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WW1 British / Australian Brodie Helmet Mk.I (ANZAC - AIF) - HQ 5th Inf Bde Badged

WW1 British / Australian Brodie Helmet Mk.I (ANZAC - AIF) - HQ 5th Inf Bde Badged

$1,175.00
Product code: 48

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

AN ORIGINAL BRITISH MANUFACTURED, AUSTRALIAN USED FIRST WORLD WAR BRODIE HELMET, STEEL, Mk.I PRODUCED BY J & J MAXFIELD & SONS LTD OF SHEFFIELD IN 1916 AND FITTED WITH ITS ORIGINAL LINER. THE HELMET IS FINISHED IN ITS ORIGINAL WARTIME KHAKI TEXTURED PAINT WITH A RARE HEADQUARTERS 5th INFANTRY BRIGADE AIF COLOUR PATCH ON FRONT AND REAR.  THE HELMET IS UNRESTORED AND NAMED ON THE LINER TO 3456 SERGEANT WILLIAM ARTHUR BRYANT WHO SERVED ON THE WESTERN FRONT WITH THE HQ 5TH INF BDE AIF.This is a very good example of a British manufactured Size 7 Brodie Pattern Helmet, Steel, Mk.I manufactured by J & J Maxfield & Sons Ltd of Sheffield in 1916. The helmet is still fitted with its original Size 7 Mk.I helmet liner and is inscribed with the service number and initials 3456 W.A.B for No.3456 Sgt William Arthur Bryant who served with Headquarters, 5th Infantry Brigade AIF on the Western Front.  The helmet is marked with the green diamond colour patch of HQ 5th Inf Bde on front and rear.

Details

AN ORIGINAL BRITISH MANUFACTURED, AUSTRALIAN USED FIRST WORLD WAR BRODIE HELMET, STEEL, Mk.I PRODUCED BY J & J MAXFIELD & SONS LTD OF SHEFFIELD IN 1916 AND FITTED WITH ITS ORIGINAL LINER. THE HELMET IS FINISHED IN ITS ORIGINAL WARTIME KHAKI TEXTURED PAINT WITH A RARE HEADQUARTERS 5th INFANTRY BRIGADE AIF COLOUR PATCH ON FRONT AND REAR.  THE HELMET IS UNRESTORED AND NAMED ON THE LINER TO 3456 SERGEANT WILLIAM ARTHUR BRYANT WHO SERVED ON THE WESTERN FRONT WITH THE HQ 5TH INF BDE AIF.This is a very good example of a British manufactured Size 7 Brodie Pattern Helmet, Steel, Mk.I manufactured by J & J Maxfield & Sons Ltd of Sheffield in 1916. The helmet is still fitted with its original Size 7 Mk.I helmet liner and is inscribed with the service number and initials 3456 W.A.B for No.3456 Sgt William Arthur Bryant who served with Headquarters, 5th Infantry Brigade AIF on the Western Front.  The helmet is marked with the green diamond colour patch of HQ 5th Inf Bde on front and rear. As Michael J Haselgrove & Branislav Radovic describe (P. 194) in their excellent reference ‘Helmets of the First World War’ describe; ‘All demobilised British (and Commonwealth) troops were allowed to keep a helmet as a souvenir’ of their service.

As Roger Lucy describes in his article on First war Brodie Helmets, Britain began to examine the need for a trench helmet in June 1915. Experiments were made with early French Adrian helmets, but the design adopted was one submitted to the British War Office by an inventor with a very chequered history, John Leopold Brodie. Brodie's helmet design was one that could easily stamped from Managnese steel with the pressing technology of the time, and offered good protection from descending projectiles. It went into series production in October, 1915. With the exception of the first 4,440, produced in mild steel, it was made of non-magnetic manganese steel.  A superb Australian War Memorial (AWM) picture is attached of the Headquarters, 5th Infantry Brigade AIF in June 1918.  Also attached, for reference, is a photograph of eight 5th Bde officers having breakfast in a shell hole in Sausage Valley in the forward area near Pozieres Aug 1916. All are wearing their Helmet, Steel, Mk.I’s.  A number of similar helmets are held in the collection of the AWM, the most famous being the one worn by Sergeant W E Brown VC DCM, 20 Battalion, AIF.  That helmet which is listed as item REL/00985.001 can be viewed at: https://cas.awm.gov.au/item/REL/00985.001 .

This particular example is one of those produced after a number of changes were approved in April, 1916 to the original design. These included fitting a mild (magnetic) steel rim and larger lugs with wire loops to the body. A new lining was designed, comprising a top pad of fire retardant material, lint and felt, attached by a copper rivet to the interior of the helmet body along with a leather strap. The strap ends were riveted to hold a basil (reddish brown) leather headband, padded with cotton wool and covered by lint and canvas. Twelve tubular rubber buffers were inserted around the edge of the head. To the headband was sewn a crown made of America Cloth, it had no tongues, instead, an adjustable cotton net fitted it to the wearer's head. The ends of leather strap, which attached the lining to the top of the helmet body, were riveted to two small brass wire loops, to which were riveted, in turn, the ends of a one piece leather chin strap with a plated steel slide buckle. The linked straps passed through larger brass wire loops attached to the chinstrap lugs. The helmet does not the 1917 improvements that were characterized by the introduction of the rubber crown ring that was designed to prevent impact shock being transmitted directly onto the wearers skull which indicates that it was manufactured in 1916. This helmet is inscribed on the inside of the liner with the service number and initials 3456 W.A.B indicating that it belonged to No.3456 Sgt William Arthur Bryant who served with Headquarters, 5th Infantry Brigade AIF on the Western Front.  This corresponds to the colour patch painted on the front and rear faces of the helmet.

Sgt William Arthur Bryant was 21 when he enlisted into the AIF in Sydney, NSW.  Attached to this listing is a copy of his Attestation Sheet, an extract from his service record and a copy of the award notification for the MSM he was awarded in April 1918.

In September, 1916, this modified helmet received the designation Helmet, Steel, Mk.I  As these changes were phased-in between April and September, 1916, combinations of old and new features can be found on helmets manufactured in this period.  The helmet bodies were marked by large letters and digits stamped on the brim to indicate the steel maker and lot number. This example is very faintly stamped with the makers code M/O299 which indicates that this Mk I was produced by J & J Maxfield & Sons Ltd of Sheffield in 1916. The Linings (made by the Army and Navy Stores, in which Mr Brodie had an interest) were marked BRODIES STEEL HELMET Registered No 65199 WAR OFFICE PATTERN PATENT No.11803/16, although the stamping on this example is no longer visible although a red smudge can be made out.  Some 7.5 million Mk.I helmets were produced during the war.

This particular example is still finished in its original khaki textured painted finish with the green diamond colour patch of HQ 5th Inf Bde on front and rear faces.  The helmet is patinated consistent with age and use and is up there with some of the best finishes I have seen on a Brodie of this age.  The helmet is excellent, the original Mk.I helmet lining, part chinstrap and the leather crownstrap are still present.  The helmet has not been restored, re-painted or refurbished.

This British manufactured, Australian sourced, unit marked and named First World War Helmet, Steel, Mk.I is cracking example of its type.  The textured paint finish is particularly good and while the helmet has clearly seen use it’s patina is all the better for it.  If you are after a really good unspoiled example of a genuine Australian sourced WW1 Brodie, this helmet is it.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 2.0000
Country of Origin Australian, British
Pattern Brodie Pattern Steel Helmet Mk.I
Maker J & J Maxfield & Sons Ltd
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1916