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Stuart Bates

My British Headdress Collection **RECOMMENDED**

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Clive - a very attractive collection of Canadian Helmets , and nicely displayed. Do these helmets come-on the market often ?

Not as often as I would wish. I am lucky to add a new helmet once a year. I have now set up my own thread "My Canadian Headdress Collection" with images of a number of my helmets and caps.

Clive

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Talking about Dragoons and Dragoon Guards as Mervyn is, here is my 1st King's Dragoon Guards 1847 pattern helmet

I removed the plume but you will see why soon.

Stuart

IMG_6954.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Stuart,

Well, that cover's something different! Presumably it was designed to reflect the sun as well as to protect the neck. Wearing a helmet must have been incredibly hot ,even with this. Would the cover have been worn with the plume, or did they take advantage of the extra ventilation through the plume holder? Any idea if the covers were effective? I had the chance to buy a very good example of this helmet recently from a private source , but even allowing for the fact that they come along once in blue moon, I couldn't stretch as far as needed to secure it.

Patrick

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Patrick,

I doubt that the plume would have been worn with the cover. As you imply it rather defeats the purpose to some extent.

A book, The Red Year by Michael Edwardes, has on the front cover a painting of the Queen's Bays charging mutineers without the plume but with a white puggaree around the helmet.

However, it must still have been very warm wearing a metal helmet.

The infantry wore a white Havelock cover over their forage caps so these devices must have some effect, white being such a good reflector of the sun's rays.

Below is a Havelock on a sepoy's cap which belongs to a friend.

Stuart

SepoycapwithHavelock.jpg

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Hi Leigh,

the Yorkshire Hussars originally wore the Light Dragoon helmet i.e. the Tarleton, but changed to a shako in 1817. According to Carman the Busby was adopted in 1856 and was worn from then on.

The Yorkshire Dragoons adopted a white metal helmet, of the 1871 pattern, in 1876 and it is interesting that it had the acanthus leaf plume holder, associated with the 1847 pattern helmet. The fluted plume holder came later.

The 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry adopted the 1847 pattern helmet just before the Crimean War - I don't have a specific date.

Carman's book on Yeomanry headdress has a photo of an East Riding tschapska that has a quite different plate to mine but then describes the lance plate that mine has.

There is a lovely illustration of an officer of the East Riding Yeomanry in a book by R.G. Harris 50 Years of Yeomanry Uniforms.

It also appears that the lance cap was worn only by officers and only from 1906-

I have had a couple of big wins on eBay but also a couple of duds - one so bad that I sent it back. These days I have dealers (whom I trust) offer me stuff which often comes from their private collections. Never cheap but always of good quality.

I know that you, and Graham, are keen on the Northumberland Fusiliers. If I see anything will let you know.

Stuart

Hi Stuart

Your comment about the E Riding Imperial Yeomanry lance cap illustration in Carman rang a bell, so I had a look at my copy. It has a 'Corrigendum' pasted in at the bottom of p.43 which says 'Illustrations of plates 18 and 39 have been transposed'. The title for plate 18 on p.43 says 'Lincolnshire Imperial Yeomanry lance cap c.1907', but actually shows the E Riding lance cap. Vice versa for plate 39 on p.85.

Patrick

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I just bought this Boer War helmet which, while not unique, is very rare. It was called the 'K' pattern and was made of wicker with a white cotton cover. Note the "pith band" rather than the cotton drill pagri.

It was worn with a khaki cover during the war and was a mass-produced item because of the problems with cork supply.

In fact it is probable that most of the British soldiers, in the Boer War, wore this type of helmet rather than the one made of cork.

Enjoy!

Stuart

KPatternWicker.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Stuart - a great find - it will be interesting to see the wicker interior. Most of the helmets from this period, that I have seen, have been cork. You of course, already know, that several British Police Forces had woven straw helmets for summer use - some white and some blue.

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I have just acquired this experimental sun helmet dated 1896. There are only two known survivors - the other being posted on the Wolseley Helmets topic started by Peter Suciu.

