British Army WWII Commando Cap Comforter
For a generation of kids who grew up playing war with their Action Man or GI Joe and patiently placing model soldiers into a battle scene, the Commando has special hero status. Here at The Obsessive we do love our military kit. The demands on a piece of military kit require it to be of the very highest standard, and only the best kit survives. These NOS Commando hats have survived.
The British Commandos were created in June 1940 at the request of Sir Winston Churchill after the evacuation of Dunkirk. My own grandfather fought at Dunkirk, and was lucky enough to make it home in a boat, wrapped in an Army blanket.
The Commando units' purpose was to launch raids on German-occupied Europe. The men recruited were from the elite of the British Armed Services. The training was very innovative for the time, with an emphasis on physical fitness, speed and combat. These young men were tough and well trained.
Commandos had the best kit available. They didn't wear heavy metal helmets, they wore woollen cap comforters. The cap comforters are made from one 32 inch tube of pure wool sewn at the ends, and then one end turned into the other (the way you roll your socks) to halve the size and create a distinctive looking cap that comprises four layers, all keeping your head warm. It can also be worn as a scarf.
Wynnchester has discovered some original caps that have been preserved using an old moth protective treatment that can only be washed off by pegging the caps to a tree for a month, and letting the weather of Somerset wash and dry them. The two caps above were pegged out during storm Imogen, and arrived smelling fresh and feeling wonderfully soft.
When wearing these caps old people instantly recognise them, and will ask if you're in the Army. They always approach with a smile too.