Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

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    RelicHunter
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    Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by RelicHunter on Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:10 am

    So here is the story. I live very near the Canadian border in North Dakota. When I was around 10 years old, I was with my parents in an Antique store right on the border. Hanging in there, as I remember, was this helmet. I believe we paid 10 or 20 bucks for it, and to be honest, its been in storage for about 20 years since then. I just recently pulled it out as I’ve always wanted to get in this hobby, and I’m hoping it’s a great first piece.

    Both sides of the helmet have LSH stenciled on them in white paint. I remember looking into this at some point a few years ago and was told by a historian that it stands for Lord Strathcona’s Horse, a Canadian mounted regiment that fought with the British Expeditionary Force in the first World War. Now that I’m into this hobby, I’ve done some research and confirmed that it must be an Mk1. It has the split rivets holding the chin strap on, and a small rivet at the top of the helmet holding the liner in place.

    It has an engraved stamp that appears to say HH/09 which I believe must be the steel manufacturer mark.

    I pulled back the black lining and on the side within it there is a red stamp, but the marking is almost impossible to read. Am I to assume this is the original inspector’s mark? It looks like the word “steel” might be in there, with some other numbers and/or letters.

    Can anyone give me their thoughts or comments on this helmet?

    I’m also looking to pair it with a gas mask for future display. But I wonder if Canadian mounted were issued gas masks, and if so, if they used the standard Small Box Respirator from the British. Anyone have any info on that?

    Thanks a bunch for any help, this forum looks great!




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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by mk1rceme on Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:55 pm

    Welcome! And that's a great looking MkI you have there. I'm no expert on WWI lids, but I would say yes to this helmet originating from the Strats. I'm sure one of the more knowledgeable WWI collectors will chime in soon with a positive ID.


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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by RelicHunter on Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:37 pm

    I've confirmed that the red stamp under the liner is the Brodie Steel manufacturing stamp.

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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by mk1rceme on Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:13 pm

    Does the helmet show signs of having a rim at some point? Almost looks like there is a ghost of one being there a long time ago.


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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by RelicHunter on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:08 pm

    The top of the helmet doesn't look like it had a rim at all. But the underside does have some wear around the edge that exposes the original steel. Whether this means it did have a rim, or is a rimless that has the paint worn off the edge after sitting for 100 years, I'm not sure.

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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by mk1rceme on Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:09 pm

    Nice helmet regardless of the rim tank


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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by GCR817 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:00 pm

    Hi there,

    Definately Lord Strathcona's Horse and WW1. I don't think it ever had a rim and is the early rimless model. I've got other examples (different insignia) where raw edge appears to have had a rim but did not.

    Geoff

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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by RelicHunter on Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:07 pm

    GCR817 wrote:Hi there,

    Definately Lord Strathcona's Horse and WW1. I don't think it ever had a rim and is the early rimless model. I've got other examples (different insignia) where raw edge appears to have had a rim but did not.

    Geoff

    Would you happen to know any of the details of their service? I know only of the few examples where certain members were awarded the Victoria Cross. But is there any info on the size of the unit that went to war, how many of them were left at the end, etc.?

    Also, what are the chances this helmet went overseas with the unit? Did they leave armored troops behind in Canada?

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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by Battalion Colours on Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:18 am

    RelicHunter:

    Here are a few titles on the Lord Strathcona Horse:

    -Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians).

    -Canadians In Khaki: South Africa, 1899-1900: Nominal rolls of the officers, non-commissioned officers & men of the Canadian contingents and Strathcona's Horse, with casualties to date: and also R.M.C. graduates with the army in South Africa. Montreal: Herald, 1980.

    -Strathcona's Horse: South Africa 1900-1901. Calgary: Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) Regimental Society, 2000. 143 p. (Strathcona historical series; v.5).

    -The Story of a Regiment: Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadian) by Richard Cunniffe. Calgary: Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) Regimental Society, c1995. 192 p.
    Covers the period from 1885 to 1939.

    -Always a Strathcona by William B. Fraser. [Calgary] Comprint, 1976. 252 p.

    -Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians): A Record of Achievement by James Malcolm McAvity; in collaboration with officers and men of the Regiment. Toronto: Brigdens, 1947. 280 p.

    -Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians): Regimental Introduction Briefing by W. Van der Schee. Calgary: Sarcee Barracks, C.F.B., 1973. 19 leaves.

    -Stand To Your Horses: Through the First World War, 1914-1918 with the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) by Samuel H. Williams. Winnipeg: S.H. Williams, 1961. 308 p.

    ***Note: The LSH was not an armored in WW I and this helmet was probably brought home from the war.



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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by GCR817 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:36 am

    Hi Again,

    Yes, the LSH were mounted in WW1 and I would say the helmet most certainly went overseas with them. The original owner likely brought it home as a souvineer. There is a complete uniform, with identical helmet, the sword, etc which belong to a Trooper Light who lived in my hometown and is on display in the local museum.

    Geoff

    PS: The original number of men would of been approx 1000 at outbreak of the war. I would guess that number again (and probabaly more) cycled through the Regiment during WW1 as a result of casualties.


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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by RelicHunter on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:10 am

    Thanks for the info everybody. I've been trying to figure out the history of this thing the best I can, as it will probably remain a treasure of my collection since I've had it so long.

    I should also note, there appears to be a crude engraving of "RLW" on the underside of the rim. I had always believed this to possibly be the owners initials, but I haven't been able to confirm the presence of a soldier with those initials in the LSH.

    I'm going to try and dig up a copy of the Stand by Your Horse book, as I would very much like to know more about this regiment's activity during the Great War.

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    Re: Positively identify Canadian WW1 Mk1 helmet? Lord Strathcona?

    Post by Battalion Colours on Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:32 pm

    GCR817 wrote:Hi Again,

    Yes, the LSH were mounted in WW1 and I would say the helmet most certainly went overseas with them. The original owner likely brought it home as a souvineer. There is a complete uniform, with identical helmet, the sword, etc which belong to a Trooper Light who lived in my hometown and is on display in the local museum.

    Geoff

    PS: The original number of men would of been approx 1000 at outbreak of the war. I would guess that number again (and probabaly more) cycled through the Regiment during WW1 as a result of casualties.





    Geoff:

    The LSH arrived in France in 1915 which means this helmet was most likely issued there.


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