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irish free state model 1927

Article about: here's a helmet ive had on my want list for a very long time ,allthough not complete with liner this relic does have the full chinstrap albiet with damage to the aluminium metalware, all thr

  1. #11


    paul thanks for the link ,ive not viewed this one before and thanks too mark its always good to hear advice from fellow lid collectors and of course take it on board,thanks for dropping by cheers james

  2. #12


    Just a small update ,where does the time go Well nearly two years since i picked up this example and so with help from fellow forum member a suitable
    "Warriors of Ireland" insignia has been sourced ,Not an original of course but for display purposes close enoughirish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927

  3. #13


    I'd not noticed either of the threads about the M27 before. A very interesting and genuinely rare in good condition helmet. Even rarer in original issue condition; I don't think I've ever seen one in that state. Some excellent restorations, but never a true original. There used to be a rather good step-by-step description of a restoration on the web, but that's vanished recently. I think I have a harvested copy of it somewhere.

    Anyway, I got this one back about 2000 from a little militaria stall in a antiques market in Reading (Berkshire), where I was working at the time. I remember seeing it on the table as I walked towards it thinking "That's an Irish Vickers...that's an Irish, it can't be...that IS an Irish Vickers!" I was enormously excited because I'd only recently learned such a thing existed through endless reading of CASQUES DE COMBAT. To actually find one, when I was aware that most had been used as filler for foundations in irish army camps (true or not?) was just *amazing*.

    Anyway, as you can see it has traces of its Civil defence white inside, but has a complete black overpaint otherwise. I've never been entirely clear *why* these black-painted examples exist so if anyone knows...

    I apologise in advance for the hopelessly out of focus liner band stamp.

    irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927

    And here's a really surprising thing seen at a Malvern show a year or so back -

    irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927

    What's actually amazing is that no-one around other than me seemed to either know or care what they were. No, I didn't buy any as I'm not a restoration kind of guy, and I was holding my money for unusual Mk6s or ssh40 variants. I think one or two sold by the time I left, but there was no mad rush, I can tell you.

  4. #14


    Greg can i say what a lovely complete example you have ,I've never seen what the original liners look like as most as you mentioned if not all are refurbished ,your liner stamp is very similar in style to the stamp on my shell ,why yours is black is a mystery to me so i hope we learn more about it ,I notice your frontal brim is slightly upturned more so then the german m16 ,that is a relief as i though mine was damaged or misshapen due to its storage ,why these have brow plate lugs is beyond me unless there was a plate designed to be fitted but i believe not

  5. #15


    Great to see these examples of the Irish Vickers helmet.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  6. #16


    James, I believe the browplate lugs are there simply because the contract was for a copy of the German M16. No-one seems to have thought that some minor amendments could be made with probable manufacturing and savings costs.

    I actually have another of these - a very lucky Ebay buy a few years back at a surprising BuyItNow price (the seller must have been desperate for instant cash!) - that I ought to photograph and post. Similarly good condition, but a sort of dirty dark grey rather than black, and with what I sometimes convince myself is original green paint in the bowl of the helmet where it has not been repainted. If it is original it is *very* faded and certainly not the dark beerbottle green that I believe was the original colour. No trace of CD white.

    Does anyone know the reason for the repaints, other than the well-known CD white?

    I've added a photo of a Vickers which I believe is iin its original as-issued state. Not mine, unfortunately.

    irish free state model 1927

  7. #17


    Here is my other Vickers 1927. This is the one I mentioned previously as having a "dirty dark grey rather than black" colour. Well, maybe not. I gave it a good wiping-over with a Mark 1 damp cloth and it didn't look so dirty, or so grey. Then Catherine, who had been looking at picture on a Wehrmacht Awards thread, remarked that given the original colour is supposed to be a dark olive green with 1percent black mixed in, and that looks very much like .... . And the more we looked at it the more it does look like a faded version of the original paintwork.

    Of course we could be wrong, but here's my theory; this one was, like many, passed to Civil Defence and painted white. There are small traces of the white here and there, but remarkably little compared to what I have seen on other helmets. At some point afterwards someone quite carefully stripped off the white and revealed the original paint. Either through that stripping process or just age, or just the fact that the paintwork wasn't that great to start with (I have read hints it was not a perfect application) we are left with a rather diminished colour. It certainly isn't black anyway, and never has been. There is a distinct dark green tinge especially in natural light. Interesting.

    And regarding the black ones, in an article in ARMOURER magazine (issue 91, Jan 2009) Chris McNally, the Helmet King of Blaeunau Ffestiniog, states that on issue to the CD in 1940 they were "painted white or sometimes black". And also, usefully, "These helmets have an additional set of numbers stamped into the back skirkt - H 40 " The H 40 obviously denoting helmets reissued to CD in 1940.

    The stamps are often hard to read. The basic is VLTD (Vickers Limited) followed by the alphanumeric H 12345 (Helmet, individual number) and 27 (helmet type). The H 40 is added adjacent to that.

    That being said my stamps are a little non-standard; one reads VLTD H 4383 '27 H407

    The other is VLTD H 5502 '27 H 40

    irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927

    irish free state model 1927irish free state model 1927

  8. #18


    Greg many thanks for the additional information and again for showing another nice example from your collection, Well I've learned something new again regarding the issue to CD dates so that means mine was passed over in 1942 ,very interesting to decipher ,I'm not familiar with Chris McNally and to think he is not that far away as the crow flies ,my examples whitewash is very sporadic and i imagine there would be little of the original paint underneath anyway
    Thanks ,James

  9. #19

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