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jscott

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Hi all

I was wondering if anyone had experience with mending the liner and chinstrap of a brodie helmet? One of my brodies (which is otherwise in lovely condition), has a chinstrap which has broken near the attachment to the helmet, and the liner is also loose at that point (and will hang from the helmet when facing downwards). Is there a simple way to reattach the liner/ chinstrap which isnt too intrusive or damaging the the helmet as a whole?

Many thanks, Jonathan

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Hi all

I was wondering if anyone had experience with mending the liner and chinstrap of a brodie helmet?

Jonathan,

Is your Brodie helmet interior the same as in the attached photograph ? from which you can see there are 2 leather straps, one going from the rivet in the crown to either side of the helmet, and the other strap which forms the chin strap.

If your's is the same model, which strap is broken ?

Regards,

LF

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Hi LF, yes same interior I believe (although mine is a US made brodie with the rivit) - and the broken strap is the one on the right in your photo.

Thanks, Jonathan

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Hi LF, yes same interior I believe (although mine is a US made brodie with the rivit) - and the broken strap is the one on the right in your photo.

Thanks, Jonathan

Jonathan,

Is it that the ' Bales ' on your helmet are secured to the helmet rim with a rivet rather than a split pin as shown in the photo ? if so, that is the American pattern Brodie helmet.

There are 2 straps shown on the right, one secures the liner to the helmet dome, and the other strap is the chin strap.

If the leather strap securing the liner to the dome is broken, that is the reason for your liner being so loose.

That strap is secured to the oblong retaining fittings to which the chin strap is also joined, and both pass through the fitting attached to the Bales on either side, and depending on where that strap is broken, you may be able to access the break. You could get another piece of similar leather, cut a section to size matching the strap's width, and then using a suitable leather glue, make a leather patch and glue that patch to the back of both broken leather strap ends, which will join both ends of the broken strap to the leather patch re-joining your broken strap, that will save you removing any parts from the helmet interior.

Regards,

LF

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If it is the actual chin strap which has broken then you might be hard pressed to do much more with it and I would have a hunt for a suitable piece of leather* from which to cut yourself a replacement strip of the appropriate width. The strap is fastened using small brass or copper bifrucated rivets which if you go about it carefully can be opened up and reused, so the replacement length of leather simply needs some small holes punching in it at the right points. If the leather is worked on to age it etc you would be hard pressed to tell it from the original.

In the absence of any other supplier, try www.williamlennon.co.uk

David

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Thanks both, that is extremely helpful. I will have a go at sorting this out over the Christmas period.

LF - you are correct that its the US pattern brodie (which is my first - the other 3 I have are all British pattern). It also has a marking for the 33rd Division - which I have been keeping an eye out for due to their connection with the Australian troops (i.e. at Hamel). Its quite a subdued marking but I like this as I always think the extremely bright and large markings don't look quite right.

David - thanks for the suggestion re the replacement strap, I will try to fix the strap but if I can't then Ill look into a replacement. I know W Lennon reasonably well as I bought my dad a pair of boots from there recently as a 60th gift (and they are superb quality).

Cheers, J

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It also has a marking for the 33rd Division - which I have been keeping an eye out for due to their connection with the Australian troops (i.e. at Hamel).

Let us know how the repair goes, in the meantime here is a nice photograph of men from the 33rd Div, wearing their helmets.

Regards,

LF

American advance North of Verdun. The drinks and cigars are "on" the Germans who hurriedly left this trench, all of its furnishings falling into the hands of the invading Americans. 33rd Div., 11/4/1918.

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Thanks LF, great photo! The divisional insignia on my helmet is very faint - either it has faded over the years, or it was intentionally applied to be less conspicuous. I guess if it was painted during the war (as opposed to following the armistice) then the last thing you'd want to do is paint a large bright yellow cross on your forehead...

I bet those soldiers were thrilled to pick up a few German steins/ cigars on their way through!

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Thanks LF, great photo! The divisional insignia on my helmet is very faint - either it has faded over the years, or it was intentionally applied to be less conspicuous. I guess if it was painted during the war (as opposed to following the armistice) then the last thing you'd want to do is paint a large bright yellow cross on your forehead...

I bet those soldiers were thrilled to pick up a few German steins/ cigars on their way through!

Here is one, also with not too bright an insignia.

LF

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Lovely helmet LF, Ill pop up a photo of mine shortly. Also - I read somewhere that US made helmets often have rougher finish than their British made counterparts. Is this consistent with your experience?

Cheers, J

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Lovely helmet LF, Ill pop up a photo of mine shortly. Also - I read somewhere that US made helmets often have rougher finish than their British made counterparts. Is this consistent with your experience?

