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1967 Mk. V Helmet Liner


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The development files refer to it as the 1956 Pattern liner, though it does seem to have rarely been termed as such in later years. it's a murky period still and many of the introduction dates are vague to say the least. The trials process went on for ridiculous periods with some items.

The official papers seem only to have survived in a confused and incomplete way. Collectors often refer to MkV helmets but I've never seen any official confirmation of this. It seems obvious that this nomenclature must have been applied to something, as we went from a MkIV helmet to a MkVI, and logic would suggest that a MkIV helmet with a 1956 Pattern liner might well have been intended as a MkV helmet, but the official confirmation just doesn't seem to be there. Many have looked in vain!

i'm not exactly sure of when these were first introduced but 1957 may well be the start of production.





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The missing MKV Helmet (this is a reply I sent to Paul but as others may find it useful I thought I would reproduce it here too).


During my research into the MK 6 (in conjunction with the Author John Bodsworth) I did my very best to pin this down.


I assumed, as you would, that if there was a MK 6 then there must have been a MK V.Indeed, in certain notable books on helmets (and websites etc) I found the last version of the GS steel helmet was described as the MK V. I even found mention of a MK V in some training pamphlets.


However,John and I sourced and researched the official British Army publications – i.e.relevant sections of COSA (Catalogue of Ordnance Stores and Ammunition –Section CN) and LoC (List of Changes) and it was clear that, prior to the MK 6,the last issue of the GS Steel Helmet was titled MK IV.


The complete answer to the ‘MK V’ issue is a little more detailed so here is that bit.


The GS Steel helmet MK IV is really a composite item and it could not be ordered as a complete article – only the separate component parts could be requested. The component parts being:








(I appreciate that at G1098/unit stores level the helmet may have been provided complete - but this would have been locally assembled if so)


The body is clearly the Steel bit and the style of this changed over time. The MKIV body was issued from c1945 and it remained in service until its replacement,the new MK 6 helmet, arrived in 1985 – although universal replacement took a few years. In COSA and LoC the collective term for the complete helmet was named after the body i.e. Helmet Steel G.S. MK IV.


The lining assembly – i.e. Headband, Lining and Spider – detailed above is the MK V version (also known as the 1956 pattern) and this was introduced into service in March 1959 (according to LoC's).


The introduction into use of the MK V liner may possibly account for some confusion about a ‘MK V helmet’ – but it should be noted that following the introductionof the MK V liner that the GS Steel helmet continued to be listed in COSA (and throughout its service life) as the Steel Helmet GS MK IV.


During my research upon official MOD stores publications I have yet to identify any GS helmet titled MK V.


Therefore,it is my conclusion that there are two possibilities as to how the next GS helmet was titled MK 6:


(1)There was (possibly) an experimental GS Helmet which was provisionally given the title MK V. If this is the case it is not listed in COSA (other trials helmets are) and it is not titled as such in any of the helmet trials reports seen thus far.


(2)Following the introduction of the MK V liner, the MK IV helmet was known colloquially known by some in the Army as the MK V Helmet (hence, the use ofthe term ‘MK V Helmet GS’ appearing in some training pamphlets). Either because of this error or in order to remove the possibility of doubt the new nylon helmet may have been titled Combat Helmet GS MK 6.



Note- It has been suggested that because another helmet was already titled MK V (possibly a Royal Armoured Corps helmet) that this caused/required the use ofthe MK 6 title.


However,this can easily be discounted because:


a)The sequencing of GS helmets related to that pattern alone – as indeed was the case with all other patterns (otherwise we would be on helmet MK 529 not MK 7!!!)


b)The sequencing of GS Helmets had remained unaffected by previous helmet issues and MKs. i.e. there were numerous other MK II helmets known prior to the introduction of the MK II GS but the title MK II GS was still used.


I hope this helps.

Edited by Exwoofer
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(I appreciate that at G1098/unit stores level the helmet may have been provided complete - but this would have been locally assembled if so)





As I recall, the liner, spider and headband, together referred to simply as "the liner", was a personal issue, being held by each soldier on his AF H1157 (his clothing account) while the helmet itself, with chinstrap attached, was held in sub-unit (company/squadron/battery level) G1098 stores, as was webbing. This meant that, firstly, the bit which touched the head and was, therefore, likely to get sweaty and grubby, wasn't shared, but the soldier had no need to carry a bulky helmet needlessly around with him between postings.


On arrival in a new unit a soldier would draw a set of webbing and a helmet (with chinstrap and a scrim net) and attach his own liner. One of the evening jobs on arriving in a new unit would be to make up the webbing, adding all the items required by unit orders so that one could deploy at short notice should one be required to do so. At the same time, one would make up the helmet: adding a piece of hessian as a cover, daubing it with boot polish to break up the colour, then tying strips of frayed hessian to the net which was fitted over the cover and tied in place under the rim. The idea would be to have something which broke up the outline of head and shoulders without getting in one’s eyes, falling apart, or, most importantly, looking too stupid!


Some units were issued with the RAC pattern helmets which, I think, were identical in shape and composition to the para helmet, but with an ordinary liner and chinstrap, rather than the special paratroop one. I served in an engineer regiment in the late 70s which had been equipped with RE variants of Centurion and, on reversion to the role of standard field engineer regiment, it had retained the RAC pattern helmets in the squadron G1098 store. I was issued with one of these. It was, of course, much more comfortable and generally “neater”, so I contrived to keep it on posting by handing in a “spare” MkIV in its place. I wore it then until the arrival of the plastic hat in the mid 80’s. Today, it is in a box somewhere in the garage.


One of the annoyances of the MkIV was that, if it was put on in a hurry, it was easy to get it on the wrong way round. And then you looked a complete goon! Remember, tin hats weren’t worn on exercise as a matter of course in those days, only in defence and in the event of an NBC attack so they were always put on in a hurry! I stuck a large dayglo arrow inside mine pointing forwards so that I wouldn’t make that mistake in the heat of the moment!


10 68

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