British helmet

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by jan133, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. jan133

    jan133 Member

    I found this helmet in an old barn , i was wondering is it British ?
    No inscriptions found on helmet ,corrosion has hidden them.
    Our town was liberated by British soldiers in sept '44.

    Attached Files:

  2. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    It certainly looks like a British Mk.II Helmet shell. Used by British, Canadian and Allied troops during the Second World War. They were also supplied to the Dutch and Belgian forces post-war (you don't say where you are) and may have been used in various emergency service roles.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Jan's in Wolverthem, Belgium.
    sept. 44 Belgium.
  4. jan133

    jan133 Member

    Thanks for reply, i am in Belgium . And our village was liberated by the 23rd hussars ,early september.
  5. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    Whilst tank crew would have been issued a different style (RAC helmet) this style would have been issued to others in the regiment.
  6. jan133

    jan133 Member

    So it will be hard to discover to who the helmet has belonged .
    The same story as with discovering the troops that passed our village after the liberation .
  7. jan133

    jan133 Member

    After long search on the helmet we discovered a number , it looks like 41 .
    Would this number be helpful ?
  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Often, the lining and its fixing screw can provide a clue, but they are missing in this case.

    The chin strap lug though is of the MkII variety introduced in June 1937 and replaced by the smaller and more convenient MkIII lug from February 1939 onwards. The lugs are stainless steel and usually dated. In theory they can be '37, '38 or '39 dated but the vast majority seem to be from 1938.

    P3011277 (2).JPG

    Most helmets with this sort of lug would have gone to France with the BEF, to the Middle East or have been issued to Home Guard etc. in the UK. They could still have turned up in NW Europe in 1944 but probably not in any great numbers.

    In addition to the lug manufacture date, the shell would also usually be dated, generally a stamping close to one of the lugs. A manufacturer's code, year of manufacture and possible helmet type (MkII) would be expected.

    Your helmet could well be a May 1940 survivor but it could just as easily have been re-issued to post-war Belgian forces. As far as I'm aware, the British didn't retreat through Wolvertem although they suffered severe casualties in Asse which is not that far to the South. It's not impossible that a farmer picked a couple up to use as feeding bowls for the chickens or similar.
  9. jan133

    jan133 Member

    Hello Sir,
    Thanks for reading my post ,thanks for reply.
    Asse is close to us (next village) , and in 1940 the British sufferd severe casualties . And it is correct the British did not retreat through Wolvertem on the other hand we were liberated by the 23rd hussars on the 3th sept.
  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Graag gedaan, Jan.

    Have you been able to find a marking on the lug ?

    The image below shows a 1939 RO Co (Rubery Owen) shell with the MkIII chinstrap lug, but an earlier shell ought also to have a similar stamping.

    A 1940 connection seems more likely. Troops advancing and not actually fighting are not likely to have left a helmet in 1944 but the area would have been full of billeted German troops collecting souvenirs in 1940.

    DSC_0659 small.jpg
    ceolredmonger likes this.

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