UNITED KINGDOM

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM mk2 Armoured troops

The mk1 is virtually identical except it has the screw-in mk2 liner as in the standard Mk2 and 3 general service helmets.

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UNITED KINGDOM Mk 2 Armoured troops

These helmets, with various liner fittings, were used by various arms of the British military from the mid-1940s up to the mid-1980s.

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UNITED KINGDOM Mk 2 Armoured troop helmet shell

Liner has been removed, the rivet for attaching the lift-the-dot type liner can just be seen in the crown of the shell.

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UNITED KINGDOM Mk2 Armoured troops helmet.

This is the Mk 3 liner dating from the mid-Fifties. It is the lift-the-dot system, so easily detachable. It replaced the old mk2 which was felt to be unstable.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk2 Armoured troops - interior

Liner in shell. These shells were first issued with the basic mk2 liner, held by a single screw at the crown of the shell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM mk 2

The typical 'Tommy' helmet, worn by British soldiers since the dawn of time. Unstable, ugly, but it worked. Just.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk 2 top

Why isn't there a book along the same lines as Chris Arnold's STEEL POTS or Robert Clawson's RUSSIAN HELMETS on British helmets? There's just as much if not more variety and even more - possibly - history involved.

Don't ask me - I don't know anywhere near enough - that's why I want The Book!

 

 

 

 

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UNITED_KINGDOM mk2  front

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UNITED_KINGDOM mk2 -  top

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UNITED_KINGDOM mk2 side

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UNITED_KINGDOM mk2 -  liner

 

 

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UNITED_KINGDOM mk2 - stanp detail

Reads 1941 and BMB -  (Briggs Motor Bodies)

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM Mk 3 side

Sometimes known as the 'Canadian' helmet as it was first issued en masse to Canadian army units engaged in the Normandy invasion. Also occasionally known as the M44, but this does not seem to have been an official designation. It was designed to derive the best features of both the US M1 and the British mk2.

Note that the rivets for the chinstrap lugs are high up the side of the helmet compared to the later mk4.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk3 - front

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UNITED KINGDOM mk3 liner detail

Note that it still has the old screw-in liner attachment.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk3 -  liner

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM mk4 shell

The replacement for the mk3, it is only slightly different. The chinstrap rivets are placed lower down, apparently to give greater stability, and it has the lift-the-dot liner-retention system rather than the crown screw, thereby making it even more like the US M1 in principle.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk4 liner

My example has suffered catastrophic meltdown of the crown pad! It was kept in an attic which was sometimes very hot, and at some time must have reached melting point for the old rubber crosspiece. Look carefully and you can see the shapeless blob it has become.

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM mk5 front

It's still the same shell as the mk3 and mk4, but usually painted this shade of green rather than the dark earth of the mk4.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk5 liner

The only difference is the liner, the mk3, in which it was discovered that wrapping a sock around the headband gave greater comfort and stability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM mk6

The current service helmet of all British armed forces. A comfortable, confidence-inducing piece of kit. Perhaps the best of the current Kevlar crop.

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UNITED_KINGDOM_mk6 liner

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UNITED_KINGDOM mk6 strap detail

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Paratroop helmet

The 1942 second version, without the fibre edging to the shell, but with the leather chinstrap assembly.

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Paratroop helmet - front

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Para interior

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Para - detail

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Para rear

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Para - side

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UNITED KINGDOM mk1 Para - interior

This was one of the first helmets I owned. I bought it in 1965 along with a British mk4, and Italian M33, a Swedish M26, and a French M26, from a dealer named Tobin in England. All five helmets are featured here.

I didn't buy another until 1994! And didn't start collecting seriously until 2000, when my partner Catherine gave me a copy of the invaluable 'Casques de Combat'.

 

 

 

CIVIL DEFENCE
HELMETS

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM Zuckerman

Designed during WW2 for use by home-front workers in areas likely to be bombed, this is named after government scientist Solly Zuckerman. Once rare, thousands now flood the market.
The really rare version is now the one produced in the Netherlands post-WW2; surplus shells from the UK were fitted with Dutch liners similar to those in Dutch WW2 helmets and used by the Dutch civil defence. The Dutch liners were riveted on, using the same holes as used by the primitive British laced-on liner.

