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Rare Irish Free State Model 1927 Helmet 

Rare Irish Free State Model 1927 Helmet 


  • Price £847.13
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Rare Irish Free State Model 1927 Helmet 

For Sale


At first glance most people would assume that this helmet is a German helmet. On closer inspection though it becomes much more interesting, with a unique history and is very scarce. This helmet is an Irish Free State Model 1927 helmet. It is based on a German design but interestingly contracted and made by Vickers, the eminent machine gun manufacturer. The Irish were looking for a helmet for their troops and were loath to use a British design, eventually the German M16 design was chosen after a trial of the classic French Adrian. The Free State had to turn to manufacturers outside of Germany because of the Versailles Treaty and Vickers, Ltd. was contracted to machine the helmet. For an army of 10,000 men 10,021 helmets were produced.
The helmets were used from 1927 to 1939, when a British style helmet was adopted. After this change a significant number of helmets were repainted white for the Civil Authorities during the Second World War. This helmet though has the original paint on it and has never been painted making it even rarer than its already rare counterparts. In the 1970s more than half of the helmets were lost after they were used as landfill for a new Irish Army barrack. In theory, only a few original helmets survive today and the majority of those have been painted white leaving original and unmolested helmets very scarce indeed.


Shell Stamps:

The shell and liner each have a single set of markings. The shell is stamped on the inside back edge, and it consists of two lines. The upper line is stamped “V.LTD H7102” while the second line is “9R/ ‘27”.  The first line can be read as “V” for Vickers, “LTD” for Limited, and the “H7102” for “Helmet and serial number, or production number.” This helmet is number 7,102 out of the 10,021 production run.

Liner Stamps:

While the helmet shells were made by Vickers, the liners were made in Ireland, from very high quality leather. The manufacturer was “T. Smith and Sons, of Dublin.” Their stamp is found on the liner band, by lifting up the front pillow of the helmet. This is documented with a two-line stamp, consisting of the name, location and again the 1927 date followed by the size indicator, S, M, or L for the obvious small, medium or large size liners. 

Helmet Pads:

In addition to being able to identifying the serial number of the helmet this piece also shows who was issued the helmet. “D. Oconnell 69026”. On Findmypast.com there are less than 40 D. Oconnell’s on record if you are inclined to find out who 69026 is; a great little mystery to solve for any collector. The pads are not attached to the helmet but are in very good condition with the inside padding being intact.

Other Components:

The chinstrap is very thick hard leather. The attachment that the straps is on are aluminum. The Bolts are the same as you would find on a traditional German M16 helmet. You cannot remove the chin strap. One side has come off but the piece of leather that it attaches to is still with the helmet.


The crest is similar to the 1924 Officer’s cap badge. However, unlike the cap badge the helmet crest has a different prong set on the back which was specifically designed for the helmet. It is very rare to find an original crest as most of the badges that are on the market today are modified cap badges.


 Price: $1100 or best offer +P&P, to b calculated with buyer based on their shipping needs. 




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