Saturday, May 18, 2013

Great Britain MkII Dispatch Rider Helmet

This just in...

Rocketing along on their Triumph motorcycles rumbled the Dispatch Riders of the armed forces of Great Britain in WWII, carrying messages hither, thither, and yon and keeping distant points of a moving army in communication with one another.

Two Tommies try to figure out just how lost they are. "I knew you meant left when you said right".

Two distinctly different helmets with the MkII on the left.  Any information from a knowledgeable reader on the helmet on the right would be greatly appreciated.

Now for the walk-around

This is an unissued helmet that had its original box when I acquired it, sadly, the carton went the way of all things.

The distinctive MkII shell was also utilized by the Royal Armor Corps as well as by British airborne forces.

Manufacturer (Briggs Motor Bodies), size, and date.

Perforations in the leather skirt allow the wearer to hear and...

this little felt flap on the reverse side keeps his ear warm and unwonted road noise out.

The rear of the skirt is gussetted to allow a custom fit.

Leather chinstrap with roller buckle secures the unit to the noggin of the wearer.

A Riddell-style suspension provides space between the steel and the head of the wearer as does the thick, coarse felt padding and bumper at the front.

Finished rough, the rivet secures... 

The liner suspension.  Seen to good effect here is the felt padding.

The sole blemish on this other mint helmet is an area of corrosion on the side right at the rolled rim.

Ready to give Steve McQueen a run for his money, our dispatch rider is about to motor off in a cloud of dust and glory,

but McQueen is way cooler.



As you do not have a comment on this helmet here are a few words to add to your fine explanation of this lid. BMB is Briggs Motor Bodies- the company that pressed car bodies for Ford and ultimately became a part of Ford. One of their plants (in the UK) was next to the Ford factory in Dagenham and others at Southampton and Doncaster.

 The only identifiable Triumph motorcycle I can see in this article is the one that Steve McQueen time-travelled to about 1963 to acquire after he had escaped fromm the Cooler-so he would not break his tailbone doing those jumps. The other identifiable bikes are a WLA Harley-Davidson and a BSA WM20 which is a bike I own and a rugged piece of primitive machinery that even the humble British Tommy could not totally destroy! About 120,000 were made during WW2 and they can still be found just about anywhere in the world where British Commonwealth soldiers needed bikes that could take an unjustified hammering and still struggle on!

1 comment:

Jimmy E said...

Two distinctly different helmets with the MkII on the left. Any information from a knowledgeable reader on the helmet on the right

The helmet on the right is a Canadian made fiber type. Same material as the American inner helmet. I guess that both men are Canadian.
I have a few photos of this type