Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is the final home service helmet, and one with a history, as I outline below. It is to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. It's the first home service helmet I bought which was some years ago at which time I didn't realise that the furniture should be gilt. It is actually back to the base metal, but, as you can see from the photo, it polished up well for the photos-only the second time I've done this. The other thing I didn't realise is that it's a green-cloth , rather than a blue-cloth. The guy I bought some of my other home service helmets from pointed out that Light Infantry regiments had green cloth helmets and showed me one of his, and when I sat mine alongside the line blue cloths I could see there was a difference, although it's very difficult to discern a green colour when looking at it in isolation.

2009_1121logs30065.jpg

2009_1121logs30069.jpg

What's really interesting, however, is that it came in a carrying tin named to G C Wynne, 2nd Batallion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and the initials G.C.W. are inked on the liner

P1000884.jpg

To cut a long story short I did some quick internet research which, for reasons which will become obvious, turned up quite a bit on the owner, Captain G.C. Wynne, and last year I was able to write a dissertation on his life, work and influence as part of a Masters in War studies at Glasgow University.

Photo of Wynne in 1913

Gcwynnenavyandarmyillustrated19sept.jpg

The next bit is an excerpt from the Introduction to the dissertation, which gives a brief summary;

"He was initially a professional soldier, serving before the First World War in Ireland and travelling and studying in Germany. He saw active service with the BEF in 1914, taking part in the retreat from Mons, fighting and being taken prisoner at Le Cateau in one of his regiment’s most famous actions, and then spent the rest of the war as a Prisoner of War, during which period he wrote a fascinating journal recounting his experience of the first weeks of the war.

He then joined the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence and became one of the main authors of the Official British Histories of the First World War, although in the 1940’s he disagreed with the Director, Edmonds, over Haig’s responsibility for Passchendaele to such an extent that he refused to have his name included as the author of the relevant Official History. He also wrote extensively in his own right, publishing a book, If Germany Attacks in 1940, based on an extremely controversial series of articles he wrote in the late 1930’s, which traced the development of German defence and attack tactics and bitterly criticised the inability or unwillingness of the British commanders to learn from their own repeated tactical failures, particularly in mounting costly and unsuccessful attacks. His views on the latter topic provoked mixed reactions at the time but a number of recent writers fully acknowledge his contribution to our understanding of the respective German and British tactics and agree with his criticisms of British command methods and tactics.

During the Second World War, in his role as Official Historian, he spent time in North Africa, and he continued to write on and debate military history and tactics well into the late1950’s, when he had a major disagreement over his view of Schlieffen’s role in the development of German defence doctrine with his contemporary, Basil Liddell Hart, the famous military historian and commentator, who was otherwise an admirer and supporter of Wynne’s. It is noteworthy, however, that, whilst he was a scholar of war, both his wartime journal and his later writings leave the reader in no doubt that he was no lover of war."

Just to round things off, the dissertation won a prize which turned out to be a cheque with which I was able to buy the 2nd Weat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lost the end of the last post for some reason! Was going to say that I bought the 2nd West Yorks Yeomanry helmet shown above, which was a nice outcome to a bit of work inspired by a helmet and its owner. Hope all this is of interest .

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick

A superb collection and hopefully you forgive my initial prompting!

All the Yeomanry books come up for sale on ebay and go cheaply so fingers crossed for a copy soon

Hope you enjoy this forum as much as I do

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick,

you have indeed struck it lucky. A collector selling off a part of his collection to finance another is something I have only encountered once.

These Blue Cloths are excellent!

Your successful research into Captain G.C. Wynne must have been especially pleasing.

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And finally... Last three helmets

1. Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry-trooper's.

Worn 1876-1883. Unlike other regiments' Albert pattern helmets in that it doesn't have the foliated strips to the peak

2009_1121logs30070.jpg

2009_1121logs30076.jpg

2.1st Dragoons - trooper

This has a very long thick plume, but it's a modern replacement I was able to get made

2009_1121logs30085.jpg

3.Sixtenth Lancers -OR

Cap lines wrapped around stand

2009_1121logs30031.jpg

Thanks for all the comments and the additional information. Doing these postings has prompted me to do decent photos and also to check out my insurance!

Any additions to the collection will depend upon funds, space and my wife's tolerance levels- not necessarily in that order!

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anybody tried restitching a cavalry helmet chinstrap. Any advice-apart from 'don't'?

Patrick

Edited by pjac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice to myself is "don't", but that is because I have two left thumbs.

If you have any skill then give it a try, but you might have to source some "genuine" thread rather than using modern stuff. If there were conservators here I would consign it to one of them.

I have only replaced a plume or two and put up with "at fault" chinchains.

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Patrick (and Simon)!

There's a couple of photos of a Fife Light Horse helmet in W.Y. Carman's "Light Horse And Mounted Rifle Volunteers 1860-1901" where the plume reaches to the lower part of the rose mount of the chinstrap, if that is of any assistance. In the same book there's also a drawing of a trooper whose plume is an inch or two longer, just to confuse matters!

