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Black Royal Navy Officer Cap


I was watching the Great Escape the other day, and I was looking at the Lieutenant Commander, definitely Royal Navy in the Camp, and I was thinking there was something strange about him, I realised he was wearing a Black Officers clap, same as the normal one, but instead of white it was black, can anyone tell me why this is and where has it gone or is it just an american movie?


Lantern Swinger
Google it Keith, stacks of gen about this, standard issue in days gone by and in particular during WWII


War Hero
The white top was a cotton (later plastic) cover put over the cap. For officers, in Home Waters it was worn April-November IIRC, then in about 1956 it became all-year-round wear. In wartime, the cover would be removed when "darken ship" was piped. We then had (late 60s - mid 80s?) caps with permanent white plastic tops before moving to hats that are just a peaked frame over which the plastic or cotton cover goes. Note that only plastic covers are worn on parade.

I joined in 1976 as a reservist junior rating and wore a hat with a permanent white plastic cover until I commissioned. I generally preferred cotton after that, but my most frequently worn hat was a beret (blue).

I still have my father's uniform hat, made in 1962 (he was a Captain, Merchant Navy), and that has the black cloth top under its white cover.


War Hero
Super Moderator
I was on the Rusty B when berets came in, we had more 3 badge Benny Hill Fred Scuttle lookalikes walking about than you could shake a stick at. It kept the booties amused!


War Hero
I was on the Rusty B when berets came in, we had more 3 badge Benny Hill Fred Scuttle lookalikes walking about than you could shake a stick at. It kept the booties amused!
It wasn't until I was a civvy at Bovington, home to the Royal Armour Corps that I discovered, Royal and the Pongoes were issues 'Berets - Shaping' whilst we were given any old crap. Hence Percy and Royal looking cool and debonair and poor old Jack looking like the afore mentioned Benny Hill!!!!!!
Senior service - yer right!!
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