Home Front Helmets

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Dieppe, May 30, 2004.

  1. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    Presumably Mr Slater was in/with the Ambulance Service?

    The central white “A” suggests that and the lettering above is perhaps a team / area identifier.......do you know?
  2. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    Oh well......

    'sticking with an Ambulance theme, here's something that's not seen every day - red lettering. Red was used to mark some very early ranks/positions and for lettering in at least one Region...but it's not common (apart from very senior very early lids before the great change to white with black stripes). Interestingly, the strap shows that this was an LNER (Railway Co.) helmet (or at least the strap was!) so this one might fall into the "Industrial ARP" category...for which it's incorrectly marked too! IMG_6457 2bb.JPG e.JPG
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  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    We're interested, it's just hard to add anything!
  4. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    Thank you......Home Front Helmets can be a lonely place :)
  5. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    H CD EC - Copy (2).JPG

    There's previously been a discussion, albeit brief, about the "plastic" helmet retailed by Dunn & Co. Here's another non-metal helmet which would've been sold to the public, probably following the Governments close-down of the metal helmet sales market. This is in the style of the "Cromwell" helmet and they're usually found in plain black - this one's been painted and marked "EC". As it's highly unlikely that these are the wearers initials this one was worn by an employee/worker of "EC" or it may even represent the wearers role. There were a number of non-standard MkII shaped helmets worn on the Home Front although most are unmarked, presumably because most workers would've had an "official" metal model as part of the Industrial ARP process.
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  6. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    Here's an interesting (to me at least) one....a pretty common-or-garden POLICE helmet from the Special Constabulary....but with the chevrons applied to the upper brim of the helmet. Usually this transfer was applied above the POLICE stencil...but the Police markings aren't as disciplined as one would've perhaps expected albeit that within-force there appears to have been some structure........ but on a National level inconsistency abounds. H CD Police stripes brim - Copy.JPG
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  7. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    ...and sometimes they omitted to slot-in the chevrons altogether......although, as we know, that's what the white bands were for....so, why the gap? :)

    h CD Police S    C.JPG
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  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Presumably in the case of the former, the rank came later and the space had already been taken by the Special Constab. transfer and with the second, perhaps the hoped-for promotion didn't arrive ?
    Not much detail visible here, I'm afraid but the sign always amuses.

    Hyde Park.jpg

    Any chance of photographs of the manufacturer's markings and chin strap lugs, by the way ?
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  9. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    Hi...thank you for your interest......you may well be right with your theories...I guess we'll never know. Sorry but I can't snap them right now...but my records tell me that the chevron'd one has G34 and BMB visible with Mk3 strap retainer lugs whilst the one with the gaps stamps are too weak to make out and has Mk3 lugs too.....'interesting request...what are you looking for?

    It is indeed a nice photo.....but Getty Images aren't cheap (to use....officially/legally that is)....there's sooooooo many stunning pics out there but the costs of using them in say a book are prohibitive...it's a real shame.
  10. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

  11. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    ‘Nice book...but I THINK it stops short of Home Front / Civil Defence Helmets......but watch this space for a new and exciting book containing over a 1,000 HF lids......
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  12. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    Here's one I dug out for somewhere else (sorry....but other forums are available :) )....this is probably one of my favourites...although to most of you it probably looks like a monster. Home Front helmets were re-used / re-painted and there's often "history" under the top coat of paint...it's just a matter of looking. However, with ones like this one doesn't have to look too hard!! This has been a plain black helmet with "FAP" in white (First Aid Party/Post/Point) but then over-painted white and used by a Medical Officer of Health (along with his two distinguishing black stripes over the top). The paint was leaving this helmet so I decided to slap a coat of varnish on it ASAP and later applied a second coat (of Matt this time) in the hope of halting the aging process - this pic is pre-Matt.

    Not all repainting happens AFTER the conflict! :)

    h CD Brit MOH_FAP.jpg
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  13. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member


    I'd be interested in suggestions here....a Chief Fire Officer's helmet marked as per Bulletin No 4 '43 (a single wider band or a "silver" shell would have been worn by similarly ranked folk with greater responsibility as we all know :) )....BUT it's what lies beneath...a water slide transfer, shield shaped containing a single letter "F"...."Fire"...obvs (as young folk say) BUT there's a bar above the shield...I'm assuming this bar is an earlier Rank / Status marking - it's clearly a separate transfer so could be added to some shields and not to others.

    I shall now sit back and await the veritable tsunami of suggestions........
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  14. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    The tsunami didn't come (above).

