Headgear ID sought

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Headgear ID sought

Postby Sawubona » 29 Sep 2016 20:44

Any ID information on this cap would be appreciated.
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Re: Headgear ID sought

Postby servicepub » 02 Oct 2016 22:34

I have seen one of these before but it was identified as British. Try posting in the 'Uniforms' section. Maybe you will find the answer.
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Re: Headgear ID sought

Postby jf42 » 03 Oct 2016 00:05

Well, I'd stick my neck out as far as to say that this has the form of a lambskin Rifle cap or 'busby.' On the front there appears to be a very unraveled cord boss of scarlet thread. It is not possible to make out the badge mounted on it. A clear image of that would make identification much easier.

The warm drab grey colour also suggests a rifle volunteer unit, circa 1880-1900.

As for authenticity, I'll leave that for others to comment on.
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Re: Headgear ID sought

Postby Frogsmile » 14 Oct 2016 11:36

It is indeed a lambskin (Astrakhan) officers cap (soldiers' caps were Sealskin) of a British or Canadian rifles regiment. Although very tatty it still bears the remnants of cords and rope boss mounted with a crown, which is correct for several regiments. The wearing of scarlet trim originated with the 60th Rifles (later KRRC), whose style was emulated by a number of units of the British Volunteer Rifles (i.e. part-time citizen soldiers) and Canadian equivalents. However, the 60th wore black cords so it cannot be they and is thus more likely a volunteer or Canadian militia unit. Astrakhan could be both, black, or grey and so the grey colour associated with scarlet cords, should make a regimental ID fairly straightforwards.
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Re: Headgear ID sought

Postby Frogsmile » 14 Nov 2016 13:10

I found this shako from the Lancashire Rifle Volunteers and am wondering if the subject fur cap was a head dress adopted by them later on given the distinctive and comprehensive scarlet trim.

I am largely ruling out the Canadian possibility, as they had a much stronger tie to rifle green in the North Americas, so I do think that the answer lies with a British unit.
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Re: Headgear ID sought

Postby VictorianEra » 26 Nov 2016 07:46

Sawubona, a few weeks ago whilst looking on a militaria store website, I saw a uniform grouping (that was previously sold) with a tunic and a busby very similar to the one you have pictured. I looked at it for a moment and admired how nice looking it was, and now I see a very similar busby pictured here. As some of the previous posters have stated, I agree with them and do not believe this is busby has Canadian ties. It is most likely British, the uniform grouping I came across with the similar busby was to the 13th Middlesex Volunteer Rifles. It was from about 1894. Of course, another rifle volunteer unit could have a similar grey coloured busby. I have included a picture of the similar busby to show the similarities.
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Re: Headgear ID sought

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Nov 2016 16:12

In 1880, the unit mentioned by forum member victorianera, was the 13th Middlesex (Queen’s) Rifle Volunteer Corps (Westminster). In the period after the Cardwell/Childers reforms, promulgated in 1881, the same unit became a volunteer battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps. In 1908, with the formation of the Territorial Force, this unit became a battalion of the London Regiment - the 16th.

This unit initially appears to have worn a shako, followed in the late 1870s by a spiked helmet and, finally, adopting a lambskin busby up to the period of the outbreak of WW1.
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