WW2 MK.II Royal Air Force Helmet.
Many new and non-helmet collectors often confuse grey Civil Defence helmets as being RAF or R/N helmets, but in reality truly original RAF helmets are indeed rare, as is the case with this particular example. Covered on its outer surface with RAF blue grey paint, which also covers an obvious FAP (First Aid Post) marking, this helmet is attributed to a Flt. Sgt. of the RAF Medical Branch who was later commissioned post-war.
WW2 Mk.II Royal Navy Helmet.
A 1939 example of a Royal Navy helmet made by Fisher & Ludlow Limited. As with RAF examples, R/N painted helmets are also quite scarce and there doesn't appear to have been any regulations regarding their exact colour. Indeed examples exist that were left the factory finished khaki as issued to the Army, which can bee seen here. However it stands to reason that those which were painted used materials that were readily available, such as paint used on vehicles and naval vessels.
The featured example displays a hand painted outer grey surface, which shows signs of paint cracking as well as pitting corrosion. The helmet's outer condition is consistent overall, reflected in the inner shell, lining and chinstrap condition. The interior surface remains the original khaki brown of factory issue. The liner has been made by J Compton Sons & Webb Ltd.
WW2 MK.II Army Helmet. *
This is a typical example of an early Second World War helmet. The shell is smooth and covered in a brown / khaki net.
WW2 Mk.II Army steel helmet. *
This Mk.2 steel helmet has a khaki tan sand textured outer shell with a smooth brown inner shell, making it a typical example of those worn by the British army during the Normandy campaign.
WW2 Mk.II 2c Civil Defence Helmet.
Although the differences are obvious, this type of helmet should not be regarded as being an RAF or R/N. The grey paint is the original factory finish. The holes stamped into the brim next to the chinstrap bale rivets are not for a neck protector or such like, but denote the helmet's inferior quality and thus relegation from front line duties. The number of holes could vary but three and four seem to be the most common.
WW2 Mk.II South African Army Helmet.
This is a typical example of an early helmet. This helmet is named and was a direct South African acquisition. The maker is Jager Rand.
South African helmets are easy to identify from the oversized brown felt crown pad and the three holes positioned at the rear side of the rim. As can be seen these holes are evenly spaced apart. It is not unheard of for some helmets to be coated in green camo as they were used in the Italian Campaign.
1960s Mk.V British steel helmet.
Intended to replace the Mk.II, the Mk.III helmet, or Turtle shell, was introduced prior to D Day 1944 and saw limited use before the war's end. In 1945 the Mk.IV was constructed (and together with the Mk.V) was used by the British army until the mid 1980s. Essentially the Mk.III, Mk.IV and Mk.V were the same helmet, albeit with differences in chinstrap rivet position, chinstrap colour, shell colour, and lining. This interesting camo helmet is officially a Mk.IV model, however collectors tend to use the unofficial term Mk.V, due to it's 1945 dated Mk.IV steel shell in combination with its Mk.V 1960s dated padded lining.
GS MK6A British Royal Marine Commandos Helmet.
This is a typical example of a British Army composite helmet, used in Afghanistan 2007 - 2009 by the Royal Marine Commandos. The helmet is fitted with a Desert DP cover and has its original ESS Advancer V12 combat goggles attached. The helmet would have been worn with the COVER, BODY ARMOUR, IS, DESERT DPM body armour.