Cheers, J

No, and as with the British Brodie's you can see a vast array of finishes, from very rough with cork and sand mixed in with the paint, not so rough with just sand mixed with the paint, and others much smoother with just paint.

Attached is a photograph of 4 British WW1 Brodies in my Collection, and each one has a different original finish.

Regards,

LF

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Hi all.... new to the forum!! (a WEALTH of information here at this site!!)

I recently purchased a WWI helmet (MLS 32... Still don't know who mfg the MLS) for my boyfriend as an addition to his "war" room which he displays war relics. After doing some (ok a LOT) of research, I have found out it was a British made helmet for the US Army. The helmet displays the Big Red One, a red and white 2 (2nd Army - Toul, France) and the emblem for the 1917 motor transport Corp (France). I am curious about the additional painting on the helmet (ace of spades and dice) and have only found that some soldiers painted their helmets either in the trenches (trench art) or after the War. I have had one collector friend tell me the value increases with these personalized paintings. Although I didn't purchase it with any clue about value but just to be a cool addition to the room, now I am even more curious. Wow!! What a conversation piece!! (still don't know which mfg belongs to MLS 32) Any input about the cards and dice (or links to find out about helmets being painted during or post war) is much appreciated.

~Sissy in TN (USA)

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dxbind.jpg

2ntbpth.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/eznwxv.jpg

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Hello Sissy.

First off, I should point out that I'm no great expert in these matters, not like a lot of the 'old sweats' who frequent this site. But I just happen to also be researching info on WW1 'Brodies', too.

Perhaps you've already come across the following list posted a while back by one of the veterans here on the Forum. Unfortunately it doesn't really help much in answering your question as to which manufacturer produced your helmet. But from what I've gathered, 32 would be the batch number for steel supply/manufacture quality control. As for MLS ? Seems it's a mystery, even to the pro's !

And as for the paint-job, being an ex-soldier myself, I should think it was decorated to the extent it is in a post-combat environment. I personally wouldn't have wanted to wear it in the trenches, what a ammunition-lure ! Having said that, the red numeral '1' may well be quite contemporary to the WW1 battlefields. I can recall reading posts on the site directly relating to the 'Big Red One' (try typing 'Brodie helmets' and/or 'big red one' into the site's search facility and trawl through, it's all in there somewhere). Anyway, it's a fantastic relic, one that yells provenance, and one your boyfriend is going to treasure, no doubt !

I hope this helps.

WW1 makers marks, producers and suppliers of helmets.

    • Suppliers

    • FS Thomas Firth and Sons, sept. 1915-1919

    • HS Hadfiedlds Ltd. jan. 1916-1919

    • BS W Beardmore & Co.Ltd. jan. 1916-1919

    • MS Miris Steel Co.1916-1917

    • A Edgar Allen and Co.lTD 1916-1918

    • F Thomas Firth and Sons 1916-1918

    • O Samuel Osborne & Co Ltd. 1916-1918

    • V Vickers Ltd 1916-1917

    • B Bury's & Co. 1916-1918

    • Producers

    • D James Dixon & Sons dec. 1915

    • H W Hutton & Sons dec. 1915

    • HH Harrison Bros. & Howson Ltd. dec 1915

    • M J&J Maxfield & Sons dec. 1915

    • R John Round & Sons 1916

    • V W&E Viener dec. 1915

    • Helmet manufacturers not part of the Sheffield Munitions Committee Groups.

    • Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd. Oct 15 to Oct 16 (No marks except Steel suppliers)

    • Bleriot Ltd. May 1916 to October 1916 (No marks except Steel suppliers)

    • Hadfields Ltd. Aug 1916 to 1919 (Prior to Aug 1916 this firm only supplied steel no mark other than original Steel supplier mark) Aug 16 thru 19

    • W Beardmore & Co. Ltd. Aug 1916 thru 1918 (Prior to Aug 1916 this firm only supplied steel no mark other than original Steel supplier mark) Aug 16 thru 18

    • Miris Steel Co. (Prior to Aug 1916 this firm only supplied steel no mark other than original Steel supplier mark) Sept 16 thru 17.

    • Other marks not 100% identified.

      • MLS ?

      • FKS Possibly Thomas Firth & Son.

      • M&S possibly Maxfield & Sons.

  • All the best
  • Mark.
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Lovely helmet LF, Ill pop up a photo of mine shortly. Also - I read somewhere that US made helmets often have rougher finish than their British made counterparts. Is this consistent with your experience?

Cheers, J

I had one that was a sawdust finish. It was actually quite smooth in comparison to others I've handled.

