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British Mark 4 helmet

Article about: by James C great looking turtle helmet opex ,i have a soft spot for these and find them strangely appealing perhaps partly its down to patriotism ,but when scrimmed up they sure do look good

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    Default British Mark 4 helmet

    Hi Fellow Collectors,here's a British Mark 4 helmet from my collection, I am not sure when the "camo" affect was added, but have seen examples like this before,other than this it is a standard and rather unremarkable helmet, but a classic cold war era helmet,Regards Opex.

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    Now this may sound strange, what you have is a Mk4 Helmet with a MK4 Liner, however when these are put together they become a Mk5 helmet.
    The Mk4 helmet had the standard WW2 Soup bowl helmet liner with the lift dot pin at the top of the liner, the Mk3 had the bolt style.
    The Mk5 has this type of liner.
    Gets a bit confusing

    Dean O
    Ajax Canada

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    Hi Dean, I always thought the liner in the Mk4 with a lift the dot with pull tab inside the cruciform pad was the Mk3 liner. The liner with the pull tab outside the cruciform pad was the Mk4, both made of the same material, rexine. I just assumed these more modern looking liners were a Mk5?

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    You may be correct in that, I just know that the helmet shown is a Mk5, I have a nice Mk4 and a correct Mk3 in my collection.

    Dean O

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    Many thanks for looking guys, I made a mistake in my description it is a Mk 5, well a Mk4 Shell with this type of liner makes it a Mk5!

    Regards,Opex

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    great looking turtle helmet opex ,i have a soft spot for these and find them strangely appealing perhaps partly its down to patriotism ,but when scrimmed up they sure do look good on the shelf ,a lot of people are not fond of them i know ,the cammo finish looks great ,i like it a lot ,cheers james

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    This isn't one of my favourite helmets, but this is a nice example. However the subtle differences in British helmet designation sent me to my book shelf for the second time this morning, "Tin Hat for Tommy", a good book if you know what you are reading about or have examples to reference, because there is criminal lack of pictures.
    Anyway, Tinlid is correct, and heres a brief summary:
    MkIV shell has the stud for the "Lift the dot liner", officially the liner (with the "Lift the dot" in the middle of the cruciform) is designated the MkIII, but as it could only be paired with the helmet together they are designated the MkIV helmet.
    The MkIV liner has the "lift the dot" tab on the outside of the cruciform, used with the MkIV shell.
    MkV liner is the one shown with the nylon sock and other improvements to keep the helmet on the head (imagine that!), paired with the MkIV shell is designated as the MkV helmet. First introduced in 1956 and used up until 1995 in that combination.
    I'll spare you the chinstrap designs but yours is a MkIV which was the final version used up until the helmet was obsolete.
    Steve.

  8. #8
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    Quote by James C View Post
    great looking turtle helmet opex ,i have a soft spot for these and find them strangely appealing perhaps partly its down to patriotism ,but when scrimmed up they sure do look good on the shelf ,a lot of people are not fond of them i know ,the cammo finish looks great ,i like it a lot ,cheers james

    Thank you James, even after many years I still can not decide whether I like the shape or not, But I agree they do look great scrimmed up. I bought an auctioned lot of seven of these many years ago, one of which had a name and unit inside, I later discovered through research that it was used in the Falklands conflict, can you imagine how excited I was at that discovery....well I would have been but my wife had sold it at a carboot sale for the grand sum of 5.00....oh the sleepless nights!!!!

    Thanks for looking ,hope you are well

  9. #9
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    Quote by Tinhat View Post
    This isn't one of my favourite helmets, but this is a nice example. However the subtle differences in British helmet designation sent me to my book shelf for the second time this morning, "Tin Hat for Tommy", a good book if you know what you are reading about or have examples to reference, because there is criminal lack of pictures.
    Anyway, Tinlid is correct, and heres a brief summary:
    MkIV shell has the stud for the "Lift the dot liner", officially the liner (with the "Lift the dot" in the middle of the cruciform) is designated the MkIII, but as it could only be paired with the helmet together they are designated the MkIV helmet.
    The MkIV liner has the "lift the dot" tab on the outside of the cruciform, used with the MkIV shell.
    MkV liner is the one shown with the nylon sock and other improvements to keep the helmet on the head (imagine that!), paired with the MkIV shell is designated as the MkV helmet. First introduced in 1956 and used up until 1995 in that combination.
    I'll spare you the chinstrap designs but yours is a MkIV which was the final version used up until the helmet was obsolete.
    Steve.

    Many thanks for the information Steve, very much appreciated.

    I have a close friend who was issued one of these in 1984, he has regaled many a story of how he resented having to wear such an ungainly helmet

  10. #10

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    For the sake of completion, perhaps, here's what Marcus Cotton says about this, from the English edition of MILITARIA magazine, issue 14 of April 1995:-

    "During late 1956, a new lining was developed, which consisted of a knitted nylon sock attached to an adjustable red fibre frame and padded with foam plastic. Following troop trials the new lining was approved for introduction in March 1959. The new lining was designated Mk IV and subsequently the complete helmet was designated Mk V. The Mk V helmet remained in service until the mid 1980s, when it began to be replaced by the new ballistic nylon Mk 6 combat helmet."

    Fascinating little touch of modernity there, that switch from Roman numerals. Wonderful world, really, the British helmet in all its varieties - someone ought to write a book about it. Soon, while I am still young enough to care.

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