Original British WWII Air Raid Precautions A.R.P. Brodie Helmet by General Steel Wares of Toronto - dated 1942

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an exceptional example of a genuine Canadian -manufactured steel helmet for the British Air Raid Precautions organization,  which is dated 1942 on the liner. The stamping on the underside of the rim reads:

G. S.W.

   D. P. & H.

G.S.W. stands for General Steelwares of Canada, who produced Brodie helmets during the war. D. P. & H. is for Department of Pension and Health, who commissioned the Civil Defense helmets from G.S.W. These were made from Mild Steel, not the Hadfield Manganese Steel used in combat helmets, so they are magnetic.

The paint appears to be in very good condition, and still has the original A. R. P. stenciled on the front side of the helmet. Shell is overall in great shape with no major issues, though it does have a few dents, as the mild steel was more prone to denting than Hadfield steel.  The original liner is also in excellent condition and reads:

7 1/8

Viceroy Manufacturing Company was one of the two liner manufacturers in Canada during the war. The chin strap is in perfect springy condition, with some wear, and just a bit of fraying in places. Liner is in very good condition, though the rubber top pad is a bit stiff.

This helmet does not appear to have been repainted, so most likely it was originally made for shipment to Great Britain to use during the Blitz, and painted the standard A.R.P green. It may have even been stenciled in Canada, which thankfully had no need for the A.R.P..

Definitely an interesting bit of WWII Memorabilia. Ready to display.

More about the A.R.P.:

Air Raid Precautions (ARP) was an organization in the United Kingdom set up in 1937 dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air raids. It included the Raid Wardens' Service that was to report on bombing incidents. Every local council was responsible for organizing ARP wardens, messengers, ambulance drivers, rescue parties and liaison with police and fire brigades.

September 1st, 1939, ARP Wardens enforced the "blackout". Heavy curtains and shutters were required on all private residences, commercial premises, and factories to prevent light escaping and so making them a possible target for enemy bombers to locate their targets. With increased enemy bombing during the Blitz, the ARP services were central in reporting and dealing with bombing incidents. They managed the air raid sirens and ensured people were directed to shelters.

From 1941 the ARP officially changed its title to Civil Defense Service to reflect the wider range of roles it then encompassed. During the war almost 7,000 Civil Defense workers were killed. In all some 1.4 million men and women served as ARP wardens during World War Two. The Civil Defense Service was stood down after the end of the war in Europe on 2 May 1945.

The ARP Services were to include several specialist branches. First Aid Parties were trained to give first response first aid to those injured in bombing incidents.

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