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British Motor Cyclist's helmets of WWII

Article about: Hi Guys, this is the second pattern helmet introduced for wear by "Don R's" or Motorcycle despatch riders. The first pattern helmet was not steel but was like civvy bike helmets of

  1. #11

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    Hi Guys, thanks for the kind comments about this helmet. Not a bad buy for £10 eh?

    Cheers, Ade.

  2. #12

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    10 pound my god thats awsome ade cant believe that, but i suppose u still got to no ure stuff , il prob go out now and end up with a fake one for 30 quid or something lol .thats brilliant though

  3. #13

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    Heres 2 of mine that I have in my collection bought for £2 each about 30 years ago.One is dated 1942 the other 1945.As you can see one is a metallic green courtsey of my Dad saying it needed a lick of paint and spraying it with vauxhall viva touch up spray paint They have been in my loft for the last 15 years and seen this post and decided to get them down again with all my other stuff up there.
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  4. #14

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    Hi Ace, I bought mine from a good friend Don't worry these are not faked, yet...

    Hi Dave, nice story! Actually I am glad you showed them as it illustrates well how the paint used became a darker shade by 1945. The interior shot shows this well. The "Vauxhall green" would strip off with a commercial paint stripper such as "Nitromors" which should not effect the original wartime paint.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #15

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    Thanks for the advice Ade,thats one thing I will do for sure as even as a small kid I knew the minute my Dad did it that it was a mistake and I even remember my Mam telling him off over it

  6. #16

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    This is an interesting discussion. thank you for sharing

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  7. #17

    Exclamation Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    Use a magnet to sus out the DR conversions !!!
    DR helmets have magnetic rims ! .. Para helmets don't !

    Gary J.

    Quote by aj4010 View Post
    I did hear that some are being bought up and stripped so that the shell could be religned with a paratrooper liner as passed off as orignal.

    Beware what you buy

    That is so true, as para helmets get scarce, watch out for the price of despatch and R.A.C. helmets take off.
    On a side note, I picked mine up in the USA. There seems to be a lot of mint and genuine ones over there.
    Anyone any ideas how they got there? Through Canada perhaps?

  8. #18

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    I know this is a bit late but you say that the DR helmet with fibre rim is quite rare,if so then i shot myself in the foot as i gave my one to my nephew some yrs ago and i believe his mother threw it in a skip because it was cluttering up his room.Oh dear

  9. #19

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    Hi, I don't no if any of you know, but SMP has been doing a survey on fibre rim para helmets. it's interesting to note that there are a lot of 1942 dated despatch riders helmets without the fibre rim, than there are, but there seem to be no 1942 dated para helmets without the fibre rim. So it seems the 1942 despatch riders helmets with the fibre rim were only made for a short time in 1942, which makes them quite rare. Any comments on this would be most helpful, thanks.

  10. #20
    CMc is offline

    Default Re: British Motor Cyclist's 2nd pattern steel helmet

    This is an interesting thread, I recall reading about the early fibre motor dispatch rider's helmet, apparently they were designed in the aftermath of T.E. Lawrence's (Formerly Colonel Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia) fatal motorcycle accident at Bovington in May 1935.

    He was no longer a military man by this stage, but he lived very near Bovington Camp, where the Royal Tank Corps were based, at Clouds Hill, which incidentally still exists in very much the condition Lawrence left it.

    In an accident which is still surrounded by controversy, (I was never one to believe the conspiracy theories surrounding assassination etc, but there's compelling evidence that a black Hillman Minx car, which was seen leaving Bovington camp, must have at least contained a witness to the accident who was never identified or called to testify at the inquiry.) Lawrence, entering a dip in the single track road at high speed on his Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle, lost control of his bike whilst attempting to avoid two courier boys on bicycles. He hit one of the bicycles but managed to avoid injuring either of the two boys, but in the process was flung from his bike and sustained terrible head and brain injuries. Alerted to the accident, medical personnel from Bovington Camp took him back to the camp for treatment, but were unable to save his life.

    In the aftermath of the incident, it was realised that Lawrence could have been saved from severe injury if only he had been wearing suitable head protection (effective head protection for motorcyclists not really existing beforehand, and many riders such as Lawrence commonly riding either in whatever headgear they would've had on or bare-headed.) This lack of head protection was identified as a cause in many other fatal motorcycle accidents, and soon helmets were being developed which gave at least a degree of protection from injury, such as types designed for military dispatch riders, as can be seen here.

    If anyone has anything to add to this story, or can correct me on any points then I'd be happy to stand corrected. As you can tell I have a bit of an interest in T.E. Lawrence, not only in his military career and exploits but in his life after. Actually he partly interests me due to his having suffered form what would later have been diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his experiences in Arabia (notably his capture at Deraa, during which he was raped and tortured by a Turkish officer.), which is both interesting to myself as a student of Psychology, and as a sufferer of PTSD myself, although due to somewhat different circumstances.

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