Steel British Army issue ‘Brodie’ helmet (named after its inventor, engineer John Leopold Brodie) which was used during World War 1 (1914-18). The helmet was secured using a leather chin strap. Originally a green colour, the helmets were padded on the inside, making them more comfortable to wear. Nicknamed the ‘Battle Bowler’ this helmet provided protection from ammunition or debris that fell into the trenches.
This particular helmet was used by a member of the ‘Black and Tans’ who were recruited by the British Government to support the Royal Irish Constabularly (RIC) in suppressing the republican movement in Ireland. The name ‘Black and Tans’ derived from the tan and black uniforms they wore. Between early 1920 and the Anglo-Irish Truce in July 1921, almost 14,000 ‘Black and Tan’ recruits, including many Great War veterans, served in Ireland where they earned a reputation for violence and brutality against the civilian population. They were disbanded in 1922 with the formation of the Irish Free State.
Photo: Colm Hogan