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  #1  
Old 23-01-19, 01:43 PM
juno-44 juno-44 is offline
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Default Canadian Para Beret for Review

Hi To all,

Someone is offering this beret and before committing to it I would like to know if its an original. According to the following thread:

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...anadian+berets

Canadian made wartime para beret were not made with brass grommets. Thanking you all in advance and hoping to hear from some of you very soon.

Regards, juno-44

















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  #2  
Old 23-01-19, 03:24 PM
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Looks good to me, just make sure there is no pocket for the cap badge, that came in post war, this beret looks unused.

Mike
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  #3  
Old 23-01-19, 03:26 PM
juno-44 juno-44 is offline
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for your quick reply. What do you mean by pocket for the cap badge?

Regards, juno-44
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  #4  
Old 23-01-19, 03:30 PM
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Post war berets had a stiffener and a pocket for the slider for a cap badge, some unscrupulous sellers will take a post war maroon beret and sew in a war time liner.
Another way to tell a war time beret is they are big, like a pancake when worn, almost 1/3 bigger than a post war beret.
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  #5  
Old 23-01-19, 03:58 PM
juno-44 juno-44 is offline
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Mike,

No stiffener and not as big as my RCAC beret posted at:

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=71790

It is the ame size as my Dorothea Knitting Mills Limited 1945 khaki beret.

Regards juno-44
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  #6  
Old 24-01-19, 08:20 PM
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Personally I would rely on Coogan's opinion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cw2311 View Post
I have inspected a considerable amount of Canadian produced para berets and standard issue by the two primary contractors and have only ever found factory originals to be with steel (magnetic) grommets.
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  #7  
Old 24-01-19, 10:02 PM
juno-44 juno-44 is offline
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Thank you Luc, here is a photo showing the stitchings.

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  #8  
Old 25-01-19, 06:54 PM
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I am not a fan of this beret.

Cheers
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  #9  
Old 25-01-19, 07:11 PM
juno-44 juno-44 is offline
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Hi,

Thanks for getting back to me. When you say you are not a fan of this beret is it because it has brass grommet?

Regards, juno-44
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  #10  
Old 25-01-19, 07:19 PM
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That is one of several reasons.


Quote:
Originally Posted by juno-44 View Post
Hi,

Thanks for getting back to me. When you say you are not a fan of this beret is it because it has brass grommet?

Regards, juno-44
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  #11  
Old 25-01-19, 07:30 PM
juno-44 juno-44 is offline
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Thank you
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  #12  
Old 26-01-19, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juno-44 View Post
Thank you

Juno-44,

That being said, you only received feedback from two people with opposite views. Please do a little more research and come to your own conclusion.

All the best with collecting.

Cheers
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  #13  
Old 27-01-19, 05:51 PM
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Default Berets

It would be nice for someone to keep track of these berets to see how many of them are out there. There have been at least two included in veterans groupings. Both later revealed as not actually coming with those collections but added later.

What is the mystery of the Grand Mere berets is the fact that they were being sold in Toronto at a surplus store on Young Street back when I was a kid. That would be in the 1979-80 time period. They were sold in huge bins with other 1945 dated khaki and black berets. Back then, yes even in the late 70's early 80's, these things were not very valuable about 5$ each. At least that is what the surplus store wanted. Obviously there were far fewer maroon than khaki. But they sold very quickly.

There is documentation at the LAC in Ottawa referring to beret manufacturers RELINING and RESIZING berets in order to use existing stock to fill demand for certain sizes. So this is not an unusual practice for a manufacturer.

Also, there is little to NO specific documentation on maroon beret manufacture. The numbers required were insignificant and I suppose did not warrant as close scrutiny as the tens of thousands of khaki berets. In fact orders were originally quite small. So one has to wonder if they made the berets from scratch or somehow converted existing examples? I am referring specifically to Grand Mere.

Taking the information provided by Coogan, I have also heard that the fellows that created the "3rd Canadian Parachute Battalion" demonstration team back then had berets converted from khaki to maroon. But I have not been able to contact anyone to corroborate that claim. I have also been told that they may have been responsible for the manufacture of some of the examples of the Officers cap badge in white metal and brass?

This is just another one of those mysteries. I included this beret in my book because the beret in question was part of a veterans lot. It was only later I was told by another collector the real story behind the lot. It questioned whether the beret actually came with the other items in the veterans memorabilia. However since examples of Grand Mere Maroon berets were being sold as surplus as far back as the 70's it's not beyond the realm of possibility that a vet acquired one for reunions.

This sparks memories of my early days of collecting as I distinctly recall the first maroon beret from a vet that I ever saw. I was about 11 years old and my mentor Rick Davies acquired the items of a man named Brisbois who was from our area (Oshawa) who was with 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. It was the first para helmet, beret, smock, plastic cap badge, printed shoulder titles, pegasus patches etc I ever saw from a vet of the 1CPB. I can still smell the must coming from the inside of the helmet with the original camo net and hessian strips. I can still recall Rick telling me how "fragile" the cap badges were. I was in awe as I had just seen the movie A BRIDGE TOO FAR at the theater (1977) where my brothers friends snuck me in as it was restricted.

Anyway I distinctly remember it being a Grand Mere beret because of the bright yellow stamp. But again, did Brisbois wear it during the war or acquire it later? I distinctly recall the plastic cap badge was not on the beret. Anyway it was odd because it turned out that one of my mothers best friends at that time was this mans daughter. The helmet sold for a wapping 40$ which I could not afford at the time because my father would not loan me the money. I had to wait until I got my lawn mowing money and by that time it was gone. The other stuff was sold together as a lot and I have no clue what happened to it.

All I know is that these Grand Mere Maroon berets, good or bad, have been around for some time. They existed when even 1945 dated maroon berets were only fetching 20-25$ among collectors. So, if bogus, I doubt they were made for someone to get rich off of. This is why I suspect there is some other reason they exist.
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  #14  
Old 06-02-19, 12:58 PM
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Here is a textbook Grand Mere para beret that was sent to me by a fellow collector. Its not in the nicest condition as the leather has become brittle and started falling apart. Look at the pictures closely, the grommets are unique to this maker with regards to size and being magnetic.

Cheers
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  #15  
Old 06-02-19, 09:03 PM
Force136 Force136 is offline
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Default GM Beret

It actually looks like the maroon die went into the lining or the entire beret was
thrown into a vat of die. Interesting.
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