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Home Front helmets of WWII

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    #46
    Bearing in mind this is only an assumption, early war home front helmets were usually a shiny grey green colour, later many of them were overpainted in black or whatever the specific "unit" colour was, perhaps for the GPO this is early and has not been repainted.
    Regards,

    Jerry

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      #47
      Here's a nice one. Specific to the Kent Region obviously....they had a few little quirks which differed from the National missives. Indeed, a number of the Regions had a few quirks...which is what makes this fun I guess....or tremendously frustrating!
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        #48
        Great example of a local variation.

        Keep 'em coming!

        Jon

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          #49
          National Fire Service Helmet

          I bought this one recently, "19" is for Yelverton in Devon and presumably covered nearby Plymouth, I may move it on, its nice and local but I'm running out of space.

          Anyway here is my question, this isn't the first Fire helmet I have seen without the "NFS" transfer, is there a reason for this?

          Rob
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            #50
            Originally posted by Rob Miller View Post
            I bought this one recently, "19" is for Yelverton in Devon and presumably covered nearby Plymouth, I may move it on, its nice and local but I'm running out of space.

            Anyway here is my question, this isn't the first Fire helmet I have seen without the "NFS" transfer, is there a reason for this?

            Rob
            Yes, it's an oddity I've noticed too. I've also seen ARP/CD photos of personnel with no CD badge but an area badge and vice-versa. Could it simply be due to shortages of transfers that never arrived or arrived too late and they didn't bother applying them?

            I'd be interested to know the answer.

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              #51
              Originally posted by Rob Miller View Post
              I bought this one recently, "19" is for Yelverton in Devon and presumably covered nearby Plymouth, I may move it on, its nice and local but I'm running out of space.

              Anyway here is my question, this isn't the first Fire helmet I have seen without the "NFS" transfer, is there a reason for this?

              Rob
              I have a 20 for Cardiff which has no NFS decal but it does have the remains of the AFS markings (at the back/or front so to speak) and I assume it is from the transition from one to the other..
              Regards,

              Jerry

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                #52
                Would a fire appliance carry a few spare helmets to loan to people being rescued? you wouldn't want the victims to be confused with the rescuers, but the number could help recover equipment afterwards?

                Rob

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                  #53
                  Our local AFS/NFS did not.
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                    #54
                    I hear rumours that the Home Front helmet book is getting close to being finished...

                    It can't come soon enough.

                    Jon

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                      #55
                      re the riddle posed in #49...the Fire Force oval badge (originally hand-painted) was agreed before the now familiar NFS "star" badge.....one can only assume that, for a period perhaps, the application of the oval pre-dated the arrival of the Star.......maybe???

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                        #56
                        That's a good theory, but what sort of dates are we talking about?

                        The date on the shell of this one as shown in post 49 is right under the rivet, but the liner says " 6 1/2 BMB 1941".

                        Rob
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                          #57
                          Some official paperwork that helps explain some of the mystery.

                          NFS Instruction 31 dated 11th October 1941 refers to 'the helmet badge design [which] corresponds as closely as possible to the [metal] cap badge' and states that 'initial supplies are being sent to all Fire Force HQs'.

                          However NFS Instruction 37 of 20th April 1942 states 'NFS transfer badges for steel helmets...are available and will be issued to Fire Force commanders in the course of the next 3-4 weeks...'.

                          This would appear to suggest that whilst there may have been an initial supply of the transfer cap badge, the main supply did not arrive until over six months later.

                          There may well be a dated NFS instruction on the application of Fire Force numbers but if so I don't have a copy.

                          Jon

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                            #58
                            Thank you Jon.

                            So the NFS badge transfers were sent to the headquarters after the helmets and they never caught up with helmets already issued to individual stations.

                            Fascinating stuff.

                            Rob

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                              #59
                              Mr P. Warden is correct...all the documentation suggests that the badges were coming.....and coming.....and coming......and whilst that was happening (or not) the helmets were out there, presumably being Fire-Forced-up but with no stars to add. I would not be surprised if there's an instruction somewhere advising Forces to start without them (Star transfers) but I've yet to find it.
                              Last edited by 2 Black Bands; 06-04-19, 10:26 AM. Reason: Typo

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                                #60
                                One of my very few Home Front helmets, a Royal Fusilier Home Guard.
                                A Mk II No 2c I think it is (3 small holes either side on the rim)
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