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South African pith helmet

Article about: magicdutchman,Here is mine. Rich A. in Pa.

  1. #1

    Default South African pith helmet

    Yesterday my family brought home a nice South African pith helmet from South Africa for me. And now I'm wondering about the meaning of the flash on the side. Any help is greatly appreciated!



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  2. #2


    I'm wondering if this is a Boar War remnant, the flashes could be the colours of the Blue and Greys, a Scottish cavalry regiment which fought there, apart from that any other comments would help

  3. #3


    In the picture of the inside of the helmet, I think I can make out some writing, I can't read I very well but, if you can make anything out it might give us a clue

    Thanks Stan

  4. #4


    I think that writing may be an army serial no with the persons name, If so it can be researched

  5. #5


    Thanks for all your replies.
    The maker on the inside is stamped SAPHI (south african pith helmet industries) Pretoria 1942. It is the same model as displayed on Peter suciu's excellent website.
    Military Collection of Peter Suciu
    I believe mine ever had an emblem on the front indicating by the holes that are there but can not be seen on the photos.
    As for writing, there is alot of writing on the inside; various names and numbers.
    Also writing in what I tought was Arabic, I could not get it translated as of yet however I'm working on it as this helmet has some research potential.
    I will post some photos for everyone to see.
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  6. #6


    I have been able to get the Arabic translated and sadly nothing new has been written there. The name W. van Rensburg and number: 85853 which are already written in Latin and also in Arabic. The questions that comes to mind is, why would anyone get this translated? Is it possible that this pith helmet has been used in an enviroment where arabic was spoken? South Africa did play a role in the desert warfare.

  7. #7


    Nice helmet, here's a picture I foiund of it in use in 1941

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  8. #8


    Nice helmet. It is different than mine. Mine has a badge on the front and a spike on top. Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  9. #9


    Always wanted one of these SA helmets. Some Dutch made examples of this type were used by the DAK.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  10. #10


    The coloured flash is for the Natal Mounted Rifles, but would normally be orientated through 90 degrees so the stripes went left to right not up and down

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