    I've had a number of enquiries (I wish I could say "hundreds") for an update re the book I mentioned in September of last year. It's now a lot closer and, printing/binding permitting, is scheduled to be available in late July. A while ago I snapped a few fanned pages whilst proof reading (again!) and have attached that pic to give you some idea of the content. I should stress that this is about Home Front helmets, mostly MkIIs and CPHs..NOT HG, Army, WW1 etc....there are sections on the markings for Wardens, Rescue, Control, Police, Fire, WVS, FAP, Fire Watchers, Repair, Factories, Incident Officers, Ambulance, MOH, CS, Fire Guards etc etc...and it also looks at a number of the variants (plastics, leather etc) and attachments (torches, visors, covers etc). The final page count is 360, case bound, 1,000+ helmets and period photos too (although there'd be more if they weren't so damn expensive!!)

    Oh and don't fret about the holes in the pages - that was a working copy...there's probably scribbles on there too!

    Fanned pages shrunk.jpg Flyer.jpg

    I hope to be able to show some pics of the finished article later along with the price etc
  15. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    You really should post this in the 'Book-Buying problem' thread as well :) I think that I'm going to have one. Do you go into any detail about manufacturers and variations ?

    I didn't notice your earlier response to my request regarding the chin strap lugs....my interest is really in the pre-war, up to BEF period military helmets...I'm not really a serious collector, but I am a completist and I find myself tempted by the various manufacturers and of course lug types etc.

    My only real source of reference is the Marcus Cotton article in the October 1994 edition of 'Militaria' .

    I've come across quite a number of helmets with MkII lugs fixed not with the traditional snap-head rivets but with either swaged brass rivets or even bifurcated examples. I can't imagine that these would successfully retain a strap in heavy use and yet presumably these were fitted prior to the introduction of the MkIII...The example below also has the rim join on the side and had an idea that this has been mentioned as a home front feature ? Rim and helmet are non-magnetic. Oddly, I can't see any shell markings. The liner is a round pad JCS&W dated either 1938 or '39. Would this have been the basis of a Home Front helmet, or is it a private purchase ? It doesn't seem to have been repainted from khaki green, but the lugs don't ever seem to have been painted...

  16. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    'bottom line is I guess I'd like to see more before I could say more...... In no particular order......the side-joint may make it a Fisher & Ludlow shell...they stamped at the rear (or at least one of the ends) and not the traditional place next to the strap lugs...you may find something on the brim or even on the bend up to the crown....I've not heard about side-joints being restricted to Home Front...I have both sorts but as I don't do Military MkIIs we'll need someone to jump in there. A lot of the commercially made/sold variants don't seem to have makers stamps although, in reality, production by one of the big Companies is likely..and sadly, due to the lack of stampings it's hard to know who made what. I've just looked a few MkII-lugged examples....none had dimple rivets like the one you show and they're ALL Home Fronters....but I have seen commercially used MkII lugs without paint......but that's not a very scientific reply for you. I've not come across an "official" Home-Front-specific strap lug.

    You ask about the book......it isn't the definitive work on the MkII helmet....it's mainly (80%+) about the markings applied thereto......there are a few pages dedicated to what is effectively the shell, makers, liners and straps...and indeed there's a section about commercial variants (including CPHs and non-metallics) but I've been unable to track down a lot of the non-official makers because they often didn't mark their pieces. I'll be seeing Marcus shortly....'looks like I have a question for him!
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  17. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks for your thoughts. It's useful to have someone look at things from a different view point. It's always good to knock these stories on the head if they have no basis in fact. I've been all over this one with a magnifying glass and can see no shell stampings whatsoever. Dimensionally, it's spot-on but it's not the cleanest pressing...perhaps just a poor stamping lubricant.

    It doesn't seem impossible that if the MkII lug had been superseded, they were used up on private purchase helmets.

    Do you happen to know the maker 'HFC' ? I have a nicely stamped 1939 shell bearing that marking - About half way to the rear.
  18. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    I’d like to see a snap of that......
  19. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    ...whilst we're waiting for that shell stamp pic......here's a nice yellow one....GAS, obviously...worn by the Assistant to the GIO (Gas Identification Officer). Bearing in mind the fear of Gas attacks and the numbers thrown at it early on these aren't overly common.....they do add a nice splash of colour to a shelf though.......so GIO - Gas Identification Officer, GI - Assistant to GIO and GB - Gas Bag aka Mother in Law (thanks to Les Dawson) IMG_7123 i bb.JPG IMG_7123 i bb.JPG
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  20. 2 Black Bands

    2 Black Bands Active Member

    ...just picked up my first copy...and it looks very good ('hope that doesn't sound big-headed...but when something's taken so long to do......)

    If you want to know more please PM me


    Attached Files:

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