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Pity no one ever wrote a book about these helmets! :whistle:

LOL.... BTW Peter I am the person who contacted you last week asking to buy one of those books that no ones ever written!

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In Haythornthwaite's book he also shows some naval ratings wearing the straw Sennet hat with a khaki cover. I take it from this and other photos of naval ratings that I have seen that only officers and petty officers wore the helmet.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Jock

I don't know exactly what the helmet cover you've got is, in fact we may never know, but I am sure it's an original Victorian item. Thinking back, I probably saw about six of these in the 80s, which is not that many, and any FS helmet covers have always been extremely rare. I've been looking for some time for an OR white helmet for mine, so far without success!

Stuart

I may have been a bit ambiguous about the 6-piece cover with no band. What I meant to say was, not that covers without bands aren't seen in photos, but that 6-piece ones are very rarely seen, unless they are the Indian pattern, so sorry for any confusion. Re covers with external puggarees, the Guards Brigade were wearing them in 1900 on the march to Pretoria. I have stereoviews showing this and will attempt to post if desired, tho they are not the easiest things to scan, as being curved you have to press them down flat which is not the ideal way to treat them!

I've been turning the place over in an attempt to find my FS helmet cover, but with no luck so far.

W.

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Hi William, I wouldn't disagree that its an old cover, how old...who can say, it does have a bit wear and as you say, they seem to be quite hard to come by, well older ones do anyway, i am happy enough and now consider the helmet a good find, I looked for an FSH for a few years before making at the time, a rather impulse buy on eBay with this helmet, but things have gone my way and the cover and neck cover are just an added bonus. I was thinking about you recounting the story of seeing half a dozen or so covers in the 1980s and it sparks memories of things i should have bought in the 1970s and 80s, but as with everyone, you think another will turn up , and as we all know it very rarely does. Everything considered i've been fortunate it seems, especially after joining the forums and realising the amount of pitfalls regarding Foreign Service Helmets. So thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion, to yourself for the photos and opinions and Stuart for taking time to educate me further. It definitely has sparked an interest in me to buy another ( should the opportunity arise).

Cheers.

Jock

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William,

i was, and still am, under the impression that 6 piece covers were not that common. Cost of manufacture would always win out in the armed forces thinking. And I am not at all surprised that the Guards wore a cover with a real puggaree, but can you say definitely that they are covers rather than khaki helmets with puggaree? And don't risk ruining the photos by scanning them.

Jock,

that is why I like this forum. People are only too willing to share their information and experiences.

Stuart

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I couldn't agree more Stuart. Its nice to find a bunch of like minded people, willing to share their knowledge and help other collectors. Sharing photos of collections, experiences

and stories with others is what its all about.

Edited by jocktamson

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Jock,

are you saying that you got all of this for a mere £1200 ? If so what a bargain!

I have bought several items of headgear from Hogspear and rate him as a very good seller. I once returned a helmet and he refunded the shipping costs both ways without any fuss. Rather impressive.

Stuart

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I did indeed Stuart, whats more is I would have had it for £800 apart from a snipe bid in the closing seconds, only three of us bid on it...Its definitely the best buy Ive ever made.

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Jock

You really know how to make someone insanely jealous on a Sunday morning! Hope we'll be seeing more of your collection on the forum soon. :cheers:

Simon

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Its one of the few exceptional buys i've made from eBay Simon....but I've bought a fair amount of junk over the years as well, I started looking on eBay in 1999 when a friend put me onto it, the amount of really nice militaria showing up was fantastic...by 2002 it was going down hill as the repro mob had discovered eBay was a quick way to fleece everyone ( and they are still doing it today ). The Hogspear buy was just a once in a lifetime find, I expected a flood of bidders at the end and it never happened for some reason.

I'll get around to posting some photos eventually. I am afraid, looking at Stuarts collection of helmets puts my paltry dozen or so well into the shade!

Jock.

Edited by jocktamson

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I too can give Hogspear a thumbs up. When I've had problems they've worked extremely hard to make things right.

As for eBay I know many people bad mouth, say it isn't like the old days. Well, there was probably a very brief window when there were bargains, but that could be said for the good old days of flea markets, garage sales, antique shows, etc. I will also add that I find eBay to be an absolute gold mine, but you need to get through a minefield to get to the good stuff. I've stopped looking on eBay in recent months as my spare cash isn't so spare.

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I do agree, Hogspear does seem a reputable seller. I dont even mind the bargains so much, I am happy to pay a fair price for something from eBay, its the bare faced lying that goes on

when you ask some sellers for info, thats what gets me.

