Original British Victorian Named Busby Helmet with Tin - 104th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Fusiliers) 1862-1881
Original Item: Only One Available. The 104th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Fusiliers) was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1862 to 1881, when it was amalgamated into The Royal Munster Fusiliers.
The regiment was re-formed by the Honourable East India Company in 1839 as the 2nd Bengal (European) Light Infantry from a nucleus of 1st Bengal (European) Regiment. In 1848 it served in the Second Sikh War in Punjab. It was renamed in 1850 as the 2nd Bengal (European) Fusiliers, and served in the Indian Mutiny of 1857. As with all other "European" units of the Company, they were placed under the command of the Crown in 1858, and formally moved into the British Army in 1862, ranked as the 104th Regiment of Foot (Bengal Fusiliers). The officers of this regiment were drawn from a number of Indian regiments, both majors and six of the twelve captains having served with the 2nd Bengal (European) Fusiliers.
In 1871 the Regiment was moved to England, and from 1877 onward it was stationed in Ireland. As part of the Childers Reforms in 1881, the regiment was amalgamated with the 101st Regiment of Foot (Royal Bengal Fusiliers) to form The Royal Munster Fusiliers.
This busby helmet constructed from black bearskin over a stout wicker cage is complete with a brass ringed original chinstrap, the leather inside helmet band is long absent. This rare helmet is contained in the original transit tin that measures over 13" in height. There is a brass plaque to top engraved:
Courtesy of Jonathan Maguire BA (Hons) War Studies, of the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, we now know that Benjamin Patrick Hawes (Born 17 March 1854) was indeed an Officer in the 104th Bengal Fusiliers, right during the period of the Childers reform. His general service history is as follows:
- 20 November 1875 - Commissioned as Lieutenant
- 18 May 1881 to 31 March 1883 - I of Musk
- 1 April 1885 - Promoted to Captain in the Royal Munster Fusiliers
- 6 September 1892 - Promoted To Major
- 17 February 1900 - Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel
- 10 February 1904 - Promoted to Colonel Brevet
- 21 July 1904 - Retired
Hawes, Benjamin Patrick, latter Reddie, b 17 3 54 Lt 20 11 75
I of Musk 18 5 81 - 31 3 83 Capt RMF 1 4 85 Maj 6 9 92 Lt Col 17 2 00 RIRif 21 7 00 Col Brev 10 2 04 Burma '85 - 9 medal 2 clasps SAfrica '99-02 Spec Serv Off in CCol June - Nov 00 CO 2 RIRif Jan '01 - 31 5 02 MID LG 17 6 02 Q & KSA CB 26 6 02Ret rp 21 7 04 psc '92
Any officer's helmets from the immediately following the Indian Mutiny are extremely scarce, especially from a regiment that existed by this name for only 19 years. Offered in nice display condition, the bear skin shows some of the ravages of time bearing in mind that this helmet is approximately 150 years of age.
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