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Malta helmet camo

Article about: Glad to have been of some help.

  1. #1
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    Default Malta helmet camo

    Had this picture for a while now & if there's one helmet I would love to have it would be this one. One of my friends has just got one & although it could also be the Italian campaign as well, I believe it to be Malta camo. Either way it's a great camo helmet, original net on a MkI shell( probably one of the 1st WW refurbished helmets that were done in 37-38) The liner is dated 37 & made by HELMETS Ltd.
    Aaron
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    Wonderful example, a great item to get in your collection and maybe one day.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    I am new to this site and this is my first posting. I have some questions, the answers of which should enable me to provide details about this particular helmet. (1) What is the colour of the triangle on either side? (2) How and where was the helmet acquired?
    Tony

  4. #4

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    I don't collect british items but even i can see that is a lovely lid!!Nice pick up.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    Hi Tony, welcome to the forum, as I don't own the helmet I can only rely on the pictures I have. But I think the flash on either side are brown or maybe a very faded black, quite hard to tell. The helmet was bought from a trader after he picked it up in Somerset I think it was.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    A rare opportunity where I can chime in with something I know!

    The King's Own Malta regiment used to paint flashes on their helmets, however later on the act was discouraged. These are the flashes which would have been used:
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    I'll try and dig up some period photos for you,
    Nitram

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    Hello. The unique camouflage paint pattern marks this as a helmet from Malta. Identifying the unit is not so simple. The subject of Malta helmet flashes is a neglected one, so it is nice to see a reference for the KOMR.

    If KOMR battalions had their own distinctive helmet flash (square, triangle, etc.), other, not necessarily all, Malta-based formations used a similar system to denote individual companies. In this case, if the flash is scarlet (with discolouration occurring over the years) what we have is a helmet of 4th Battalion The Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), possibly D Company. This would be a rare find indeed. The Buffs served in Malta from November 1940 until September 1943 when the battalion moved to Egypt. Instead of being re-deployed as expected for the Italian campaign, the battalion was ordered in October to proceed to the Aegean island of Leros. Some 135 officers and men of the Buffs were lost when their transport, the destroyer HMS Eclipse, struck a mine shortly after midnight on 24 October. The remainder of the battalion was decimated in the five-day battle of Leros in November 1943.

    A light blue flash would indicate a helmet of 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (suffered the same fate, while fighting on Leros as part of 234 Infantry Brigade).

    Two more former Malta-based units were 1st Battalion The Durham Light Infantry and 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers (‘Faughs’). The majority of the former became prisoners of war on Kos in October 1943; most of the latter were killed or taken prisoner on Leros.

    I have seen at least one photograph with troops of 2nd Battalion The Devonshire Regiment displaying triangular helmet flashes. Together with 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment and 1st Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment, the Devons served on Malta and subsequently fought in Sicily and Italy as part of 231 Infantry Brigade before taking part in the Normandy landings.

    Typically, helmet nets tended not to be used in Malta, but were more of a feature in the Aegean, Italy and northern Europe.

    How such a helmet ended up in Somerset is a mystery. My own feeling is it belonged to someone in 231 Brigade who brought it back with him when he returned to the UK. In any event, it is a very special item.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    Cool

    I went to Malta when I was young, a great place. I must go back, a holiday in the Med would go down well with the lady too I think. I can't lose

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    Quote by Tony R View Post
    Hello. The unique camouflage paint pattern marks this as a helmet from Malta. Identifying the unit is not so simple. The subject of Malta helmet flashes is a neglected one, so it is nice to see a reference for the KOMR.

    If KOMR battalions had their own distinctive helmet flash (square, triangle, etc.), other, not necessarily all, Malta-based formations used a similar system to denote individual companies. In this case, if the flash is scarlet (with discolouration occurring over the years) what we have is a helmet of 4th Battalion The Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), possibly D Company. This would be a rare find indeed. The Buffs served in Malta from November 1940 until September 1943 when the battalion moved to Egypt. Instead of being re-deployed as expected for the Italian campaign, the battalion was ordered in October to proceed to the Aegean island of Leros. Some 135 officers and men of the Buffs were lost when their transport, the destroyer HMS Eclipse, struck a mine shortly after midnight on 24 October. The remainder of the battalion was decimated in the five-day battle of Leros in November 1943.

    A light blue flash would indicate a helmet of 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (suffered the same fate, while fighting on Leros as part of 234 Infantry Brigade).

    Two more former Malta-based units were 1st Battalion The Durham Light Infantry and 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers (‘Faughs’). The majority of the former became prisoners of war on Kos in October 1943; most of the latter were killed or taken prisoner on Leros.

    I have seen at least one photograph with troops of 2nd Battalion The Devonshire Regiment displaying triangular helmet flashes. Together with 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment and 1st Battalion The Dorsetshire Regiment, the Devons served on Malta and subsequently fought in Sicily and Italy as part of 231 Infantry Brigade before taking part in the Normandy landings.

    Typically, helmet nets tended not to be used in Malta, but were more of a feature in the Aegean, Italy and northern Europe.

    How such a helmet ended up in Somerset is a mystery. My own feeling is it belonged to someone in 231 Brigade who brought it back with him when he returned to the UK. In any event, it is a very special item.
    Thanks Tony some excellent information , welcome to the forum !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #10

    Default Re: Malta helmet camo

    Really nice helmet.
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

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