/Jonas

Hi Jonas

Sorry for not responding to your post. Thanks for this- I'll look out for a copy of this book.

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anybody tried restitching a cavalry helmet chinstrap

It is not as hard as one might think. See the 19th Alberta Dragoons Helmet in "My Canadian Headdress" showcase. In this case the chinstrap consisted of a twisted strand of metal links as all of the leather had disappeared. I found some very thin leather (Tandy Leather Craft in the USA), approximately 1/2oz, and cut this into two strips of the appropriate length (I used a rotary pizza cutter to draw a straight line and then a box cutter to actually make the cut). Taking the advice of a friend I stitched every third link to one piece of leather. The stitch was square in the middle and placed so that the next link would hide the thread. The reason for doing every third link is to allow some flexibility in the chinstrap. Once this was done the second piece of leather was attached to the first to provide a liner. As you can see from the photo I used a yellow thread in order to provide me with a visual reminder that this chinstrap has been refinished. All in all it took an evening in front of the tube.

My next project is to do the same for a Blue helmet - I'm just looking for the right type of velvet. I am also looking for some brass to replace a missing edge trim on an officer's helmet - or a good restorer - any ideas?

Edited by servicepub

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RP

Can't see any photo, but that may be my computer (or account?)

Your use of an obviously 'wrong' thread colour is very interesting. In the museum business - which we're not, most of us - repairs are generally meant to be as unobtrusive as possible. However, the companion idea is that all repairs are documented and, ideally, can be reversed at some later date if need be. The fact that lots of stuff gets/got fixed with no documentation is the bane of curators' and restorers professional lives but doesn't invalidate the theory.

Collectors, sadly, don't always dsiplay the same fine scruples vis a vis documentation and we've all seen many many cases of artifacts which have been "improved" to improve saleability or increase the price. So, your 'off colour' thread is a good compromise. Well done!

As to your Blue helmet ("Blues" helmet?) and velvet, contact any of the nineteenth century military reenactors in your area and they may be able to steer you to a source for period appropriate fabric and thread. A hobby shop might provide sheet or strip brass in various guages too, if you feel adventurous!

Good luck with the project and please do post photos when you've done!

Peter

Edited by peter monahan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick

A superb collection and hopefully you forgive my initial prompting!

All the Yeomanry books come up for sale on ebay and go cheaply so fingers crossed for a copy soon

Hope you enjoy this forum as much as I do

Simon

Hi Smon

I followed up your suggestion and have found the book for the grand total of £4.29, post free! Delivery awaited.

Thanks

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick

Very nice collection, beautiful headgear, and in excellent condition. I had a complete 21st Lancer's uniform pre-WW1. If I can find a picture I will post. This was back in the late 1970's. Captain George Albert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Latest acquisition - 2nd Volunteer Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment QVC blue cloth. Not the best photo, but short of time. I would welcome any information on the plate. It differs from the 'standard' 2nd VB plate , which simply has the sphinx on the tablet, bearing the word 'Egypt' set on a dark background, whereas this has the red rose of Lancashire under the tablet, as on the later cap badge, and the device is set against a rayed background. I thought this might have some reference to cyclists, but the pattern is unlike any other cyclists' 'wheel' that I've seen. It's also been suggested there might be some reference to the 59th foot, one of the antecedents, but I haven't checked this out properly. Stuart and others have been helping in the quest, but no joy so far.Patrick

P1020059.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My most recent acquisition- Officer's Blue cloth QVC to Border Regiment 1st Volunteer Battalion. It's in immaculate condition. One oddity , however, is that division between the red and white enamel should be horizontal, whereas it clearly rises from left to right as you look at it. I thought this meant the enamel centre had been inserted out of true, but the dragon's position in relation to the lettering on the motto looks to be correct. A puzzle. Does anybody know if these enamel centres were glued in, or simply held in by the back plate? Even if the latter, I'm not going to start investigating, as I would end up irreperably damaging the various rods and fastenings on the plate

.

0301.jpg

For those who are into uniforms (which I'm not , really), the helmet came with this Border Regiment Volunteer Captain's tunic, although there's no evidence that they belonged to the same person. I was wondering how they kept the bullion clean - I guess it was the Cream of Tatar and dried bread method that Stuart's been wondering about in relation to his Worcester pillbox?

035.jpg

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick,

if you remove the helmet plate you should be able to see how the centre is attached without disturbing anything. On my AVD the cypher had 3 pins which pierceed the black velvet and then went through a brass circular plate where they were bent over. The brass plate was secured to the rest of the plate by a cotter pin passing through a lug to the centre of that plate.

Whatever you do just have a look and do not try to straighten the pins if they are there.

BTW: another beautiful helmet.

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A recent addition-Scottish Rifles shako, labelled to 2nd Bn, with maker's name.Thanks to jocktamson for checking it out before I bought it.

