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  #1  
Old 04-01-19, 01:50 PM
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leigh kitchen leigh kitchen is offline
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Default Royal Tank Regiment Officer's Dress Beret.

The RTR officer's "astrakhan"dress beret.
Introduced during the 1960's?
It was officially discarded for wear during 1978 although it appears that it's wear was unofficially "avoided" prior to that.
From what I read it was an item that appears to have been very unpopular and an object of ridicule even amongst those who had to wear it.

It bore nicknames that can't be repeated on this forum and are too offensive for me to even hint at.
I don't have strong views for or against it - I never had to wear one.

I bought what there is of this one because even though I had to pay postage from America and taxes it was the only way I'd get one at a price I could afford to pay.

It lacks the bullion badge and part of the lining, I'm still looking for a badge although the end result won't be genuine as adding stitching to put the badge on it "fakes it up" to me. As and when I get a badge I'll use a couple of dress pins to hold it in place.

Anyway I was pleased to get this beret, sorry looking though this particular example is.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-19, 03:19 PM
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leigh kitchen leigh kitchen is offline
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From what I can make out, the astrakhan beret and bullion badge were introduced in 1962.

The feather hackle was introduced in 1954, replacing the horsehair brush or plume being worn by the band and was also introduced for wear by officers (although not in the yet to be introduced astrakhan beret) in No. 1 Dress.

At some point the the band have adopted flat, inverted triangle shaped hackles as worn in the RTR OR's distinctively set up Dress berets.
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Old 04-01-19, 06:38 PM
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"In a short lived deviation from the black felt norm, an imitation black Astrakhan No1 Dress Beret was authorised in 1961 for wear by officers. A regimental hackle (3 coloured feathers) was inserted behind the badge.

However a few years after its inception, the Astrakhan had become a something of a joke having acquired a variety of unflattering nicknames (the hackle itself was described as an `irritating adornment`) and very few officers would wear it. Almost universally loathed, the parade beret was consigned to the dustbin of history after only 12 years."

"The Tank Museum, August 31, 2012 in The Tank Museum: News & Events".
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Old 07-01-19, 02:54 PM
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The Other Rank's Dress beret (I thought I'd post photos here rather than start a seperate thread)
As with the officer's Astrakhan version of the RTR beret this form of "parade wear" appears to have been unpopular with those who were required to wear it.
Until a couple of days ago when I read a comment by someone who thought highly of both designs of headgear I'd only read negative comments on them.

The OR's Dress beret was another short lived innovation worn during the 1960's-70's
Distinctive in that it has a deep band of black plastic, is set up very high with an integral tall, wide badge backing, it bears some considerable resemblence to a caubeen.
It was worn with a flat, inverted triangle shaped hackle.

Of the three that I own one has had the badge stiffener reduced in height by being cut down presumably by its wearer.

(As I keep the berets stored with their hackles removed I've been too idle to fit the hackles properly by removing the badges, inserting the hackles through slits cut in the berets and replacing the badges, I've simply wedged the hackles behind the badges for the photo shoot).
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Last edited by leigh kitchen; 07-01-19 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Added comment re. hackle fitting.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-20, 03:37 PM
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In wear by me at Catterick 1969-70 (50 years ago!)

Tim
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