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RAF Officer beret

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RAF Officer beret

Old 10th Oct 2017, 17:57
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Whether you know it as a field service cap or forage cap, I believe the correct and original (pre WWII) name was a Glengarry adopted from the hat worn by Scottish regiments
From my militaria dealing days I still have a copy of Army Dress Regulations, 1900, which shows both the Glengarry and the field service cap. The FSC differs from the Glengarry as its sides are designed to fold down and button at the chin to provide protection from the weather etc. Incidentally the FSC (NOT the forage cap) was not authorised for wear in the RAF until December 1939, and the beret did not come in till 1943, initially for the RAF Regiment only, which ties in with what Danny said in post # 32.

Incidentally, re t**t hat (cf c**t cap) I was never quite sure if this name was meant to describe the appearance of the headdress itself, or the wearer

Anyway, I thought the correct head dress for a Rock Ape was a
Topi
.

Tut P-N
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 18:59
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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TTN

An addition to your potted hsitory is that the beret in 1943 was RAF Regt only as you said but was only introduced for the rest in 1953. That was when the FSC was ceased until re-introduced in 1977 with the wooley-pulley in 1973[edit].

Last edited by Lima Juliet; 11th Oct 2017 at 13:20.
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 19:49
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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I was issued my woolly-pully in 1974.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 13:19
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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K3k3

My apologies you are correct. It was 1973 for the jumper and not 1977 - post edited.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 15:00
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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The woolly-pully and cash over the bar were some of the reasons I left the Air Force.

I wore my No 2 until it wore out.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 16:59
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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The woolly-pully and cash over the bar were some of the reasons I left the Air Force.
I am pleased that I saw the last years of RAF mess life which would still have been recognisable to someone from pre war years, (suits in the evening, batmen, waiter service at all meals including breakfast etc), and certainly no cash over the bar.

I recall a mess meeting at Catterick when the main item on the agenda was whether the mess should buy a washing machine so that living in officers could do their own dhobi instead of sending it to the laundry. One crusty old wing commander (not RAF Regiment as it happens) spoke out against the idea, which he claimed would be "detrimental to the status of an officer".

Autres temps, autre moeurs
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 18:35
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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TTN - I am with you on that
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 19:15
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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I must admit that I found RAF Mess life much better than the Army version. After spending 3 years at RAF Gutersloh, I happened to go back when the Army had taken it over; just wasn't the same.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 19:27
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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I do recall a Mess Meeting at HQ 11 Gp (Bentley Priory) in the early 80s, where there was a vociferous protest from living-in Fighter Control junior officers about having to dress for dinner. They wanted shirt & sweater to be SOP dress in the evening. I don't recall the result, but have a feeling they won their battle to drive down standards.

I was taught that one should dress in the expectation of the Mess receiving visitors, and visitors at BP were likely to be people of some significance. [/BOF]
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 21:03
  #70 (permalink)  
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MPN, I had the requirement to spend a night at the Drayton mess. Very impressed, swiush doors, smart decor, modern reception and wow a lift straight to the Soviet Sector of Berlin.

I still remember a male person wearing just underparts and vest flying a model aircraft in the corridor.

Also an unforgettable visit to Saxa where Suzie was the CO. She was Suzie to everyone.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 21:17
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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flying a model aircraft in the corridor
In my day it would have been one pedalling a bike at full speed with another one on the crossbar holding a broom and a dustbin lid: Coming the other way would be another pair, similarly equipped.
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 21:40
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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PN

Could I ask when you were at Drayton and saw this apparition? Many years ago I resided there (MOD) and made many model aircraft!!
As a "singley" it was probably the best OM going (for a non-flying station!)

Bill
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 06:29
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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When the woolly-pulley came out, I was at Coningsby. What was very amusing was the alacrity with which the first of our aircrew stitched his wings on ( it was not officially sanctioned initially IIRC) .
One of our more mature (ex-Valiant and Canberra Recce) winged brethren quietly inquired of the said individual if he had remembered to also stitch them on his pyjamas.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 07:37
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Wooley-pulley had been in some while before the edict came along to sew your wings on, as I recall there was quite a bit of push-back in the early days.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 07:44
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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The original suggestion concerning the wearing of Wings on the woolly pully was actually a spoof proposal penned by a Scampton Vulcan captain.

Officialdom took him seriously and soon we had to comply.

Unfortunately the barathea No2 uniform as worn by V-bomber and Lightning aircrew had been withdrawn and the hideous replacement version found little favour.

The woolly pully went through several iterations, but the worst was the V-neck version worn with a shirt and tie. The last time I'd had to wear such a uniform was at prep school...
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 08:41
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately the barathea No2 uniform as worn by V-bomber and Lightning aircrew
Since when was the No2 a prerogative of the V Force and Lightening aircrew? I was initially issued with blue serge No 2 which was chronic to wear and like every other officer I had the tailors make me a barathea version of the same. There was an issue version with zips instead of normal breast pockets but there was no shortage of those in the SH Force.

I believe every Supply officer had one too.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 09:24
  #77 (permalink)  
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BM, now that is stretching the brain cells. I know I visited LATCC and remember lunch but no memory of why. Best guess was 1988 and it just seemed so spartan compared with the splendour of the ground floor. The wardrobes on stilts to avoid the rooms being sub standard. The sloping top of the windows with no curtain or blinds. But overall the contrast.

I am sure that was well after your time.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 09:41
  #78 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
Since when was the No2 a prerogative of the V Force and Lightening aircrew? I was initially issued with blue serge No 2 which was chronic to wear and like every other officer I had the tailors make me a barathea version of the same. There was an issue version with zips instead of normal breast pockets but there was no shortage of those in the SH Force.

I believe every Supply officer had one too.
FED, I suspect the zipped pocket version you refer to was well after No 2.

The sequence was a No 1 for parades and a serge No 2 replaced as you say with your own barathea*. Then the No 2 was withdrawn around 1967 but you were allowed to wear it out. Instead we were given the cash to buy a second No 1 thus having working dress and parade dress. Not popular.

At the same time the Mk 2 V-Force crews and Lightning crews were issued with a zuite suit flying suit. A two piece and the trousers had a hole near the right pocket to accommodate the AVS and G suit hoses. We would have been very smart in a Gulag.

As Beagle said, supplies dried up in 1970 however there was a secret stash in Stores at Akrotiri and if you were quick you could persuade the Supplier to part with a set. I acquired one for someone several inches tasller and considerably bulkier. The station tailor did his magic and I had one that fitted perfectly. Apart from tailoring alterations the zuite suit was free issue.

Then came the new No 2, a c**p copy of the zuite suit at increased cost. They were optional, you could continue to wear the No 1 Working Dress. Then came the WP.

Don't start on the shirt saga.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 10:04
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post

The woolly pully went through several iterations, but the worst was the V-neck version worn with a shirt and tie. The last time I'd had to wear such a uniform was at prep school...
Depends on who you were Beags, initially the round neck was worst for airmen. Every SWO and their respective staffs had different ideas, some wanted a tie with collar points tucked in, others said no ties with collars outside the neckband and every combination between. A bit like the current differences of opinion on MTP, tucked in/out, sleeves up/down.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 10:33
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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At Catterick around 1965 a chap who had been chopped from pilot training turned up to start his Junior Regiment Officers' Course in one of those zip-up Bomber Command thingies, complete with regiment flashes. He was sent back to the mess to change and told to get rid of it ASAP. Another time a chap appeared in his no 2 complete with boots and anklets, web. Once again somebody had a not so quiet word with him, and he never appeared in that rig again.
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