Pith Helmet - Home Service Helmet

Home Service Helmet

At the same time, the military adopted a broadly similar helmet, of dark blue cloth over cork and incorporating a bronze spike, for military wear in non-tropical areas. This helmet led to the retirement of the Shako headdress. It was rarely considered a "pith helmet". Modelled on the German Pickelhaube, the British Army adopted this headgear (which they called the "Home Service Helmet") in 1878. The US adopted it in 1881.

Most British line infantry, artillery (with ball rather than spike) and engineers wore the helmet until 1902, when khaki Service Dress was introduced. With the general adoption of khaki for field dress in 1903, the helmet became purely a full dress item, being worn as such until 1914. US mounted troops wore elaborate blue cloth helmets until 1901, which were decorated with plumes and cords in the colours (yellow or red) of their branches of service.

The Home Service Helmet is still worn by some British Army bands or Corps of Drums on ceremonial occasions today. It is closely related to the custodian helmet worn by a number of police forces in England and Wales.

Black pith helmets were also part of the uniform of the Victoria Police during the late 19th century, including the officers involved in the shootout with legendary bushranger Ned Kelly at Glenrowan.

Read more about this topic:  Pith Helmet

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