Beret Cap Badges and Backing Patches in Northern Ireland


Book Reviewer
Scaley cloth cap badge circa 1978-80
View attachment 477855whoever thought of putting them on a circle was an idiot of the first water. Surely it would have been better on a triangle. Those of us that had these miserable excuses for badges, used to cut them to the shape we wanted. Unfortunately, there were several shouty people who didn't like the look of them and we were ordered to get a proper "Jimmy" on our berets. The trouble with "Jimmy" was, he got caught up on everything from cam-nets to suspender belts. The badge got broken at the ankle so often, you couldn't glue them and had to pay a visit to the QM.
probably bought them down the scout shop
my London Jocks TOS which I swapped with a US Chinook pilot for his side hat.
Mere months after I passed out at Buller (Squad 259), and on the lash in that London, someone in a strange foreign uniform and I exchanged badges at the Chelsea Drug Store, and I staggered back up Gun Hill with this on my beret. Staffy was not pleased, and I did more guard duties than usual.


Book Reviewer
I might be wrong but I think we took to wearing blacked badges in BOAR from 71 onwards whilst out on schemes . Ihave a battered one in my housewife but i never went to norn iron .
When 1RWF came back from Hong Kong in 1972 and went straight to Londonderry, the CO made the eminently sensible decision for the Regiment to not wear the white hackle when out of camp - he reasoned that it made an excellent aiming point. The hackle was only worn around camp when on guard, or other official regimental duties. Wearing a hackle was easy for the Welsh - they had a flap behind the capbadge that the wire brace of the hackle fitted round. Not so easy for us attached ranks.
About this time, one of the RRF Batallions deployed (3rd comes to mind?) and their Colonel made a big show of bragging that they were proud of their hackle and no one was going to stop them wearing it. IIRC, he also stopped them wearing flak jackets, but I subsequently heard that they wore them under their combat jackets.
My workshop with the RWF was next to their training team and one day I saw their Sergeant painting cap badges black, which I thought a sensible idea and painted one of mine. About this time, people started biroing out white rank stripes (various colours - green was popular). When I got to Commando Brigade, all the Royal Marine rank badges were black (and smaller), so I had all mine done as well.