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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    185

    Default British Gas Helmets

    For Gustaf B here are some of my collection of British Gas Helmets.

    From May of 1915 to the summer of 1916 the primary Gas defence of the British Army was the Gas Helmet. In fact the Helmets were retained as secondary Gas defence into 1918.
    There were 4 Types in use, the Hypo, P, PH and PHG

    Here are some examples of Hypo, P and PH helmets.



    The "Hypo" was single layer of flannel with the eye piece of the same material that Film stock is made out of. (the very first helmets had mica windows but these were not too good). These were in service from May 1915 till Sept. 1915 as primary defences and then secondary for some time afterwards. This Helmet and first pattern satchel (June 1915) were issued to Sjt B. Coates.



    The last batch of Hypo helmets used the screw-on glass eye pieces that would be standard on P and Ph helmets. The Flannel was still single layer. This Helmet was also issued to Sjt B Coates. He managed to save most of the Gas Defences issued toi him including two rare variants of the Hypo Helmet.



    The Phenate or "P" helmet was made of two layers of flannelette (Cotton) with an added mouth piece. The inner layer of flannelette is usually, not always, striped pajama flannelette. "P" stands for Phenate and not practice--Practice Helmets were stamped DRILL. These stayed in service until Jan 1916 as Primary defence.



    The Phenate-Hexamine or "PH" helmet is almost identical to the P helmet. The real diffference was in the dipping solution. This example has an elongated portion of flannellette commonly found on PH helmets. This example has inner flannelette in pajama material and also the back panel. PH Helmets are usualy stamped PH with a number (Lot number). The black stains are the back side of the stamo PH65 (see attached photo)

    The Phenate-Hexamine-Goggles or PHG helmet was only made in small numbers for RFA and Machinegunners. It had the eye pieces replaced by a set of Rubber sponge goggles. I don't have an original of that one. These cameout in early 1916 and were officially withdrawn when the issue of SBRs started in Aug 1916. When SBRs started issue all PHGs were to be turned in and a PH Helmet retained as secondary defence.

    Some of the photos posted below show:

    The Satchell and inner bag as introduced in Aug 1915 for the P and Hypo Helmets. This satchel first cameout with only a single pocket but later in 1916 a two pocket variation came-out to hold the Gas Goggles.



    The two primary types of British Gas goggles were the Spicer Goggles also known as the French Model and Rubber sponge Goggles. Both were introduced in the summer of 1915 and would be official withdrawn in July of 1917 (However, many continued to be worn well into 1918).





    The last picture shows a comparison of the P to PH Helmets and the marking differences.


    Hope this is of interest.

    Joe Sweeney
    Last edited by Joe Sweeney; 02-07-2014 at 09:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hey Joe,
    I am not sure if I should dislike you or worship you, but I think I will go with the second one. That is an amazing collection of gas hoods. British SBRs are rare. but they are plentiful compaired to the gas hoods. Thank you very much for the great post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Norway
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    3,855

    Thumbs up

    Oh, it will be stickied all right... I'll get on it soon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default British Gas Helmets

    Joe,

    Hey it is your old friend Jeff Holder.

    I am now intrested in early WWI British gas equipent.

    I just found this 2008 posting, Great stuff on hypo hoods!

    Do you have a "Black Veil" or "Flannel pad" type respirator?

    I hope to hear from, Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Hey Joe,
    I had forgotten about this post, I still can not tell if I should hate you or worship you, but at least I managed to acquire a nice PH hood.

    As you can see, I was lucky enought to find one that still had the exhale valve. When it arrived, the rubber was very sticky and soft, with it exposed to the air, it became less sticky, but remained soft, I worry about it getting too dry and becoming brittle, so I have wrapped it with polyvinyl to protect it from drying out. So far, this seems to have worked, as it has not changed any more since covering it. What is your opinion?
    Best
    Gus

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    14,021

    Default

    Interesting. I have a WW2 gas mask, but it is for a baby. You put the kid inside it and the parents would operate a pump on the outside for fresh air.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    185

    Default

    Gus,

    I've never had an issue with the exhaust valevs on those that survived all have been a bit hard so I'm very careful with them.


    I do not display the helmets, I keep them in acid free paper stored away from light.

    Jeff,

    I sent you an email.

    Joe

  8. #8
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    Hey Joe,
    Mine is currently on display in my collections room, it has no light except when I am in the room (no windows) This is a difficult dicision, to display such an artifact, or store it away for safe keeping. My thought is to store it is such a manner that it can be displaied at a moments notice with outhaving to handle it,
    Best
    Gus

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    185

    Default

    Latest addition to British Gas Helmets.

    A PHG (Phenate-Hexamine-Goggles)





    Only 1,700,000 produced in the 1st half of 1916 and were issued to the Artillery. These were ordered withdrawn upon issue of the SBR.


    Joe Sweeney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    109

    Default

    An amazing thread - thanks everyone for sharing.
    "Socialism is the Philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." ~Winston Churchill

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Outer Mongolia
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    Default

    Hello Gents,

    I was obviously rather busy when this thread first appeared as I have never seen this before. WOW!!! An amazing collection Joe and Gsu. While I've never specifically looked for British issue gas hoods, in 30+ years of collecting I've never come across one for sale. Absolutely fantastic reference info Gents!

    Thank you for posting this and for reviving it! "Stickied" it is!

    Thanks again for sharing these wonderful artifacts with us Gents.

    Warmest regards,

    JPS

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    185

    Default

    I thought I would add a few more detailed pictures of the PHG helmet along with photo's of it being worn.

    These were meant for specialists such as artillery and issued 24 to a battery.

    The inside rubber sponge goggle pads have been trimmed a bit.

    Hope this is of interest

    Joe Sweeney
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Resized PHG inside.jpg   4802551040_df8f1e5986_b.jpg   4801919765_0d37c49ae6_b.jpg   IMG_2643.jpg   IMG_2645.jpg  

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