Jolly Good Again! British Foreign Service Helmet

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
This has been a long quest of mine. This is a British Foreign Service Helmet, pattern 1878. Helmets of this design were private purchase and used in Queen Victoria's various "Little Wars."

This helmet came with the storage tin. The tin and the helmet manufacturer, which is stamped inside the helmet are both from Hamburger Rogers & Son King Street, Covent Garden.

The case says, "Major G. Venables-Llewelyn of the Glamorgan Imperial Yeomanry." The Imperial Yeomanry was one of the units to take part in the Boer War in 1900.

pith1.jpg


pith2.jpg


pith3.jpg


pith4.jpg
 

J.LeBrasseur

Well-known member
Very, Very cool Peter!

Nice score.

By the way, very cool article in the Military Trader that you wrote on the British Homefront helmets!

james
 

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
James LeBrasseur said:
By the way, very cool article in the Military Trader that you wrote on the British Homefront helmets!

Thank you. Not a subject that is very well written about today. In fact when I tell other helmet collectors that my new interest is Home Service Helmets, they think the WWII warden helmets.
 

zipperheads9

New member
nice piece .I like the storage tin the Victorian Brittish patterns are a soft spot in my area of collectinf have avoided it because of cost.
Mark
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Extremely nice piece Peter!! I echo Marks comments. we Canucks really appreciate the Victorian items as we were still part of the Glorious Empire until WW2. Besides, the quality of manufacture was equal to anything the Germans produced during this period. Brian
 

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
Well, my helmet just got better.


I misread the case. Actually the seller misread the case. It isn't "G Venables-Llewelyn of the Glamorgan Imperial Yeomanry..." it is "C Venables-Llewelyn of the Glamorgan Imperial Yeomanry." That's a big difference. A friend helped me do some research: The helmet likely belonged to Sir Charles Leyshon Dillwyn-Venables-Llewelyn.

The Glamorganshire Imperial Yeomanry Regiment had a compliment of 596 men organised in three squadrons - A based at Swansea, B based at Bridgend and C based at Cardiff. It was commanded by Lt. Col. Charles Venables-Llewelyn.

As far we can tell he was appointed:
Lieutenant on 29th July 1893
Captain on 6th October 1900
Major ??? sometime in 1901
Lt. Colonel on 21st June 1908 (The Yeomanry were transferred to the
Territorial Force in April 1908)
Lt. Colonel on 10th September 1914

Presumably he resigned between 1908 and 1914 and re-enlisted for the Great War. In April 1900 he was a Lieutenant in the Carmarthen Artillery which was a Militia unit. He was likely promoted to Major in 1901, which would be consistant with this pattern helmet. The Yeomanry were still wearing white helmets, sometimes with tan covers and because the unit was transferred in 1908 they never used the later style Wolseley Pattern Helmet.
 

Gustaf

Well-known member
Staff member
Great stuff Peter, that just made the real value jump on this great bit of history.
Gus
ps, Otto is feeling better so we are headed to your place with the truck
 

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
First, let me say thank you to my good friend Stuart, who helped me track down information on Sir Charles.

This allowed me to find out information on him, and I was able to contact the family in Wales. His grandson, Sir John Venables-Llewelyn sent me this photo:

SirCharles.jpg


SirCharles2.jpg



My helmet does appear to be the one in the photo, and on the top there is the outline of a spike base having been worn at some time. This was common for the Yeomanry to wear at times.
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Fantastic Peter! It just does not get any better than that. Did the family have any idea of how this helmet left their possession? Brian
 

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
b.loree said:
Fantastic Peter! It just does not get any better than that. Did the family have any idea of how this helmet left their possession? Brian

That is an excellent question, and one I'm not sure I'd like to ask. I assume that since Sir Charles was only a part-time soldier (his grandson's words not mine), that eventually some of his uniforms may have been sold, donated or given away.
 

Peter_Suciu

Well-known member
And here is a color plate from Robert and Christopher Wilkinson-Latham's book "Cavalry Uniforms of Great Britain and the other Commowealth including other mounted troops" (1969). This book is long out of print, and I believe is in public domain... if I'm incorrect I'll remove the photo.

YeomanryPlate.jpg


The figure really looks like Sir Charles too. I was happy to find this color plate in the book, which I found at SOS a few years ago.
 

Lost Skeleton

Active member
Hi Stuart:

Thank you for sharing the information. I've bookmarked the link as the lists would certainly be of help in my medals research.

Chas.
 
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