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Field Service Cap

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37.JPG
In R.A.F use, late '43, at Biggins Hill.

A curious piece of head wear that had its origins in the Victorian era and worn fore 'n' aft in a vaguely 'Thunderbirds stylee'. The Cap - Field Service as it is more correctly known is often erroneously referred to as the Forage Cap, though the 'Forage Cap' is a different design entirely, and also had Victorian origins.

The Field Service Cap was introduced for general issue along with Battle Dress in 1937 and replaced the Cap - Service Dress (or SD Cap) for general wear. Produced in khaki, the design was already in use, however, as a private purchase item. The private purchase caps were available in a myriad of regimental patterns and colours and these are still in use today, being worn in either Barrack of Mess Dress by WOs and Officers.

The Field Service Cap was immortalised forever in the seminal 1960s take on UK defence policy: Dad's Army. The cap featured ear flaps that were folded, hooked up and buttoned at the front. There was also a small fold down peak. When worn in this manner, the wearer resembled a total cnut, though it was ideal for frightening children and farm animals. The FS Cap was also available in RAF blue.

The FS Cap was replaced by the Cap - General Service (or Cap Ridiculous) as an economy measure around 1943 though it lingered on in the RAF until the late 1940s.