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WW2 British & Canadian Helmets, Crash, & Helmets, Steel, Royal Armoured Corps.

Article about: The first helmets for use in armoured vehicles were the Helmet, Crash, Royal Armoured Corps,sometime in the late 1930's.They seem to be made of cork & covered in material, I believe they

  1. #31


    Roger, do you have an Empire rubber economy pattern HCRAC, like this one?

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #32

    Default Empire Rubber HCRAC

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's identicle twin - Empire Rubber 1940 were they all sand painted?

    I was a bit curious about Empire Rubber so i did a little googling. The old Empire Rubber factory was closed in 2002 and later torn down. There is a little about it on the web page of a Dunstable newspaper.
    An appeal for information about the old Empire Rubber Company,whose huge factory in London Road has recently been demolished,brought a response from Michael Bonnar, who worked there for 37 years.
    Mr Bonnar, of Southwood Road, became the plant’s senior quality planning engineer, and thankfully rescued a pile of historic photos of the factory just as they were about to be dumped. They include photos of the works being built on the empty meadows to the south of the town in 1938.
    The factory, in its heyday, employed around 1,000 people. It was part of the Miles Redfern group which also had factories in Hyde,Clacton and Woking, and which became part of the BTR (Birmingham Tyre and Rubber) group in 1971. When the Dunstable factory closed in 2002, work was moved to the Woodside Estate in Dunstable under the name Metzeller.
    The factory made a variety of products ranging from chewable bones for dogs to the mouldings surrounding car windscreens. The raw material for these was imported from Malaya and Ceylon,arriving at Dunstable in giant bales.
    Said Mr Bonnar: “These were really heavy, and if one dropped off the lorry, they bounced. They really bounced! You had to be sure you were well out of the way.”
    During the war, the Empire Rubber Company was very busy making an extraordinary range of components including rubber bobbins, which fitted on the plates between the engine and propellers of motor torpedo boats, and the rubber linings inside soldiers’ tin helmets. Rubber mouldings were manufactured to absorb the bounce for aerial cameras fitted on to planes, and for boxes carrying explosives.
    Luckily for a factory working with such inflammable material, it was not bombed during the war. A few machine-gun bullets from a German plane which strafed the Watling Street in 1940 hit some pipes in the moulding shop which were covered with talcum.Everyone working there was covered with the white powder!"

  3. #33


    I wish I could remember for sure if they were all painted that sand colour, I don't think so.
    I saw one for sale about 5-6 years ago but it didn't have the crash pad on the front. I've seen one round a collectors house but that was a few years ago too.
    They are really rare to find, it's one on my hit list.

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