WW2 British Helmet

Tailgunnerdownunder
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WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:01 am

With this weeks feature helmet we take a look at a great example of a British WW2 era helmet. I've owned this helmet for so long (must be nearly 40 years) it really is 'part of the furniture' in my collection. In great shape complete with net and chinstrap it represents one of the most recognisable and iconic helmets in military history.
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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:22 am

The liner is in excellent condition with the black rexine fabric showing little wear. The chinstrap is tensioned by a spring hidden by a cloth sleeve on each side of the helmet. A lot of these are found stretched or broken through wear and tear over the years. Always a bonus to find these intact. These helmets have a makers stamp placed on the underside of the brim. Unfortunately the paint is too thickly applied to read the stamping on this helmet. The rim is made of stainless steel.

" Rexine is the registered trademark of an artificial leather leathercloth fabric produced in the United Kingdom by Rexine Ltd of Hyde, near Manchester, England. It was made of cloth surfaced with a mixture of cellulose nitrate (a low explosive also used as the propellant in firearms rounds), camphor oil, pigment and alcohol, embossed to look like leather.

Used as a bookbinding material[1] and upholstery covering, Rexine was also widely used in trimming and upholstering the interiors of motor vehicles produced by British car manufacturers beginning in the 1920s, and the interiors of railway carriages, its cost being around a quarter that of leather. It was used by the British Motor Corporation in the 1960s and '70s, particularly as a surface for 'crash padding' on dashboards and doors. It was also used for British teddy bear paw and foot pads[2] from the late 1930s to early 1960s." (Wikipedia)
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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:29 am

The liner was manufactured in 1943. Size is 7 which converts to a 56/57 cm head. Liner maker stamp is CCL which is an abbreviation for Charles Collett Ltd, London England which manufactured these liners from 1940 to 45.
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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:34 am

This is one of two British helmets I own, each great helmets. Hope you like this one as much as I do. After owning it for so long it's fair to say it's become part of the family. Helmet family that is :lol:

Regards Mark.
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muckaroon1960
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby muckaroon1960 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:02 pm

Hi Mark, here's one I bought from a Car boot a few years ago and dated 1939. Named to a "F Wadmore". Original paint and camo net with manufacturers stamps on the outer shell and inner liner. This one has a smooth finish whereas the one you have posted has a sand or cork finish. A lot of these helmets ended up in sheds and garages only to turn rusty and then be covered in paint. Thankfully this one survived and due to its condition is worth a lot more than I paid for it :thumbsup:
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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:45 pm

I think the manufacturer is Rubery Owen & Co Leeds England. The smooth finish was commonly found on prewar manufactured helmets and civil helmets after the start of the war. This was due to the reflective qualities found on smooth finish helmets which of course is not desirable in combat conditions hence the rough sand finish on wartime combat helmets. Your helmet has the earlier style of liner with the cushioned crown pad. This was replaced with the rubber cross pattern style crown pad as seen in my version. Great helmet Paul and really appreciate you taking the time to post yours for discussion. :thumbsup: Regards Mark

The Devils Bank
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby The Devils Bank » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:33 pm

Great helmets!

I'm surprised that more are not shown on the different forums.

Always wanted one, a complete example, liner/net/chin strap.

Can never find it though :((

Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:47 pm

The Devils Bank wrote:Great helmets!

I'm surprised that more are not shown on the different forums.

Always wanted one, a complete example, liner/net/chin strap.

Can never find it though :((

So much time and space is dedicated to German Helmets Pete. One of the great things about these type of helmets is they offer good value for money. Not that expensive in fact for what they are many could be considered 'cheap'. Got a nice one coming up soon and if you really would like one I can keep an eye out and give you a lead or two as I see some come up for sale. There's a good seller of these right on your doorstep :thumbsup: Regards Mark.

resistanceunit
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby resistanceunit » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:40 am

Great helmet Mark, thanks for showing. Its hard to believe now, but I remember buying one of these from a jumble sale for a few pence when I was kid in the early 80's. You could quite often pick up WW2 British stuff at them. Me and my brother used to play "army" with it! :lol: Sadly I no longer have it.

Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:17 pm

resistanceunit wrote:Great helmet Mark, thanks for showing. Its hard to believe now, but I remember buying one of these from a jumble sale for a few pence when I was kid in the early 80's. You could quite often pick up WW2 British stuff at them. Me and my brother used to play "army" with it! :lol: Sadly I no longer have it.

Thanks Mark for the great memories as I think we're about the same age. I paid $4.95 for my first helmet and $5.95 for my second (M1) age 15 and that was 38 years ago. That would be about £3. No internet then just magazine ads, post and the odd Army disposal store and they really were Army disposal stores back then. Great memories :thumbsup: Regards Mark

resistanceunit
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby resistanceunit » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:15 pm

Brilliant mate, not many "proper" army stores left in the UK now, its far cheaper online. Also I am a little younger that you, at 44, but its the mileage, not the age..! :lol:
Also, wearing real Brit gear to play "army" isn't as funny as the time I asked my mum to make me and me brother Swastika armbands, so we could play the baddies. She had no red material so they ended up made out of green corduroy..! =)) i'm pretty sure you wouldn't get way with it now..!

muckaroon1960
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby muckaroon1960 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:27 pm

As a 5 year old I got a smack around the ear for daring to say I'd be a German in the war! My mom was not impressed. [-x

Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:34 pm

muckaroon1960 wrote:As a 5 year old I got a smack around the ear for daring to say I'd be a German in the war! My mom was not impressed. [-x

Now that's what they call tough love :smile: Regards Mark

The Devils Bank
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby The Devils Bank » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:47 pm

"If you really would like one I can keep an eye out and give you a lead or two as I see some come up for sale. There's a good seller of these right on your doorstep"

Please do mate :thumbsup:

The Devils Bank
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby The Devils Bank » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:06 pm

Finally got one... :wink:

Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:38 pm

The Devils Bank wrote:Finally got one... :wink:

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Andyb
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Andyb » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:31 am

Great Helmets and great post Mark :thumbsup: , it is nice to see some British helmets time to time and they don’t seem to get the same coverage as the sexy German ones =)) . In my time of collecting I managed to have one of these types of helmets, plus a despatch riders helmet but never had the money to get the holy grail which was the para helmet as they went for ridiculous price #:-s

One thing I noticed is that the British had string on there helmets to add camo and paint defusing as the Germans had chicken wire , I don’t know if they both used visa-versa or which would was better , now that’s a thought for you :-? :-?

Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:46 am

Andyb wrote:Great Helmets and great post Mark :thumbsup: , it is nice to see some British helmets time to time and they don’t seem to get the same coverage as the sexy German ones =)) . In my time of collecting I managed to have one of these types of helmets, plus a despatch riders helmet but never had the money to get the holy grail which was the para helmet as they went for ridiculous price #:-s

One thing I noticed is that the British had string on there helmets to add camo and paint defusing as the Germans had chicken wire , I don’t know if they both used visa-versa or which would was better , now that’s a thought for you :-? :-?


Actually that is a good observation you make Andy and one certainly worth discussing.
The use of chicken wire by the Germans is only one form of camouflage they implemented during the war. The Germans actually did have a camo net of their own made of a thick woven hemp or string type of material with metal hooks to attach it to the helmet. There are many copies of course but the design is quite unique and is not just another "helmet net". They are of course highly sought after and if you do manage to find an original one then there is the argument as to whether it is original to the helmet or been added post war. The British and Americans both had several different helmet nets during the war and indeed it has been well documented the the Germans used these 'caputured' nets as well.
Here are a couple of examples of the German 'hemp' style nets in use.

Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:15 am

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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:30 am

It has been said many times before by historians and collectors alike that the Germans were the masters of camouflage and needed to be as the war progressed in a negative fashion for the Wehrmacht. The many different forms of camo used are well documented on this forum in a fantastic gallery of photographs available in the helmet forum. I don't think I've seen a 'bad' looking camo and I guess that is why they are so highly sought after when compared to all other helmets used by all other countries in WW2. That's not to take anything away from those other countries helmets which are all fine examples in their own right :thumbsup:

Regards Mark.

Andyb
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Re: WW2 British Helmet

Postby Andyb » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:09 am

I agree Mark, the German camo was second to none , I love the different types on the smocks and jackets etc :thumbsup:

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