15th Lancashire Artillery Volunteers 1860-1880

seagull

Active member
The 15th Lancashire Artillery Volunteer Corps (AVC) of two batteries, was formed at Earp Street Garston, Liverpool, on 2 April 1860, with additional batteries raised on 2 July 1863 and 16 November 1865. The first officers commissioned into the unit included two Captains (one for each battery), with the senior, Philip Tinne, as Captain-Commandant. One of the First Lieutenants, John Mewburn, was formerly of the Queen's Own Canadian Militia. He was promoted to captain on 20 November 1860 and became captain-commandant in April 1862. By 1865 he was a Major and by 1875 was Lt.Colonel in command. He retired in 1890.When the Volunteers were consolidated in 1880, the unit was redesignated the 6th Lancashire AVC and survives today as the 208 (3rd West Lancashire) Bty .

My information is that the bluecloth helmet was first issued in 1878. As the 15th ceased to exist in 1880 this is a rare survivor of a small unit from the area of my childhood which I just had to acquire, but for more than that reason. Their first headquarters in Earp Street, Garston village, (then outside Liverpool but now absorbed) was about sixty yards from the then home of my Great Grandparents, who probably saw this same helmet on Church parade days as the Church was opposite their house. Sentimental? I sure am.
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pebceb

Active member
Very nice helmet and I love the history Steve, especially as I am a retired member of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.

Peter
 

seagull

Active member
Glad you like it Peter, I just couldn't walk away from it. All my childhood their HQ was a Bakery and every time I walked to my Great Grandmothers house the smell of fresh bread was imprinted on my memory - I was surprised and fascinated to read the history quoted above when I researched the 15th online!
This one is definitely a keeper.
Steve.
 

chinstrap

Member
Glad you like it Peter, I just couldn't walk away from it. All my childhood their HQ was a Bakery and every time I walked to my Great Grandmothers house the smell of fresh bread was imprinted on my memory - I was surprised and fascinated to read the history quoted above when I researched the 15th online!
This one is definitely a keeper.
Steve.
Steve,

Very nice, particularly with the local associations. I have a named Victorian officer’s 7th Lancashire Volunteer Artillery blue cloth- photos lurking somewhere in ‘ General Headgear’ along with my other blue cloths.

Sorry if I’m telling you something you know already, but the chin chain should be attached over the hook at the rear. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of an officer actually wearing the helmet with the chinstrap under the chin, attached to the hook on the rosette.

Patrick
 

seagull

Active member
Thanks Patrick. Yes I did know about the chinstrap. This is how I received it today: bare chains with no lining, hung up tight on the hook so I had to remove the rosette to free it up. Planning a new lining as soon as I can using another original as the pattern.
Cheers, Steve
 
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pebceb

Active member

Steve,

I did a replacement lining on my 5th Dragoon Guards helmet chin chain. Towards the end of my post at the link. Actually steered it twice. Once with an old thin black leather and then with the right coloured leather. Might help you when you do yours.

Peter
 

pebceb

Active member
Steve,

Here are some pictures of my Royal Artillery equivalent. You can see the chin chain and it’s leather pretty good.

Peter

 

seagull

Active member
Peter you caught me, I had already remembered you doing that one and was planning to use your posts as reference!
I also have one on my 12th Lancers czapska to refer to - not exactly the same but similar enough to help.
Steve
PS: I guessed this might ring a bell with a few of the gunners here. You guys are, as they say, Ubique !
 

Winston1

New member
This is a really nice helmet in great condition. I have only seen 1 or 2 other pre-1881 artillery helmets. I don't know if it applies to this helmet but I have read that they all had spike tops before 1881. The history and personal connection to it is amazing as well. I would love to have a connection to a helmet like that but living in Texas I don't think I have much chance.

Also I do have a picture of an officer of the Duke of Wellington's regiment taken in 1906 with his chin strap on the bottom rosette, he isn't wearing it, but I imagine that he had just taken it off for the picture.
 

seagull

Active member
Winston, I had not heard that the spike was universal issue before intro of the ball top for Artillery - something I will look into, thanks for that.
Getting this helmet was pure luck, it was shown to me by one of my oldest friends, a dealer who only acquired it the week before. He did the initial research and, knowing where I was born, told me about the connection. (with a big smile on his face!) I confess I was completely surprised as I had not known of the 15th having a barracks there - all my life it was a bakery! I had always like the blue cloth helmets but always held back, waiting for one with a local connection, and here it was. I could not have asked for a closer connection than that!
Was the very similar American 1881 helmet not issued to Texas regiments? Seems to me you might research that area for something significant to your home state. Good luck.
Steve
 

seagull

Active member
I found a reference to the local Artillery unit where I now live changing from spike to ball top in 1881 which makes me wonder if the change was gradual over a period of time ? I could see this being the case because production/distribution priority would surely have been given to regular regiments, the Home Service units being of lower priority. I suspect this helmet DID originally have a spike, and thus spans that time period because the ball top on it now is quite a bad fit on the cross mount - it cants over slightly (see pictures) and the threaded bolt does not pass through the centre of the interior 'wheel' bracket as I have seen others do. I doubt Hobson's would have let it leave their factory like that. Winston will know more about this than I do !
Cheers, Steve
 

Winston1

New member
I agree that it was originally a spike top. Since the unit disbanded in 1880 I assume that the officer who owned the helmet might have continued to wear his uniform on occasions. When the ball top came along he might have changed it from his old spike to look more modern / keep up with the military dress regulations. I lIke your idea about Hobsons not approving of the ball top. It was the same reasoning I had for a feature of one of my helmets as well.

On the American helmet, I can probably find a local regiment but I find the helmets less attractice than the British ones. And the British units have a much more interesting history to follow (and I love the British uniforms a lot too).
 
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