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Northern Ireland British Mk IV helmet

Article about: Here I have a Mk IV helmet made in 1952 and converted for use as a riot helmet and probably used in Northern Ireland during the troubles. You can see on the pictures the date 1952 and Mk IV

  1. #1

    Default Northern Ireland British Mk IV helmet

    Here I have a Mk IV helmet made in 1952 and converted for use as a riot helmet and probably used in Northern Ireland during the troubles. You can see on the pictures the date 1952 and Mk IV but unable to see maker mark as it has been repainted and textured over where the maker mark probably is. The helmet has had a 3 point suspension added to give the helmet extra stability on the head. The suspension is dated 1972 and has the military broad arrow mark. The liner is also dated 1972 on both parts of the liner. The helmet shows a fair bit of scuffing to the top of the helmet and the visor. This helmet had well over 25 years of service with the British army and I wish it could talk Thanks for looking guys and please feel free to add anything I may have missed out.

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    "When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship." -Dick Gregory-

    Ian

  2. #2
    NCA
    NCA is offline
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    Nice lid..classic NI.

    I bet they were great fun to run in!!Excellent pic too...anyone know what Radios they're using?A41's?

  3. #3

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    That's an interesting photo of the squaddies. Some have the rifle sling fixed to the front sling-swivel and then looped around their wrist, and others have it fixed to the rear sling swivel and then around their wrist. The correct way was to use the rear swivel. If the sling was attached to the front swivel it was possible for rioters to snatch the gun out of your hands and turn it on you. This couldn't be done when the sling was anchored to the rear swivel. As a point of interest, in 1971/72, the slings were still attached in the normal fashion, see picture of me in Andersonstown. in December 1971. Note also the use of the Bren mag (7.62mm)

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    The helmet... The ones we used had the early pattern chinstrap. We rarely wore the helmets in the riots, they used to bounce all over the place when you were running after the rioters.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  4. #4

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    Nice one mate, a very common sight on the news in the 70s and 80s!.....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



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

  5. #5

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    That's a fascinating helmet. Notionally it is a converted Mk5, as it has the sock-type liner, but obviously it is something other again. I've certainly never seen the three-point chinstrap before, so that's really new news for me. Nice.

    (Another note - the leaflets distributed with the then-new Mk6 referred to it as replacing the Mk4, so either some mistake or at least some people did not see the 'Mk5' as really existing. Which is a reasonable position as its only the liner that changed and that could be fitted into any Mk4 LTD shell. But then why is the next step the Mk6....you could go on forever like this, really.)

  6. #6
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    Quote by NCA View Post
    Nice lid..classic NI.

    I bet they were great fun to run in!!Excellent pic too...anyone know what Radios they're using?A41's?
    NCA

    The radios are A41 Larkspur series

  7. #7

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    That's an interesting photo of the squaddies. Some have the rifle sling fixed to the front sling-swivel and then looped around their wrist, and others have it fixed to the rear sling swivel and then around their wrist. The correct way was to use the rear swivel. If the sling was attached to the front swivel it was possible for rioters to snatch the gun out of your hands and turn it on you. This couldn't be done when the sling was anchored to the rear swivel. As a point of interest, in 1971/72, the slings were still attached in the normal fashion, see picture of me in Andersonstown. in December 1971. Note also the use of the Bren mag (7.62mm)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Steve Corbett IMG_048.jpg 
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    The helmet... The ones we used had the early pattern chinstrap. We rarely wore the helmets in the riots, they used to bounce all over the place when you were running after the rioters.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
    Steve, are they the Northern Ireland high leg boots you are wearing?..
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



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

  8. #8

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    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    Steve, are they the Northern Ireland high leg boots you are wearing?..
    I've never even heard of Northern Ireland high legged boots Gunny! They are just 'boots, DMS, for the use of.' We wore puttees in Northern Ireland, although they are not visible in the picture. The trick was to keep the trouser leg higher up when wrapping the puttee around the leg, and then pull the loose material down over the puttee. Also note how the flack-jacket is worn underneath the combat jacket. We thought it made us look 'harder.' Yes, we did think of our image back then, and the harder and meaner you looked on the streets the better it was for you in dodgy situations. As for the radio - something I often got lumbered with on patrol, I seem to remember - as do some of my friends - that it was the A42. I've just been through my old course notes for my B11 signals, and the A41 isn't even mentioned. The A 42 had a frequency range of 26.3 MHz to 38mhz, and a range of 1.5 to 3 miles with the 4ft rod antenna. When on mobile patrol they made a handy seat in the back of the Pig. We always drove around with the Pig doors wide open, and it wasn't unusual to arrive back at base and find a bullet hole in the battery (see picture of the card from battery) I have no intention to steal the thread, so I best shut up.

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    (added @ 10.35am) Further to the use of A41 and A42 man pack radio's, it would appear that their use was governed by the type of base set being used in HQ. If the C45 was being used, then the A42 would be the portable radio used by the patrols.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #9

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    Quote by NCA View Post
    I bet they were great fun to run in!!Excellent pic too...anyone know what Radios they're using?A41's?
    NO! They were not much fun at all let alone to run in

    Yes, the radio is the A41 (if these are infantry toops, hard to tell from this image) manpack of the Larkspur series that preceeded the Clansman PRC types.

    The chinstrap is quite right but was one of those things that never really became mainstream. Probably, I think, because units had the helmets already but to convert to the IS (internal security) configuration the visor, visor cover and strap had to be demanded from supply as separate items which was likely deemed too much bother for some QM's and then the parts would be fitted by individuals which then is affected by the typical squaddie resistance to "niff naff and trivia" A point to note is that the visor cover was a "starred item" meaning it was strictly accounted for whereas the visor itself was not. Probably because the most common use for the visor cover was to keep anything other than the visor in (boot cleaning kit etc).

    The attachment of sling, rear swivel to wrist was a kind of obvious precaution but only came about as a result of worrying situations with crowds. Typical army retarded thinking really to be slow on the precaution front!

    Thie boots referred to as "high leg" would be Boots Urban Patrol often called just NI boots. They were a lightweight boot with a high leg that did away with the puttees worn with Boots DMS. Before the UPB was issued troops often had their DMS extended by a cobbler or even wore jungle boots blackened with boot polish if they could get past the RSM

    As a point of interest the UPB was painful to wear when new and by the time it was broken in it was usually knackered. Also (as the name suggests) it really was tarmac use only and any attempt to wear it in rural environments was traumatic as they had absolutely no grip on soft ground and were even less waterproof than DMS.

    The situation began to improve after the Falklands campaign in 1982 when the first Boots Combat High were issued although the evolution was still a difficult one with recruits of the "training shoe generation" not being allowed to do PT in them until about week 8 of training whils us "old sweat" instructors had to run in them from new (that was a test trust me!)

    Anyway, I digress, nice "historical" lid thanks for the memories

    Hope my waffle inspired by the comments above is of interest.

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  10. #10

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    Hey Mark, as a matter of interest, on my second tour (New Lodge - June to October 1974) we were using (by then) the Pye pocket radio. The patrol leaders then started carrying the radio themselves. But I remember our patrol commander handing me the radio and asking me to lead our section after a Sgt had been shot dead the day before, some poor ba**ard had to run over and retrieve the radio off him to call for help. Our section leader thought that carrying the radio made you a target!
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

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