Headdress Badges on the First Pattern Hat


The 1901-05 King’s Colonials Full Dress felt hat shown in Figures 172-173 was unique in bearing three badges: a first pattern Regimental badge (KK 1370) on the front crown of the hat, below that a second pattern Regimental badge (KK 1371) for Officer's of the Regimental Headquarters (Staff Officers) or a unique Squadron badge (KK 1372-1376) for Squadron Officer's and Other Ranks plus a second pattern Regimental badge (KK 1371) worn on the side of the hat. This combination of badges would have been worn in gilt for Officers and in gilding metal for Other Ranks. An exception to this was that the Bandmaster wore a gilt lyre badge in place of both second pattern Regimental badges as noted by Keith Hook and David Knight (Journal of the Military Historical Society, 251:70-78, 2018).  

Figure 172: Close-up photographs of the first pattern Regimental headdress badge (KK 1370) above the second pattern Regimental headdress badge (KK 1376) with additional second pattern Regimental badge on the upturned side brim on the first pattern King’s Colonials Full Dress Officers felt hat circa 1903. 

This array of badges can be fully appreciated by examining Figure 173 which is a colour photograph of the bush hat (less plume) worn by King George V’s (Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment) in 1911. This bush hat is adorned with three gilt badges; a first pattern Regimental badge and two second pattern Regimental badges. As noted above, this combination of badges would have been worn by Officers of the Regimental (Headquarters) staff hereafter referred to as Regimental Staff Officers.

The first pattern Regimental headdress badge was only worn in the period 1901-05 on the first pattern Full Dress felt hat and the newly introduced khaki Service Dress cap. The first pattern Regimental headdress badge was superseded in 1905 with the introduction of replacement forms of headdress, a second pattern Full Dress bush hat and the Service Dress cap. The badges on these forms of headdress were either the second pattern Regimental headdress badge for Regimental Staff Officers and Squadron headdress badges for the Officers and Other Ranks of the Squadrons.

Squadron headdress badges were worn by both Officers (gilt) and Other Ranks (gilding metal) of the Squadrons on both patterns of the Full Dress hat and Undress caps from 1902-1910.

Figure 173:  The bush hat worn by King George V adorned with three King’s Colonials headdress badges circa 1911 © National Army Museum, Accession Number, NAM. 1963-05-3-1.

Figure 174: The first pattern Regimental Officer's headdress badge (KK 1370) in gilt above the second pattern Regimental Officer's headdress badge (KK 1376) in gilt with additional second pattern Regimental Officer's headdress badge (KK 1376) in gilt on the right hand side as worn on the first pattern King’s Colonials Full Dress Officers felt hat circa 1902-04.