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Original British Victorian Named Officer's Spiked Middlesex Regiment Helmet with Storage Tin - Dated 1879

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This British Officer's spiked Blue Cloth helmet is dated 1879, and was in use during the late VICTORIAN era, the time of the British Empire. It comes complete with its original marked transport tin, and is complete with all of the correct gilded brass mounts and original chin strap.

This is a truly excellent example of this type of helmet, and also has some great history as well, as told by the markings on it. The front of the helmet has a large officer's regimental gilded helmet plate, under a QUEEN'S CROWN, with the Motto HONI SOIT QUI MALY PENSE (Evil to him who evil thinks) in a circle. Under this is a banner reading THE MIDDLESEX REGIMENT, and in the center is the regiments cap badge. The badge has the heraldic emblem Prince of Wales, consisting of three white ostrich feathers behind a gold coronet.

THE MIDDLESEX REGIMENT, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGES OWN was formed in 1881, being formed from other numbered Regiments in the CHILDERS Reforms. The regiment was created from two regular, two militia and four volunteer battalions. As was the standard practice, it inherited the battle honors and mottos of the regiments and militias it was formed from. Its emblem bears ALBUHERA, which was from the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of foot, who fought during the Peninsular War when, at the Battle of Albuhera on 16 May 1811. Their commander Colonel Inglis had his horse shot from under him, and then severely wounded and outnumbered by the French, he called to his men "Die hard, 57th. Die hard!"

By the First World War, The "Die Hards" were the Largest Infantry Regiment in the British Army. They fought in the Boer War, and went on to serve on the Western Front in 1914 and the Gallipoli Campaign in WWI and in S.E. Asia in WWII. As Britain's largest Line Infantry Regiment, it went everywhere, and fought with valor.

This fine spiked helmet was marked by the owner on the sweat band inside the helmet:

Major Thomson
R. E. M.

The helmet tin is also named to Major Thomson on a brass plaque on the front. With a date of 1879, this helmet pre-dates the formation of the regiment itself, however the abbreviation R.E.M. reveals the reason for this. One of the two militias that went into the Middlesex Regiment was the Royal East Middlesex Militia, and Major Thomson was part of this unit, which then became the 4th Battalion of the amalgamated regiment. After this the cap badge on the front was replaced with the current one.

The helmet and tin bear the makers marks of:

37 & 38

The storage tin also adds the firms other address as well in a banner around the brass shield:- 43 & 44 ARTILLERY PLACE, WOOLWICH.

This is truly an excellent example of this type of helmet, and the helmet tin is also in great shape. We rarely have offerings this attractive, with great research potential. Ready to add to your collection and display!

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