Patrick

ScottishRiflesshako012.jpg

ScottishRiflesshako009.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick,

a lovely example of the Cameronian's shako. Jock is a real brick and has secured a South Staffordshire blue cloth for me. I will post it as soon as it arrives.

What are you looking for next?

Cheers,

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Stuart

A good example of a forage cap, of the style of your avatar and others you've posted.

Cheers

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Patrick I will never bid against a friend and if I see one, that say I already have, I will give you the details. A couple of friends in Adelaide asked me to comment on several pieces of headgear that a collector offered them. Unfortunately one was a Scots Guards forage cap which I desperately wanted but advised them to buy. Damn!

One I would really like to have is that to the 2nd Dragoons with the Van Dyke band.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Patrick I will never bid against a friend and if I see one, that say I already have, I will give you the details. A couple of friends in Adelaide asked me to comment on several pieces of headgear that a collector offered them. Unfortunately one was a Scots Guards forage cap which I desperately wanted but advised them to buy. Damn!

One I would really like to have is that to the 2nd Dragoons with the Van Dyke band.

Stuart

Hi Stuart

We are the people from adelaide and are very greatful for the help and honesty not to mention knowledge thanks again.

cheers Catheyand Rex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a very nice example of an Officers Shako Patrick, one of the better examples around. I'm glad you managed to snag it before someone else snapped it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just thought I'd add this one. Royal London Militia. The helmet and plate would only have been worn for a very short time as the home service helmet was introduced in 1878 and the the unit ceased to exist in 1881 when it became 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

Patrick

002a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I'd update this topic for those of you who are into British helmets of this vintage.

1. Staffordshire Yeomanry trooper's Albert pattern helmet

In excellent condition except that the correct white metal fittings appear to have been very carefully painted to resemble brass or gilt - the back of the plate is white metal and the decorative bands under the rosettes are white metal, but otherwise it's not obvious at all .Does anybody know a legitimate reason why a Staffs helmet could have been changed like this? If not, I'm thinking of trying to get it back to the white metal -see post in the 'restoration' thread.

003-1_zpsfc73881f.jpg

2 Derbyshire Yeomanry Albert pattern trooper's helmet 1864-1871

Good condition, except that this example has white metal rosettes, which should be brass, and it should have a red over white plume. Having said that I felt lucky to find a red plume of the right style which I bought separately

014-1_zpsc51179df.jpg

3 QVC West Kent officer's blue cloth/home service helmet

017-1_zps8f94586e.jpg

4. QVC Manchester Regiment officer's blue cloth/home service helmet

021_zpscd79146b.jpg

5. KC Royal Engineer's officer's blue cloth/home service helmet

This came with a tin named to A B Clough Royal Engineers and I've started doing some research on him. The helmet had been used as a prop by an Amateur Dramatic group and I got it very cheaply immediately after it appeared on an EBay 'Buy Now' posting - a lucky bit of browsing!

012-1_zps3438d7ac.jpg

Are there any other British helmet collectors out there,(apart from Stuart who has left this forum) ?

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick - some really lovely additions to your collection. Do you think with the Staffordshire Yeomanry helmet that they

painted it to look look like an officer's pattern - would have increased the price if the buyer didn't know his helmets ?

I don't collect helmets - just the odd example - but I must say a collection like yours could quickly convert me. I wish Stuart

was still here to see these - but, sadly not. Mervyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Blog Comments

    • Thank you for sharing your story, it was most interesting and greatly appreciated, it makes this blog well worth the time to post. Regards Brian  
    • Hello I started collecting when I found my first Mauser cartridges in a field next to my parents' house next to Armentières. I was eight years old.  Then shrapnel, schrapnell balls, darts... That's how I became a historian. When I was 18, we used to walk through the fields with a metal detector to find our happiness. It was my time in the army as a research-writer in a research centre that made me love the orders of chivalry. I've been collecting them for 24 years now. Christophe
    • Thank you for your most interesting comment. The thrill of the chase didn't interest me in the beginning but over time it started to overshadow the act of simply adding yet another medal or group to the collection. Regards Brian  
    • I know the way I got into collecting is like so many other people; through a sibling. I also know that my love of history is barely unique in a place like this. So I know I have a shared background with many people. A less shared area - perhaps - is that I've always loved the thrill of the chase. When I decide I want, say, a 1914 trio with an original bar, to a cavalry unit, the utter thrill of getting out there and, (a) finding groups that fit the criteria and, (b) comparing them re: ranks, uni
    • I don't really drink that much these days, but there is something about a hot cup of Char that can't be beaten when you are cold wet and miserable. Has to be with milk and although I prefer it sweet with a teaspoon of sugar, these day I usually go without. When the mood takes me I will also  drink Earl Grey (with milk of course). But if I am honest my favourite brew is coffee (espresso) can't stand instant coffee, though although I do like Camp coffee which is another British thing from days gon
×
×
  • Create New...