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BRITISH WWII FIELD MARSHALL HAROLD ALEXANDER’S VISOR CAP.

BRITISH WWII FIELD MARSHALL HAROLD ALEXANDER’S VISOR CAP.

Possibly one of the rarest items of WWII British militaria we have ever owned, with the exception of the uniforms of Douglas Bader, which we owned 30 years ago. The field service visor cap of Field Marshall Harold Alexander 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis. The visor cap possibly Indian or Egyptian made is a totally different form than standard British Army high ranking officers visor caps, one only has to study the literally thousands of photographs of Harold Alexander in field situations in WWII to recognise this cap immediately. Our interpretation of the cap is that it was initially purchased as a standard officers cap, unusually having a plain leather peak and not cloth covered, he had added the Generals rank red band with his bullion wire woven King’s Crown General’s badge fitted. The side buttons are General Service buttons in good gilt and are of the size generally used to secure shoulder boards down on tunics. Standard British officers wide leather strap. On inverting the cap considerable field service use with the faint traces of a gilded maker or retailer to the central crown area but too difficult to read or to interpret. The inner lining originally in a crimson colour, which has faded with use and hair grease markings. The leather sweatband is entirely original to the cap. Just picking up the cap has an intense historical feel to it. There is no moth damage to the cap, there is one tiny stain on the crown, bullion wire of the General’s badge has subdued considerably but the gilt on the side buttons still remains. In the many images of Field Marshall Alexander wearing this cap these larger side buttons being brighter than the rest of the cap can clearly be seen, also the same creasing generally to the lower right hand side of the cap matches identically to the many photographs available. Accompanying the cap are his two British fibre identity tags worn around his neck with his initials and name ‘Alexander’ with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on their original string suspension. The cap is situated in a japanned tin box with the label to the exterior ‘Reeves Depositories, Camberley’ with the name ‘Lady Alexander’ and the date ‘23rd February 1959’. Also enclosed is a small framed colour photograph of Alexander wearing his RAF sheepskin lined Irvin jacket, hatless, a string of small flags, each flag representing one of the divisions under his command in Italy 43, a coffee or teapot engraved ‘To the Governor General and Vicountess Alexander of Tunic from the Train Crew Canada 1946 to 1952’, a large 51 x 41cm pencil drawing of Alexander, hatless, wearing his tropical uniform with full Generals rank insignia attached to his epaulettes, the pencil drawing signed and dated ‘43’ with a signature ‘H.R.Alexander’ to the side of the artist’s signature, the signature maybe a facsimile. Also within the box is his son’s Irish Guards officers visor cap with the initials ‘B.J.A’ punched into the sweatband but minus the Irish Guards badge. Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander KG., GCB., OM., GCMG., CSI., DSO., MC., CD., PC (CAN) born December 1891 died June 1969 attended Harrow School before joining the Irish Guards in WWI, received many decorations and honours during WWI. In WWII Alexander was Commander overseeing the final stages of the allied evacuation from Dunkirk and subsequently held high ranking field commands in Burma, North Africa and Italy including serving as Commander-in-Chief Middle East and Commanding the 18th Army Group in Tunisia, he then commanded the 15th Army Group for the capture of Sicily and again in Italy before receiving his Field Marshall’s baton and being appointed Supreme Allied Commander of the Mediterranean. In 1946 he was appointed Governor General Canada and served in that post until 1952 and subsequently was a British Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Winston Churchill in 1952 and retired from public life in 1954. His military career is virtually unsurpassed and any student of British history of WWII would have known his name and was one of the last personnel on the Eastern mole of the Dunkirk beachhead in June 1940. On the 8th August 1942 Alexander arrived in North Africa to replace General Claude Auchinleck as Commander-in-Chief Middle East Command and at the same time Lieutenant General Montgomery replaced Auchinleck as General Officer commanding the 8th Army. Alexander presided over Montgomery’s victory at the 2nd battle of Alamein and the advance of the 8th Army to Tripoli and was then Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean Centre of Operations. He remained as Commander of the Allied 15th Army Corps until December 1944. At all times throughout the war he was senior in rank of Montgomery. Alexander then received the German surrender in Italy on the 29th April 1945. He was one of the most likeable of British Commanders and had excellent relations with the American Allies. His list of honours and decorations is huge and one can only imagine the momentous decisions that were taken by him and in his presence during WWII wearing this cap.

Code: 79336

8500.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII FIELD MARSHALL HAROLD ALEXANDER’S VISOR CAP.

BRITISH WWII FIELD MARSHALL HAROLD ALEXANDER’S VISOR CAP.

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Code: 79335

8500.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII FIELD MARSHALL HAROLD ALEXANDER’S VISOR CAP.