Mike

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I recently purchased a WWI helmet (MLS 32... Still don't know who mfg the MLS) for my boyfriend as an addition to his "war" room which he displays war relics.

~Sissy in TN (USA)

Sissy,

Welcome to the Forum, and what a great WW1 war souvenir, your boyfriend will be delighted to own it.

The helmet has its original finish, including the ' Big Red 1 ', all the other excellent decorative artwork was added to the helmet after the Armistice as a commemoration of the man's military service, and was often done by the American soldiers on their way home.

Regards,

LF

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Sissy, fabulous helmet - thanks for posting. It is a real work of art.

I'm just about to pop up photos of my two US brodies (although the 'artwork' on them is a little more rudimentary than on your example!)

Cheers, Jonathan

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Here is a British-made brodie helmet (with the split pins) marked to the 30th Division (Old Hickory). I quite like this insignia - with the superimposed 'O', 'H' and 'XXX'. As I'm Australian, I am limiting myself to acquiring US gear which is marked to units which fought alongside the Australians in 1918.

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And I should apologise in advance for the quality of the photography - I was trying to control an energetic 11 month old at the time...

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And here is my recently acquired US-made brodie helmet (rivets) which is marked to the 33rd Division. Certain companies of the 33rd fought alongside the Australians at Hamel. As noted the insignia is very faint.

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There is a very rough finish on this helmet (which should be fairly apparent from the photos).

Cheers, Jonathan

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Hi all.... new to the forum!! (a WEALTH of information here at this site!!)

I recently purchased a WWI helmet (MLS 32... Still don't know who mfg the MLS) for my boyfriend as an addition to his "war" room which he displays war relics. After doing some (ok a LOT) of research, I have found out it was a British made helmet for the US Army. The helmet displays the Big Red One, a red and white 2 (2nd Army - Toul, France) and the emblem for the 1917 motor transport Corp (France). I am curious about the additional painting on the helmet (ace of spades and dice) and have only found that some soldiers painted their helmets either in the trenches (trench art) or after the War. I have had one collector friend tell me the value increases with these personalized paintings. Although I didn't purchase it with any clue about value but just to be a cool addition to the room, now I am even more curious. Wow!! What a conversation piece!! (still don't know which mfg belongs to MLS 32) Any input about the cards and dice (or links to find out about helmets being painted during or post war) is much appreciated.

~Sissy in TN (USA)

15i5lbk.jpg

2qco7q0.jpg

dxbind.jpg

2ntbpth.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/eznwxv.jpg

Really great looking helmet. Just a word of warning - the white pad inside the shell is asbestos so be very careful when handling so as not to disturb it as breathing in the dust particles is not recommended !

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Hi Sissy,

I agree, a very nice souvenir helmet painted by someone with real talent.

In his book "Steel Pots - Vol. 2 - Painted Steel" Chris Armold illustrates a large number of souvenir painted helmets. In two of the examples illustrated the helmets each have two playing cards. He says this insignia with a playing card theme is believed to be from a tank unit. Might be worth following up.

Regards,

Michael.

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Here is a Brodie I picked up about a month ago in my local antique centre, I think with the rubber ring (doughnut) it will be a 1917 version, apart from just removing the surface rust will leave it as is, for £10.00 I think a great piece of history,

kind regards,

John.

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Sorry just to add is the white pad Asbestos ?. there was a few pieces of Felt/wool on top which fell out, not cleaned the inside as I was reluctant to disturb the white material !. the leather chin strap has been cut off or snapped at rim level.

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Hi John,

I'd leave the white stuff alone as it probably is the dreaded asbestos, the whites is not as bad as the blue but bad enough.

regards

Dave

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Hi John,

I'd leave the white stuff alone as it probably is the dreaded asbestos, the whites is not as bad as the blue but bad enough.

regards

Dave

Thanks Dave,

this is a pic of the chin strap loops or bales, this one is snapped,

regards,

John.

post-27136-0-02227500-1388337746_thumb.j

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In his book "Steel Pots - Vol. 2 - Painted Steel" Chris Armold illustrates a large number of souvenir painted helmets. In two of the examples illustrated the helmets each have two playing cards. He says this insignia with a playing card theme is believed to be from a tank unit. Might be worth following up.

Thanks Michael - I will definitely look further and look up the book!! Thanks everyone for all the incredibly useful info. We have really enjoyed the helmet and learning about its history. We are going to have a Plexiglass case to display it in his "war" room so that folks can see the inside of the helmet as well as the paintings. And now reading about the asbestos possibly being in the pad in the helmet, its probably an excellent idea to keep it enclosed.

Thanks again

Sissy!!!

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