The owner of that one states:

"It is the only rank and file quality helmet ever found with the makers name of Hawkes & Company, of 14 Piccadilly, within it. The company is not known ever to have named another rank and file helmet.

The experimental helmet had less of a peak and a much flatter nape. It also had considerable height taken out of the crown.

Trialled in Sheffield and Manchester, this experimental helmet was unpopular on grounds of styling, the men disliked it."

Here is a side shot:

Edited by Stuart Bates

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I am not at all surprised that it was disliked by the soldiery. Let's face it, it is a rather ugly helmet with Germanic styling which would not have gone down well with the British.

I have no idea why the rippling to the sides, and it would appear to give no more protection from the sun than the Colonial pattern helmet (Zulu & Boer war) which it was meant to replace. And the steep front brim would not have overcome the criticism of the Colonial's front peak causing problems when the men were firing their rifles in the prone position.

The removal of the side rosettes and the ventilator cap is probably explained by the fact that these could be re-used.

The helmet seems quite diminutive against the normal Colonial pattern

This example was found in garage in the village of Banwell, Somerset, UK.

However, I am very pleased to have obtained it and just as pleased to share.

Stuart

Bullercomparison.jpg

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Here is another recent addition. A rather nice Wolseley to the Diplomatic Service. The puggaree badge is a slider type which has a slider or shaft which goes between the puggaree and the helmet shell.

Diplomaticservice.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates

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And another. These forage caps are among my favourite pieces of headgear. This one to the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment( Sherwood Foresters).

It has a beautiful blue enamelled badge.

This regiment was formed in 1881 with the 45th Regiment (Nottinghamshire) becoming the 1st Battalion and the 95th Regiment (Derbyshire) becoming the 2nd Battalion

3rd Battalion was formed from the Chatsworth Rifles, or 2nd Derbyshire Militia

4th Battalion was formed from the Royal Sherwood Foresters, or Nottinghamshire Militia

5th Battalion from the 1st Derbyshire Regiment of Militia

DerbyshireSherwoodForesters.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Just received this Wolseley to the Indian Medical Service (1922 - 1945).

It is in terrible condition but has the flash, and a section of cork exposed which clearly shows the two sheets of cork laminate.

The flash is light blue at the extremes but that colour seems to have faded and I have noticed this on other flashes which used light blue.

The IMS consisted of senior Indian Medical Officers with British medical qualifications, and British Medical Officers and treated Viceroy's Commissioned Officers and Indian Other Ranks.

The flash shown below was authorised, for the Khaki Solar Pith Hat, by Indian Army Order 991, of December 1935, but this same order abolished the Wolseley helmet for the IMS. The flash would have been applied to existing helmets as no-one ever threw away a good piece of equipment just because a replacement was authorised.

IndianMedicalService.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Here is the interior. It clearly shows the poor condition of the helmet and contains the ink name G.C. Phipps.

At first I thought the headband was a retro fit and glued in place, caveat emptor stuff, but it has the usual Vero's Detachable headband.

IMSWolseleyInterior.jpg

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I looked up G.C. Phipps in the Army Lists that I have and came up with the following -

1923 - does not appear

1926 - Lieutenant 30/7/24 RAMC and stationed at Nowshera, now the chief city of the Nowshera district of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan

1929 - Captain 30/1/28 IMS and stationed at Razmak, now one of the three sub-divisions of North Waziristan

1930 - Captain RAMC and stationed at Cherat, a hill station in the Nowshera district of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan

1933 - Captain 30/7/27 IMS

1937 - Major 30/7/36 IMS

1938 - Major IMS

Were Medical Officers commissioned as Lieutenants rather than 2nd Lieutenants? Going from 2nd Lt to Lt in less than a year seems improbable.

Two dates are given for his promotion to Captain 30/1/28 in the 1929 and 1930 lists and 30/7/27 in the 1933 list. A mistake or what?

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