Scarce Private Purchase Air Raid Precautions Side Cap by 'Austin Reed'
A rare original private purchase Air Raid Precautions coloured side cap made by 'Austin Reed' in excellent condition.
These side caps were an item which could be bought private purchase by members of the ARP and Civil Defence as an alternative to the issue beret. The closely follow the design of the forage caps used by the British Army and the RAF an are comparable to officer quality examples from both services.
The hat is made of black wool and features yellow piping, two ARP marked buttons the front and an original ARP pin back badge.
Inside the cap is nicely lined and has a velvet sweatband as was common with private purchase FS caps. The makers label is still present and reads 'Austin Reed, Regents Street, London'. As well as this there is another small size label which reads '6 7/8' and is typical of hat sizing labels of the period.
These hats can be seen in numerous period photographs but are now very rare as they were never as common as the issue beret. This rare hat would make an excellent addition to an ARP, Civil Defence or Home Front collection.