British Blue Cloth to the Welsh Regiment

Peter_Suciu

Active member
I was fortunate to pick this up in my whirlwind trip last week. I had spent all my money in Toronto at the military collectibles show and had to borrow some cash to buy this from Bill Combs at the Michigan Antique Arms Show.

It is a nice blue cloth (still looks black to me) Home Service Helmet to the Welsh Regiment. It features a king's crown and is actually dated 1912, so truly a helmet from an "Old Contemptible."

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chinstrap

Member
Peter,

Very nice. this has prompted me to add some of mine.

I don't know where you stand on the 'to clean or not to clean' debate, but in this case, where the gilt seems to have been lost, the metal work will polish up really well without damage to the helmet. I usually clean a helmet when I buy it and then leave it alone. I take off all the fittings where possible and clean the skull with car upholstery cleaner . Once it's dry I go over it with a clothes brush. This process both cleans the fabric and raises the nap. Where the gilt is still present I just wash the metalwork in warm soapy water. Where the metal work is back to the base metal having once been gilt , I clean lightly with brass polish. I also polish white metal fittings. If you don't like using anything abrasive Worcester Sauce can also be applied. Leave if for a few minutes and then wash off.

I don't recommend Coca Cola- I used it once on a filthy cap badge as an experiment. It certainly cleaned the badge almost instantaneously, but it came out almost too shiny to be true. Can only imagine what it does to tooth enamel! Before all you guys in the US take umbrage at this slur on your national drink I'll hastily point out that my great-uncle, who made soft drinks, had the the Coca Cola franchise for Northern Ireland during the war and consequently helped the war effort by making many GI's very happy! Sorry- a bit off topic!

Patrick
 

Peter_Suciu

Active member
Hi Patrick--
Good insight on the cleaning of a blue cloth helmet.

I haven't drank Coca Cola in more than a dozen years and will probably never drink another again. But I did know that it will clean up metal rather nicely!

Cheers,
PS
 

Larmo

New member
Hi Guys....sorry for the off-topic question, but regarding Coca-Cola as a cleaning solvent, do you think it would work on brass with heavy verdigris build-up? Just purchased a bunch of WWI trench art, and it all looks as if it has sat in a damp basement for a long, long while. Very dark patina, with some thick and crusty looking verdigris/corrosion build up..

Cheers

Larry
 

chinstrap

Member
Hi Larry

I don't know. First of all I would try applying some to an area that's not going to be visible to see what happens. If it's not something you can immerse, just brush it on and leave for a bit before washing off.You may have to experiment with timings. You could also try Worcestershire sauce,as I mentioned above. Same applies.

Let us know how you get on

Patrick
 

Larmo

New member
Hi Patrick, thanks Pard for the advice, little Worcestershire sauce, a touch of Coca-Cola and we'd almost have a meal :D, I;'ve tried salt and vinegar back in the day, but it cleaned the brass to a fare-thee-well, and looked horrible afterwards, never mind the smell. I will keep you apprised of the results..

Best

Larry
 

chinstrap

Member
Larry, you could also try WD-40. Haven't used it for this purpose myself but it' ssupposed to be good for helping to remove rust so it might be worth a try.

Patrick
 

Larmo

New member
Hi Patrick, thanks, did a test run on a piece using WD-40, didn't cut the grime...on to coca-cola

Larry
 
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