Original British Victorian Royal Engineer Volunteer's Blue Cloth Spiked Helmet by Harman & Co.
Original Item: Only One Available. You may remember Staley Baker, in his magnificent role in the Film ZULU as Lieutenant Chard. Well he was a ROYAL ENGINEER. Michael Caine and the others were of the 24th Foot, known as the "SOUTH WALES BORDERS".
This is an excellent condition British Engineer Volunteer's spiked Blue Cloth helmet, and is typical of those in use during the late VICTORIAN era, the time of the British Empire. It comes complete with its original top fitting, removable spike, and metal "ring" chin strap, attached to the back of the spike base. The chin strap lugs and spike base ends are all properly adorned with embossed roses. This helmet has all white metal or silver plated mounts used on "Volunteer" helmets, as opposed to the gilt brass of regular forces.
The front of the helmet has the correct silver volunteer's regimental helmet plate, under a QUEEN'S CROWN, with the Motto HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE (Evil to him who evil thinks) in a circle. Under this is a banner reading DEIU ET MON DROIT (God and My Right), the motto of the British Royal Family. Below this is another banner, reading ENGINEER VOLUNTEERS. On non-volunteers, this bottom banner would instead read Ubique and Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt ("Everywhere" and "Where Right And Glory Lead").
The interior of the helmet still has its correct leather and fabric liner, which does show some degradation from age and use. There is some tearing of the leather and fabric, as well as some seam pulling. The top vent of the helmet has a manufacture's label reading HARMAN & CO. / CHATHAM.
This is truly an excellent example of this type of helmet, and we rarely have offerings this attractive. Ready to add to your collection and display!
The Royal Engineer Volunteers:
The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is a corps of the British Army. It provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces and is headed by the Chief Royal Engineer. The Regimental Headquarters and the Royal School of Military Engineering are in Chatham in Kent, England. The corps is divided into several regiments, barracked at various places in the United Kingdom and around the world.
The re-organisation of the British military that began in the mid-Nineteenth Century and stretched over several decades included the reconstitution of the Militia, the raising of the Volunteer Force, and the ever-closer organisation of the part-time forces with the regular army. The old Militia had been an infantry force, other than the occasional employment of Militiamen to man artillery defenses and other roles on an emergency basis. This changed in 1861, with the conversion of some units to artillery roles. Militia and Volunteer Engineering companies were also created, beginning with the conversion of the militia of Anglesey and Monmouthshire to engineers in 1877. The Militia and Volunteer Force engineers supported the regular Royal Engineers in a variety of roles, including operating the boats required to tend the submarine mine defenses that protected harbors in Britain and its empire. These included a submarine mining militia company that was authorized for Bermuda in 1892, but never raised, and the Bermuda Volunteer Engineers that wore Royal Engineers uniforms and replaced the regular Royal Engineers companies withdrawn from the Bermuda Garrison in 1928. The various part-time reserve forces were amalgamated into the Territorial Force in 1908, which was retitled the Territorial Army after the First World War, and the Army Reserve in 2014.
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