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 Thinking Hats On

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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Thinking Hats On   Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:58 pm

From the ' other ' ' other place '. very interesting.. anyone else
have any thoughts on this.

http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=11508&sid=53d739678abee1cb918841ae122e96c7
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:25 am

Hi Les.

The officer wearing the helmet with the spike could well be wearing a 'home service' helmet. They were dark blue cloth covered and had a finial (spike, ball, etc), 'foreign service' helmets were white cloth covered pith (or cork), and no finial. The officers helmet in the picture does look a different shape from some of the others (a little narrower in shape and more pointed at the front), so it could well be a 'home service' helmet as they also were a different shape to the 'foreign service' helmet. He could well have taken it with him to Zululand, or maybe he could have obtained it from a friend, either way, it does look more like a 'home service' helmet than a 'foreign service' one.

I have both in my collection, a foreign service helmet and a home service helmet, and they are a slightly different shape from one another. The foreign service helmet is wider and the 'peak' is not as 'sloped' or pointed as the home service helmet.

Hope this helps mate. Salute
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:43 pm

Les,

I think you got this in the wrong place, although I have seen photographic evidence of 'friendly Zulu' wearing helmets.

Martin,

Quick question for you, under what circumstances would a Royal Navy officer have worn a blue-cloth helmet?

John Y.
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:53 pm

Hiya Martin, hope your well mate.. So the British Army are off to war in
a tropical clime,, the first drafts arrive in South Africa in 1875 to take
part in the last frontier war, so they naturally ditch the home service
pattern and are equipped with the foreign service helmet.. the officer's
as was there want go to their gentlemen out fitters for their kit and one
supposes the helmet as well, the rank and file get kitted out en masse,
i have never seen any photo that shows anyone apart from the coppers
and NC wearing anything resembling the home service helmet.. i have
taken the liberty of lighting up John's photo and to me they look like
foreign service helmets! a few different variations in patterns that
might have been common.


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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:55 pm

Yes JY..wrong place.
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Bromhead1879



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:27 am

I also see in this photo the shinney bands on two f.s. helmets on the left but the 2 on the right look like they've removed them all together. Anyway, the variations in f.s. helmets are numerous. I think we can all agree on that. As far as the photo in question, if i may weigh in, to me looks blue and very uniform as to suggest a "factory" application. Are there any surviving examples of Naval f.s. helmets?
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:36 am

Bromhead1879,

You may indeed weigh and I will attempt refute your assumption by the use of a contemporary reference.

Captain H. J. Fletcher Campbell, C.B., R.N. gave a lecture on Naval Brigades to the Royal United Service Institution on June 30, 1882.  In this lecture he said "It should be noted that all white articles of dress should be dyed some dark colour, as when white they form a most conspicuous mark for the enemy's riflemen, and can be seen in the distance or in he bush, when a dark-coloured article of dress might have permitted the wearer to remain unobserved; in the fight with the Zulus at Inyezane the blue-jacket were in white with white helmets, and to this may be attributed the great number wounded, nearly ten per cent, of those engaged.  The white clothing was afterwards dyed brown, and this renders it less easily discerned than even the jet-black bodies of the natives themselves."

I am indebted to former forum member PO Tom for supplying the above reference.

John Y.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:41 pm

Naval Brigade white helmet and "browned" helmet.
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Steve
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:59 pm

Steve,

The officer on the left is not a regular, he is a reservist hence the wavy navy insignia of rank.  The moustache without a full set is another giveaway.

The officer on the right is a bootneck - Lieutenant Townley Ward Dowding, Chatham Division, Royal Marine Light Infantry - from H.M.S. Active.

John Y.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:18 pm

Well done JY. I guess our Royal Marine has not yet got around to dying his jacket!

Steve
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:53 pm

There is a nice plate of a private RMLI on page 193 of
the modern publication.. an illustrated encyclopedia of
military uniforms of the nineteenth century..wearing a
tea stained FS helmet, will post when photobucket has
resolved its current issues.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:01 pm

Hi John Y.

Well John, Les did ask for any thoughts, so I was only having a guess. I did say he might have obtained it from a friend, perhaps an old army chum, or, who knows, he could have preferred the look of the HS helmet rather than the FS helmet and bought it himself privately, but it does look more like a HS helmet rather than a FS helmet, it also looks narrower, and the sloped and pointed peak does look more like a HS helemt, especially with having a finial (spike). Like Les says, there were variations in patterns, but the finial (spike), is a little puzzling for a FS helmet, unless (as Les says), it could well be a police or NC helmet, you never know John, the officer might have bartered for it, but again, it's only my thoughts. Salute

Hi Les mate, yes thanks, all ok so far. I am still contemplating getting that BSA Gold Star or a Triumph Bonneville Shocked er, no I mean that little 125cc motorbike Rolling Eyes . It will feel very odd riding such a small bike after some of the ones I've had, but it will serve it's purpose for what I want these days, ie; terrorising the neighbourhood Very Happy LOL, on a little 125 scratch no chance. No

Fitting it with a top box, it will be great for getting me and the shopping up these hills here, and also going to the cricket ground over at a nearby village (about 5 miles away), just the job mate. Salute
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:30 pm

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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:39 pm

Over to you JY.. is that a fair representation.