Edited by jocktamson

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A few weeks ago on receiving this helmet i showed it to a friend who works in the conservation field and in particular military artifact conservation, here's his observations on the helmet. Stuart suggested i post his thoughts on it.

On showing the helmet to him a few weeks ago , he immediately said he thought the elastic looked out of place. His thoughts on the cover/neck piece were the overall colour of both pieces and the wear was consistent and suggested both are probably

original and not put together. He was surprised on examination of the stitching around the elastic, it showed no sign of being re-stitched as there was no break in the original thread where it could be stitched in as a replacement.

( I posted this info last week, it was his observation not mine ).

... so either the elastic was original to the neck cover or the whole lot was a repro/fake. He then posed this question... if the cover and neck piece were a deliberate fake and obviously they are very well made, whoever made it must have researched the construction, because everything else is correct, why then draw attention to it by using elastic which everyone assumes is a modern 20th century material, when a simple khaki cotton tie would have been the obvious thing to use and in keeping with the period of the helmet. He came to the conclusion either the helmet/neck cover were damn good reproductions or the whole lot was period with the helmet including the elastic, but with not a lot of service use or possibly matched with the helmet later.A couple of days ago I put Stuarts suggestion to him, it was a Royal Navy helmet, he had completely missed the link to the Navy with the maker being in Portsmouth and agreed with Stuart that its a Royal Navy private purchase, and suggested in which case everything could have been ordered together and elastic might just have been the buyers preferred choice of tie, its an unusual choice but not impossible.

Edited by jocktamson

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It looks like the shadow from the puggaree to me Stuart... but damn would i love to find out it was elastic!

Jock

Edited by jocktamson

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Here is an interesting webpage on the subject:

http://www.goldiproductions.com/angloboerwarmuseum/Boer70u_hero23_mckerihen1_helm.html

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At last a second 4 seam/panel Colonial pattern helmet. Clive did say that some Canadian units ordered such from America, although this is not of the American panel construction, but we also know from William that there were British ones too.

I am not convinced that the threaded holes were to hold the chinstrap as with the high-hook I would say that they held rosettes to hold a chinchain. The hooks for the chinstrap were normally riveted to the helmet under the leather headband.

Also of interest is that the ventilator cap is a different colour to the rest of the helmet.

Most covers had a hole to the top to allow the ventilator cap to be screwed in place and provide ventilation. This one simply covers the ventilator cap. I had a quick look at a couple of books and all examples had the ventilator cap external to the cover but I am sure that I have seen photos of the other style so will check tomorrow but somebody will no doubt find some photos overnight tongue.gif

I wish I had this helmet. A very nice website for us.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Stuart

From what I can see of this helmet, it appears similar in construction to the "Magersfontein helmet" I posted earlier in this thread. The main difference being the interior, which in mine was white above the sweatband and green below. This one looks also to have the same buff leather edging. I don't know whether mine had the eyelet, as there was a white puggaree under the cover which I never removed.

The (very!) few surviving chinstraps I've seen had a squared end, not flared like this one which I'd always regarded as typical of WW1. However I am prepared to believe it, so that's another preconception gone.

Agreed about most helmet covers being fastened with a top button. The one exception I recall was the Omdurman helmet to 1 GG that Alan Beadle had many years ago, in which the cover simply went over the whole thing and there was no hole. I remember thinking it was odd then, but it was clearly 100% right. Yes Alan Beadle did get good things, and no doubt still does. Not that I would ever buy anything from him without handling if first, but that's another story! [Add: I see I am repeating myself from post 46, sorry.]

As we know, the extreme rarity of any of this kit, and in particular other ranks' kit, makes it difficult to be definite about. Whenever something new comes up, it seems to rewrite the rule book. For instance Jock's neckflap with elastic. It shouldn't be right, but I believe it is.

Best wishes,

W.

Edited by William1

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Here's another interesting link. Shame there is only one picture:

http://ww2.durham.gov.uk/dlimuseum/pgObjects.aspx?&ID=3303&CATCODE=HAT&CATDESC=Hats&SEARCH=

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I got these photos from a friend in Queensland. They show a 4 seam helmet but not in the style of the American ones. They lack the North/South seams. I will see if my friend can get a maker's stamp and how the ventilation around the headband is implemented.

Stuart

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At Stuart's urging..

The images below are of a helmet held in the municipal museum of Westminster, British Columbia. It is badged to the British Columbia Garrison Artillery. It is clearly a four-panel helmet. The interior sports a Hobson label.

dsc06656a.jpgdsc06655a.jpg

In looking at my inventory of headdress photos which I will be using for an upcoming book I see several other four-panel, white, 'universal pattern' helmets. All share the same style of large, rounded, front brim. One of these helmets displays the WD stamp and is dated 1898.

Clive

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