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Steel bullet-proof observation helmet for the trenches.

[London?] : [Daily Mail?], [1915?]
Physical Description:
1 photograph : gelatin silver ; 13.3 x 9 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Photographs A no. 3
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Title from caption on the verso of the photograph. The printed text continues: "The following from 'The Daily mail' special correspondent at the front, Mr. J.V. Williams, shows the necessity for head protection. 'Exposure of the head above the trenches for a fraction of a second means almost certain death. I had perforce to walk through the blood of a man shot through the head and killed instantly but a minute before as the price of thrusting his head above the parapet for a few seconds.' The late Lieut. Gladstone, M.P., was shot in this way. The helmet consists of a steel cap to which is attached a V-shaped steel screen reaching to the bottom of the chin. In the screen is cut two fine slits through which clear view is taken, without a danger to the eyes. The helmet being all angles bullets striking glance off, and thus reduce the force of the impact. Designed by H.P. Miller." A note at foot reads "Accepted by the War Office."
The "Brodie helmet" was the primary steel combat helmet used by the British in World War I. It was designed by John Leopold Brodie in 1915, and widely distributed in the summer of 1916. There appears to be no record that Miller's helmet design, pictured here, was adopted for general use by the British forces.
William Glynne Charles Gladstone died from a sniper shot near Laventie, France, on April 13, 1915. The "J.V. