Stuart

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Stuart

An interesting question! Somewhere I have an image of Caton Woodville working on a painting in his studio surrounded by militaria and so I would assume that his paintings are fairly accurate. I will trawl through my photo collection to try and find the earliest image I have of a cap in wear.

Simon

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Stuart

Just been looking through some editions of 'Our Soldiers and Sailor's' magazine from March 1898 and it becomes apparent that Officers of the Royal Navy were wearing the 'staff' pattern style cap with RN badges at this time. Whereas all the Army Officers pictured are still shown in the rounded type! Did the Army copy the new style from the Senior Service I wonder?

Simon

Edited by coldstream

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Simon,

I had pondered the Navy side but did not pursue it. Therefore quite likely that the Army followed the Navy on this one, but that begs the question as to when the Navy adopted the style. They were still wearing the old style well into the First World War.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Stuart

Another little snippet regarding the issue of caps to other ranks...W Y Carmen in his book 'British Military Uniforms from contemporary Pictures' published 1957 states

'Although the white helmet was worn overseas with a khaki cover, at home a wide-brimmed felt hat was tried; this gave way to the short-lived Broderick cap, a peakless round cap, at no time popular with the troops. By 1905 a peaked cap of khaki was worn by other ranks.'

This of course throws in another question of whether the cap adopted for use by other ranks was based on the Officers 'staff' pattern or on the Broderick cap with the addition of a peak?

Simon

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I am sure that the cap referred to by Carman was indeed the Staff Pattern. I say this because Yeomanry units were wearing the style from at least 1903 onwards.

I was hoping that someone has dated photos - where is Leigh?

Stuart

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Here is an interesting photo of "Australian Volunteers of the Imperial Bushmen" during the 2nd Boer War. It is undated but the first contingents went to South Africa in early 1900. It shows them wearing a soft khaki cap roughly in the shape of the Staff Pattern.

Stuart

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For British Army other ranks the new coloured peaked cap for wear with scarlet, appears universally around 1902. I'm back in Saudi so don't know if I have any photo's from that date here with me.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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a question...

I am not to sure, but does this relate to when it was implemented into the British forces, or when was the peaked cap introduced into military circles... which would pose the question, who die the British copy it from...

Thanks

Chris

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Graham,

thanks, 1902 has always stuck in my mind but I can't remember where it came from. However, I thought that the Brodrick cap was introduced in 1902 and replaced by a peaked cap in 1905.

Chris,

the basic question was when it replaced the round style of forage cap in the British Army. Now as to its origins is another question entirely but that Russian officer in the painting should be a clue.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Hi - all. A question I've never really thought too much about - I'd always had it in mind that it was around the Boer War. However, I've just looked through Michael Barthorp's book 'British Infantry Uniforms since 1660' and it shows examples of early caps from 1825. I have shown this and one for 1835 - they don't seem to be earlier. What do you think ?

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Mervyn,

these are early examples of the forage cap and are indeed similar to the peaked cap we know today. The forage cap went through several design changes, including the pillbox cap, and finally emerged as the peaked cap.

I guess my question is a bit esoteric and was prompted by that other post by Gerard. It would appear that Simon is correct in that the cap was copied from the Royal Navy. I got this snippet of information by googling "Brodrick Cap" and ending up on Wikipedia.

Pity Graham is not in town to access his photo collection and where is Leigh ?

Stuart

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Well this is informative from Wikipedia but has no references to check.

The peaked cap has been worn by Russian Army officers (other ranks had the same cap without a peak) as a new type of forage cap since 1811. Another early appearance of the peaked cap appears to have been in the Prussian Army of 1814-15 when Feldmarschall Prince Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher and other officers wore it as a field cap in place of the cumbersome shako of the time. Throughout the nineteenth century peaked caps were the characteristic ordinary duty headdress for officers of both the Prussian and Russian Armies. In 1856 a form of peaked cap was adopted by petty officers of the Royal Navy, in imitation of an undress headdress worn by officers from as early as 1827. The British Army adopted peaked caps in 1902 for both the new khaki field dress and (in coloured form) as part of the "walking out" or off duty wear for other ranks.

Stuart

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Graham,

thanks, 1902 has always stuck in my mind but I can't remember where it came from. However, I thought that the Brodrick cap was introduced in 1902 and replaced by a peaked cap in 1905.

Stuart

As it so happens I have a photo of the officers and senior ranks of the 4th Bn, NF taken 1904 and all wear the peaked forage cap. The other two regular battalions were still serving overseas and may not have received theirs until returning home.

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Graham,

very interesting as I see a Brodrick cap centre standing. So it would appear that the peaked Forage cap was in use at least as early as 1903 and co-existed with the Brodrick.

What a tangled web the British Army weaved :blush:

Stuart

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Graham,

very interesting as I see a Brodrick cap centre standing. So it would appear that the peaked Forage cap was in use at least as early as 1903 and co-existed with the Brodrick.

What a tangled web the British Army weaved :blush:

Stuart

Too true, because if you look at the group photo's of the 2nd Bn, NF, in the R.N.F. posts, they're still wearing the Broderick on St.Georges Day, 1907. Just wish I was home to go through my photograph collection and regimental journals for the period as they gave a better representation of what was going on. However I do suspect, that it was a gradual phasing-in of one and phasing out of the other, especially if your battalions were serving abroad.

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While looking through the Osprey, Men-at-arms-series, Wolfe's Army, I came upon this drawing that shows a couple of infantrymen from 1758 and 1759. I'm not sure this is exactly what is being looked for but it is quite early.

Regards

Brian

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Very interesting Brian. They look like a modern day baseball cap or even the jockey cap which was in use in the early 1800s and also formed the basis of the Tarleton helmet.

I did see a jockey cap on another forum and I think it was made of boiled leather.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Stuart the original question - if I remember - was how and when did modern caps come into existance. I would say - fairly conclusively - that the pictures Brian and I have posted show the old forage caps as forerunners of all later cap variations. The first picture I showed is so similar to a later cap - just a bit 'floppier'. I think later styles derived from these and eventually went back to having a peak - O.K. - now you can tell me why I'm wrong........

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