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Canadian Military Collectors Forum

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    M1 helmet. Possible Canadian, looking for help with mystery cover

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    M.E.E.
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    Post by M.E.E. Sun Nov 26, 2023 4:57 pm

    Ok first off, I am going to put this in with the Canadian helmets for the reason below but first some insight on the helmet, if it is the wrong place please inform me and I will delete and repost.

    The helmet itself was bought as a group from a collector in Calgary, and came with a PPCLI issued HSAT, and a Canadian made MkII.  The helmet is a fixed bail, front seam with a 3rd pattern General Fibre made Hawley liner with the name cpl Hurford (or Hurfard).  It has nice brass connectors on proper straps.  For reasons below I have only peaked under the cover but what I can see it looks to be proper WWII paint in good condition.    The heat stamp it would put it in late 42 which is in the date range of M1's sent to Canada.    
     
    So with the helmet out of the way, the reason I come here looking for opinions, the hand painted camo on the helmet.  It has been painted while on the helmet itself, and looks to have been painted on what could be a piece of uniform fabric?  The bump you see in the back of the helmet is a RCAMC MkIII shell dressing that was under the cover while it was painted.  For the reason that the cover was painted while on the helmet and obviously has not been removed since it was painted I have no intention of taking it off, there are pleats where there is no paint and there would be no real feasible way of putting the cover back on the way it originally was.  I pealed back the cover a bit to just inspect it but did not remove the band and didn't pull anything back further than that so is why I do not have a date on the bandage pack.  
     
    I have posted this one on several forums, with people liking both the helmet and the cover, but without anyone recognizing the cloth or even the time period that the camo could have been added to the helmet.  Since there is a chance that it is Canadian I thought I would ask if anyone here might recognize the cloth that was painted, the elastic band, maybe the pattern of the camouflage, the date of the MkIII dressing (I believe it is pre Korean but I could be wrong), or a long shot of knowing about cpl Hurford (Hurfard).  
    Thank you for your time and knowledge in advance.  
     
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    M1 helmet.  Possible Canadian, looking for help with mystery cover 20231014
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    Post by M.E.E. Sun Nov 26, 2023 5:00 pm

    More pictures
     
    M1 helmet.  Possible Canadian, looking for help with mystery cover 20231016
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    M1 helmet.  Possible Canadian, looking for help with mystery cover 20231017
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    Post by M.E.E. Sun Nov 26, 2023 5:01 pm

    Last pictures
     
    M1 helmet.  Possible Canadian, looking for help with mystery cover 20231020
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    Post by Frank O Sat Dec 02, 2023 8:50 am

    What a quirky interesting helmet. I agree it is very likely Canadian.
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    Post by M.E.E. Sat Dec 02, 2023 2:23 pm

    Frank O wrote:What a quirky interesting helmet. I agree it is very likely Canadian.

    Thanks, I like this helmet a lot it has a lot of character, between the hawley liner, the original straps (both liner and helmets) and that great (albeit odd) cover it will have a home in the collection for some time. The cover looks to have been on there for a long time, the wear on the cover is good, the paint (that I can see) outside of the stainless rim, is almost undamaged, which makes me think that liner went on early in its use. I have found a picture of a Canadian HSAT that was dated pre Korea that had a camo job painted directly on the helmet that kind of matches this one and another picture of a Canadian M1, with a mitchell cover that has a rubber band very much like this one. It would be nice to figure out the date of that RCAMC bandage but I do not want to move the band.
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    Post by Frank O Sat Dec 02, 2023 2:38 pm

    I would not let dates on Canadian helmets draw service date conclusions as many Canadian helmets sat for a good time in a warehouse before being issued. My gut tells me the M1 was likely used by a reservist over time, one of those helmets that Canada bought in '43, and did not issue fully until the mid sixties. Still a very cool Canadian helmet.
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    Post by M.E.E. Sat Dec 02, 2023 2:56 pm

    Frank O wrote:I would not let dates on Canadian helmets draw service date conclusions as many Canadian helmets sat for a good time in a warehouse before being issued. My gut tells me the M1 was likely used by a reservist over time, one of those helmets that Canada bought in '43, and did not issue fully until the mid sixties. Still a very cool Canadian helmet.

    Yes I know, I had actually initially wrote down "early in its use (or when pulled out of the warehouse)" but I decided to delete that brackets part. With that said, helmets issued in the mid 60's were often issued with/or had the option, for mitchells to go with them so it is doubtful it came out at that time. My feelings right now is early post war/Korea era, shell bandage doesn't look to be post 52, and not having standard cover etc. Would love to find out about Cpl Hurford/Hurfard, might solve most of the mystery.
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    Post by Ian B Sat Dec 02, 2023 5:16 pm

    It looks to me as though the cover has been made with a piece of material used in the Army bush uniform, either from a jacket or pair of pants. The weave of the twill material and the seam in the pictures certainly looks similiar to the materal of bush uniforms that I have seen. Piece cut out, applied to the helmet, then painted with various colours. You can see in post #2, picture #3 where the paint has soaked through the material to stain the dressing cover. However, the seam being too thick has prevented the paint from staining the dressing cover underneath. Probably when first done, the paint was more pronounced, but with time and use has faded and acquired some dirt and grime.

    Ian B

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    Post by M.E.E. Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:47 pm

    Ian B wrote:It looks to me as though the cover has been made with a piece of material used in the Army bush uniform, either from a jacket or pair of pants.  The weave of the twill material and the seam in the pictures certainly looks similiar to the materal of bush uniforms that I have seen.  Piece cut out, applied to the helmet, then painted with various colours.  You can see in post #2, picture #3 where the paint has soaked through the material to stain the dressing cover.  However, the seam being too thick has prevented the paint from staining the dressing cover underneath.  Probably when first done, the paint was more pronounced, but with time and use has faded and acquired some dirt and grime.

    Ian B

    Thank you very much, this helps a lot. The cover looks better in person than in the pictures that is for sure, but it has very obviously been used and I agree it has faded/become dirty, it is also very smoky so I wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't been muted by nicotine. Any way we look at it I am happy to have it in the collection.

    Thanks again.
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    Post by Dklichty Sat Jan 06, 2024 4:35 am

    https://talesfromthesupplydepot.blog/2017/05/25/post-war-canadian-shell-dressings/comment-page-1/ dressing dates 1950-56.

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