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1939 Mk II with ID number

Article about: Hello gents; this is my recent acquisition: an MkII helmet made by BMB in 1939, with MkI liner also produced in 1939 by the same maker. It comes with an early, quite worn camo net, that, jud

  1. #1

    Default 1939 Mk II with ID number

    Hello gents; this is my recent acquisition: an MkII helmet made by BMB in 1939, with MkI liner also produced in 1939 by the same maker. It comes with an early, quite worn camo net, that, judging by the "ghost" imprint left on the paint, I would assume it has been there for a while. The green, smooth paint itself seems to be factory original to me, and I know it is mainly associated with the home front services.
    Do you think is it possibile to find out, by the yellow number (army ID?) the exact branch which fielded this helmet?

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2

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    Hi, certainly looks to be a nice Home Front used helmet to me, and a nice net ghosting! As for the number, I suspect that alone may not be enough to go, but Aaron will know better. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  3. #3

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    I thought i recognised that helmet, i sold it recently, it is the one pictured on my avatar. I hope you are happy with it. I have no information regarding the service number although i have not done any research.

    Cheers
    Harry

  4. #4

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    Hi Harry! Yes, I'm happy with it (and with the compass too); better then expected, I was looking for an early/pre war specimen for a long time, and this one is really nice.

  5. #5

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    I'm glad you like it, it is a very nice example, i was surprised by how good the condition was when i purchased it. Sadly i had to downsize my collection. I'm happy it went to someone who will appreciate it.

    Cheers
    Harry

  6. #6
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    Your helmet is an Mk2 No1 meaning it is made of manganese steel & could be used by the armed forces. But for a true No1 used by the services it should have textured paint on the outside, although the navy & I think the coastal artillery & Anti-aircraft used them like this.
    The number on the inside brim could also be RA - AA, & coastal artillery.
    But it could also have been used by the home guard, who like the above, would have added a nice early woven net that yours has.

  7. #7

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    Aha Aaron, I was waiting for you! Well, actually I found on the web a pic of a Royal Navy gunner, dated 1942: the outer paint seems the same of mine. And, another one, depicting a group of "Dad Army" soldiers, wearing netted helmets.
    I have a doubt: these green, smooth painted helmet were made before the war, and the home guard, if I'm not wrong, was established only after the fall of France; so, who was issued in '38 and '39 with this first batch of MkIi's? Could they have been issued at first to the Army, and then moved to rear echelon troops at the outbreak of WWII?
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  8. #8
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    The first batches of Mk2's went to the ARP, Fire, & Police. The army by 37/38 were issued the Mk1*,& of course the Mk2 from 1938 onwards.
    The shiny khaki green Mk2's like yours were mostly fazed out by early 1939, they were painted black for home front use.

  9. #9

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    Thanks to you all for your replies! There's always something to learn.

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