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UNITED KINGDOM Zuckerman

Were these ever issued with a regulation chinstrap? I doubt it, as most examples do not have one, and those that do have am amazing variety of types.
I have seen one with an extraordinary cloth or canvas carrying sling into which the helmet fitted edge-on.
Surplus Zuckermans were sold to many countries, but as far as I know there are no other local variants beyond painting schemes. (But one wild rumor has it that they were used by the Pakistan Army. I don't believe it.)

 

 

 

 

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UNITED KINGDOM civil defence helmet

This is a fibre helmet, with a standard British mk1 liner. It isn't a particularly strong item, but would protect against falling objects. As it is fibre throughout it would be essential in areas with electrical hazards.
It has an extra, thicker, layer of the same fibre across the crown of the shell.

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UNITED KINGDOM civil defence helmet - strap detail

A very strange rubber strap with peculiar large buttons. I don't know whether it is original or not. It may be that at that time in the war they were using whatever they could get hold of.

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UNITED KINGDOM civil defence helmet

I have found no dates, makers marks, or anything to specifically identify this helmet.'Casques de Combat' calls it the 'Cromwell Protector', and they may well be right, as Cromwell is a well-known name in protective headgear for the UK fire services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UNITED_KINGDOM Acme Helmet - front

A civil defence and/or private purchase/industrial helmet, this is made from a hard fibre with a heavy metal plate stapled onto the crown.

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UNITED_KINGDOM Acme Helmet - side

Observe the pins holding on the rather crudely fashioned metal reinforcing plat, which itself appears to be a simple stamping, cut and overlapping to fit the shell.

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UNITED_KINGDOM Acme Helmet - top

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UNITED_KINGDOM Acme Helmet - liner

The simple leather chinstrap is fixed directly to the shell with one small rivet. One side of the strap is missing.
The liner is  a typical Mk2 liner in essence.

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UNITED_KINGDOM Acme Helmet - liner 2

The fibre part of the shell is a simple moulded strip stapled together at the end; there is thus a hole at the crown which is covered by the metal reinforcing layer.
The stamping at the lower left of the photograph is the spearpoint-shaped Acme logo, and the words 'Prov.Patent'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UNITED_KINGDOM Plasfort Helmet - side

As I understand it these Plasfort helmets were a commercial product available generally to the British public during WW2, and were not specifically used by any branch of the military or civil defence.

Information please!

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UNITED_KINGDOM Plasfort Helmet - top

These Plasfort helmets seem to be made of Bakelite, an early plastic - the precursors of the Kevlar/Spectra models of today?!?!

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UNITED_KINGDOM Plasfort Helmet - liner

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UNITED_KINGDOM Plasfort helmet - strap detail

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UNITED_KINGDOM Plasfort helmet - liner detail

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UNITED_KINGDOM Plasfort helmet - stamp detail

 

A HOME-MADE
HELMET ?

 

 

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UNITED_KINGDOM Home-made - side

I have no idea at all what this really is. I bought it from a dealer in Kent who equally had no clue as to what it was. My theory is that is a home-made piece - but whether it was made for actual use, or even when it was made -  I hesitate to guess.

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UNITED_KINGDOM Home-made interior

There's no indication of any orthodox liner, but the pattern of staining inside the bowl may indicate that some kind of rubber or cloth liner was once glued in.

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UNITED_KINGDOM Home-made - brim detail

The edge is folded up and around the whole helmet - this can't have been easy to do. Is this actually some kind of unusual commercial/cd/private purchase helmet? Information please!

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UNITED_KINGDOM Home-made - top

This piece was clearly machined/stamped from one piece of metal - this 'pip' on the crown might indicate to an expert how it was done.

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UNITED_KINGDOM_Home-made - strap detail

The straps are fixed to small nuts and bolts drilled through the brim. The actual straps look like they've been made of scrap bits of early WW2 mk2 issue straps.

 French collector GERARD POLLET has passed along an idea regarding this helmet -

" I think your home-made British helmet, is perhaps a French Gourmier helmet. The Goumiers are the French soldiers of the afrika'army, see the link below http://mapage.noos.fr/4edmm/les_goumiers.htm
This helmet is French made, with 2 fixations for the chinstrap and without liner. The hat of Goumier -  "Le Cheche"  - is used like liner."
Gerard Pollet