BRITISH WWII FIELD MARSHALL HAROLD ALEXANDER’S VISOR CAP.

more images..

Code: 79334

8500.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII ARTILLERY SLOUCH HAT.

BRITISH WWII ARTILLERY SLOUCH HAT.

A good used example of the classic slouch hat, this example has a two-piece artillery red and blue lozenge to the side turn-up. There is some wear to the nap of the cloth and a little colour bleed from the dye in the lozenge. The pagri is of aertex multi pleated type and is a little loose in places. There are the normal stain areas of wear that are associated with a hat worn in difficult fighting conditions. Some minor moth tracking. The interior leather band complete and clearly dated ‘1943’ with the size 6 5/8ths, as well as manufacturers markings. Chinstrap complete.

Code: 79288

255.00 GBP


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U.S.VIETNAM WAR LIFE PRESERVER.

U.S.VIETNAM WAR LIFE PRESERVER.

A good item that would be worn by pilots during the operations in the skies over Vietnam. This particular item is used and has the airman’s name and number inked to the back. The two pockets appear full with their contents. All belts are present. There is some light soiling and a little wear however no fraying or holes.

Code: 79324

75.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII HOME FRONT GROUPING.

BRITISH WWII HOME FRONT GROUPING.

A nice grouping of items which include the Brodie helmet painted black with the colours in shield shape of St.Bartholomew’s Hospital. A small diary size booklet dated ‘1936’ entitled The Pharmacopceie of St.Bartholomew’s Hospital with the matching Coat of Arms of the Hospital on the front of the diary gilded, that match the helmet. A nice large bronze medallion in its original fitted case, gilt titled to the exterior ‘St.Bartholomew’s Hospital Octocentenary 1923’. A book entitled 1123-1923 History of St.Bartholomew’s Hospital with the identical Coat of Arms with a 1958 dedication to the interior. A 1939 series of in-house printed magazines from St.Barts all with the Coat of Arms to the face side. An ARP lapel badge. The grouping was formerly the property of Sidney Linbery Hicks who trained and qualified at Barts and went on to be an eminent orthopaedic surgeon. A full official account of him may be found. The dedication inside the 1123-1923 book is from Sidney Linbery Hicks to a Janet Steven. The Brodie helmet is more than likely dated on the inner frame fibre sections but we have no wish to disturb the age related grime on the fibre just to find a date. The helmet is complete with its interior liner and chinstrap, which has slightly solidified. A very nice Home Front grouping.

Code: 79289

625.00 GBP


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VIETNAM WAR PERIOD THAI MADE BOONIE HAT.

VIETNAM WAR PERIOD THAI MADE BOONIE HAT.

A boonie hat clearly made for Air Force personnel stationed in Thailand. To the front is a good printed Land of the King Cobra Takli Air Base patch, zigzag stitched, attached to the sides a printed Thailand shoulder title. Clearly used very much in the French style, multi stitched overall. The lining is from reused parachute silk. Early Vietnam War period dated from approximately 1962.

Code: 79315

95.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII 1943 DATED SLOUCH HAT.

BRITISH WWII 1943 DATED SLOUCH HAT.

It is unusual to find a slouch hat in unworn condition, extremely fine with its maker coded size 6 ¾ and dated 1943 leather sweatband, with its original chinstrap and buckle. Light khaki pagri, twin air vents to either side, with its male/female closing stud that holds the side of the hat to the main body.

Code: 79287

170.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII 1945 DATED MARK 3 COMBAT HELMET.

BRITISH WWII 1945 DATED MARK 3 COMBAT HELMET.

A nice condition ‘45’ dated Mark 3 combat helmet. Good original finish overall with all lining and chinstrap.

Code: 79250

190.00 GBP


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BRITISH WWII ARTILLERY SLOUCH HAT.

BRITISH WWII ARTILLERY SLOUCH HAT.

This hat came complete with a group of items to a Sergeant Tucker, the soldier’s number was 2030230. Sergeant Tucker saw pre war volunteer service and was part of the Territorial Army, initially serving as a member of the Royal Horse Artillery, it would appear on re-enlistment to the colours in the early war years that Sergeant Tucker was in the Royal Engineers and subsequently went back to the artillery. As a pre war soldier he intended many courses and was a highly qualified soldier serving with the 14th Army in Burma and India. A well worn British made slouch hat with excellent regimental diamond insignia sewn to the side with regimental colours to the three upper folds of the pagri, although the colours have faded. The hat itself has South African markings and a good clear date of ‘1944’. Strap missing. Some minor moth tracking.

Code: 79262

225.00 GBP


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