Hiya Martin..yes there are a variety of styles,
the narrow turned down peak is a standout.
i like the one that seems to slope down the
back, covering the neck. best described as
Denholm Elliots in ZD.

Good for you mate, 125 or not its good your
getting around, i recall the terrain where you
are, some terrifying hills and bends round
your way. take it easy.. and as we know i did
not mean the Natal Carbineers when i said NC.
slip of the mind on my part. say hello to Sue
for me.
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Bromhead1879



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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:52 pm

Excellent reference Mr. Young. I could talk about FS helmets all day long. I am just beginning to understand and know a lot. I am in the midst of modifying a new one for reenacting. Quite a lot of reference on line especially collections in photographs. Thank you for the chat and allowing me to interject!
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:45 pm

Les,

I'm glad you picked a decent illustration from that book as it contains some awful ones!

Bromhead1879,

I have a few photographs which show the Foreign-Service helmet, I will add a few more to this posting to help matters along.

Martin,

You been reading the wrong types of books again to even offer that as a suggestion. Come on...

There are a number of examples of photographs that depict troops wearing rather snug, close-fitting Foreign-Service helmet.

Here's that I used on the VWF to prove a point on the staining:

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Prince Magwendu kaMpande's surrender, April 1879.
John Young Collection

Note the examples worn by the mounted officer in campaign kit, and that of 91st Highlanders officer (standing third from the right.). In my opinion just as narrow in a shape the 1878 pattern blue-cloth Home-Service helmet.

I will post some more shortly, but like Les my Photobucket is also playing up.

John Y.
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:12 pm

Hi Les.

Yes, there were a lot of varieties, some squared off at the back others rounded, some with more panels some with less, etc, etc, etc, but what is puzzling me is why a finial on a FS helmet scratch

I was under the impression that FS helmets didn't have finials, so that is why I thought it might be a HS helmet. Yes Denholm Eliot's helmet in Zulu Dawn was sloped at the back, and look at Peter O'Tools helmet, it looked far too big for him, and the soldiers helmets looked well different to the ones worn in Zulu, it's a very interesting subject though Les.

You are right buddy, the hills and bends can be deadly for strangers if they don't check their speed in time, there have been some nasty accidents on these country roads. When I first got a motorbike back in the 60's, and I went out on the open country roads, I was very tempted to "open it up", however, with doing a lot of hiking and cycling in the area, I knew better than to do that, these narrow roads around here were not meant for the "Ace Cafe ton up boys", they can be very deadly mate if you are not used to them, and there is always the chance of farmers tractors just around the bend or cattle, sheep, etc, best to keep the speed low and be safe rather than open the throttle and be sorry.

Yes mate, I will say hello to Sue for you, and thank you Les, much obliged. Salute
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:28 pm

Hi John Y.

Very Happy Well, at least it was only a suggestion, but I think what threw me was the finial. I have a HS and a FS, and they are very different to each other. The HS has a finial, the FS doesn't, the HS one is narrower and the peak is more pointed, and it is much stronger than the FS Pith helmet. Like I said to Les, it is a very interesting subject. Salute
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:33 am

Les,

Never write over to you, because you know I will prove my point with evidence.

Martin,

Just so we are on the same page the finial that you are referring to is the spike?

Does your Foreign-Service helmet have a ventilator button?  If so unscrew it, and unscrew the spike and fitting on your Home-Service helmet and screw them into the hole where ventilator button was.  Then as if by magic you should achieved the same result as the officer that you are referring to.

Please don't think I trying to teach you how suck eggs here, or I am being in any way condescending.

It should look like this example:

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Line Infantry officer, Pretoria, 1881.
John Young Collection

Or like this:

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Officer, 21st R.S.F., circa 1879
John Young Collection

Then there is the matter of the narrowness of helmet that you mention, please take a look at this photograph:

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British officers with Prince Magwendu kaMpande, April 1879
John Young Collection

Look carefully at the mounted officer in his campaign kit, note the shade of it and how close-fitting it is.
Also note the shape of the 91st Highlanders officer standing third from the right, equally close-fitting and not unlike the Home-Service pattern shape.

The truth is there were no hard and fast rules at this time, officers provide their own uniform so there were variations in patterns and style.

John Y.
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xhosa2000

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:06 pm

Your the man JY.. but then iv'e known that for many many years. Very Happy
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:55 pm

Interchangeable.
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Steve
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Thinking Hats On   Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:26 pm

Hi John Y.

Yes, I can unscrew the finial (spike) on my HS helmet, however, there was no vent button with it when I got it. The chin chain and the hook at the rear of the spike are all there, but the vent button must have been either discarded or lost before I got it. If I am not mistaken, there were different types of finial that could be screwed on the HS helmet, ie; spike, ball and was there not one with a special fitting for a plume of hair or feathers. scratch

John, you are too nice a bloke to be condescending, I have always respected your opinions my friend. As always, these are good pictures, very good in fact, thank you. Salute
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