In 1915 the British army decided it needed what it termed as shrapnel
helmets for the troops on the western front, the first regulation helmets were delivered in late 1915
designated "Brodies Steel Helmet War Office Pattern" Designed by John leopoled Brodie, The War Office Pattern is Rimless
This pattern was changed in April 1916 by the addition of a rim and new pattern liner and Chin strap.
It was designated as Helmet Steel MkI in Sept 1916.
The liner is secured to the helmet by a copper rivet.[see third picture] The rubber ring was added to the liner in 1917
note how the leather chin strap threads through the chin strap lugs and is riveted to the crown.
Mk.1's carried on in
service until the mid to late 30's when many of them were refurbished with new liners and chin straps and chin strap lugs the helmet was then
redesignated Mk.1* see the next helmet below.
In the mid 1930s new liners and chin straps were developed and as the
old ones became unserviceable on the Mk.1 Brodie's and the first rimless War Office Pattern, they
were refurbished with Mk.1 liners and a Mk.1 chin strap, since they were a modification of a existing
pattern they were designated MK.1*. The liner is attached to the helmet with a nut and bolt instead of
the copper rivet as on the original Brodie.
The MK.1 chin strap comes in two parts and consisted of a
216mm section of 25.5mm wide drab webbing connected by a brass loop to two non-magnetic steel springs
encased in drill cloth, the other half of the chin strap is shorter and has a brass buckle, this strap
also has two steel springs, the end of each strap has a brass wire loop at the ends.
a non magnetic stainless steel chin strap securing lug was introduced
for attaching the MK.1 chin strap to the MK.1* helmet this lug replaced the
old tin plate securing lugs.
I have come across MK.1* refurbished later in WW11 with MK.111 chin strap lugs and MK.11 chin straps
the only way to really know that they were originally WW1 shells is by the makers marks.
The only difference between the MK.1 and MK.11 chin strap is the MK.1 has larger end loops that
attach to the chin strap lugs [see MK.11 helmets for a MK.11chin strap]
MK.1* with a MK.1 chin strap, MK.1 chin strap lugs and MK.1 liner.
It was originally a rimless War office pattern Helmet the makers or suppliers mark is H/S for Hadfields
The liner was made by Helmets Ltd dated 1937 it also still has quite a lot of its sand paint
left. On the side although faded is a flash for the Royal Army Service Corps blue, yellow, white.
MK.1*.Originally a MK.1 Brodie, the makers mark is unreadable the MK.1liner was made by Vero dated 1938 Unfortunately all that remains of
the MK.1 chin strap on this helmet are the end brass loops.
With this helmet being red I am thinking
it was perhaps used on a airfield by the RAF as a fireman's helmet in WW11?.
Here is a list of WW1 makers marks, producers and suppliers of helmets.
FS Thomas Firth and Sons, sept. 1915-1919
HS Hadfiedlds Ltd. jan. 1916-1919
BS W Beardmore & Co.Ltd. jan. 1916-1919
MS Miris Steel Co.1916-1917
A Edgar AllenAND cO.lTD 1916-1918
F Thomas Firth and Sons 1916-1918
O Samuel Osborne & Co Ltd. 1916-1918
V Vickers Ltd 1916-1917
B Bury's & Co. 1916-1918
D James Dixon & Sons dec. 1915
H W Hutton & Sons dec. 1915
HH Harrison Bros. & Howson Ltd. dec 1915
M J&J Maxfield & Sons dec. 1915
R John Round & Sons 1916
V W&E Viener dec. 1915
Helmet manufacturers not part of the Sheffield Munitions Committee Groups.
- Army & Navy Co-operative Society Sept 1915 thru Jan 1916 (Not Marked)
- Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd. Oct 15 to Oct 16 (No marks except Steel suppliers)
- Bleriot Ltd. May 1916 to October 1916 (No marks except Steel suppliers)
- Hadfields Ltd. Aug 1916 to 1919 (Prior to Aug 1916 this firm only supplied steel no mark other than origianl Steel supplier mark) Aug 16 thru 19
- W Beardmore & Co. Ltd. Aug 1916 thru 1918 (Prior to Aug 1916 this firm only supplied steel no mark other than origianl Steel supplier mark) Aug 16 thru 18
- Miris Steel Co. (Prior to Aug 1916 this firm only supplied steel no mark other than origianl Steel supplier mark) Sept 16 thru 17.
Other marks not 100% identified.
- MLS ?
- FKS Possibly Thomas Firth & Son.
- M&S possibly Maxfield & Sons.
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