WW2 Tam-O-Shanter Bonnet Balmoral Cap

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I recently picked up a very cool WW2 Tam-O-Shanter type hat.  These are sometimes called a Bonnet or a Balmoral or just plan WW2 cap.

Tam o’ Shanter, is derived from a hero in one of Robert Burns (scottish poet) poems Tam o’ Shanter.
The Poem was written in 1790 and soon after published in 1791.  It’s a poem about a drunk who encounters witches and warlocks and the devil at a hunted church while riding home during a storm.  As he watches them dance and sing he eventually can’t contain himself and calls out `Weel done, cutty-sark!’ (cutty-sark : “short shirt”).  The music and the singing stop and they begin to chase him.  He eventually escapes over a river which they will not cross with his horse named Meg.

The moral of the poem is to be true to your love and beware of drinking too much and chasing after short skirts.

My particular Tam-O-Shanter hat had the markings D.M.C. Cap Mfg.Co.LTD. made in Winnipeg Canada.  The big “C” stands for Canada.  You can see the various markings below for countries other than the UK, which simply used the Broad Arrow.

Broad Arrow

The hat was issued in 1941 and is in pristine condition.  The hat also came with a toorie (pom-pom).  A tartan patch and badge were usually present on these hats and mine came with both.  The tartan patch and badge appears to be a Cameron Highlanders unit.

I had been looking for a British or Scottish cap to go with my Highlander Kilt and this fit the bill.

WW2 British Tam-O-Shanter Bonnet Balmoral D.M.C. Cap Mfg.Co.LTD. Scottish Winnipeg Canada

The khaki balmoral was introduced in WW1 around 1915 to wear in the trenches.  The cap was a replacement for the Glengarry.  It was initially used by Scottish infantry serving on the Western Front.   The caps became known as the “Bonnet”, or ‘Tam o’ Shanter’.  Later Tam-O-Shanter was abbreviated to “ToS”

The hats are still in use by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Other regiments of the British and Canadian Forces continue to wear the ToS as undress and working headgear.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland identify themselves by wearing distinctive colored hackles on their bonnets.

Here is a basic Hat Chart

HAT SIZE CHART

Inches

 US

 UK

 European (cm)

 General
18-7/8

6

5-7/8

48

19-5/8

6-1/4

6-1/8

50

20-1/2

6-1/2

6-3/8

52

21-1/4

6-3/4

6-5/8

54

XSm
22

7

6-7/8

56

Small
22-7/8

7-1/4

7-1/8

58

Medium
23-5/8

7-1/2

7-3/8

60

Large
24-3/8

7-3/4

7-5/8

62

XL

25-1/4

8

7-7/8

64

XXL

 

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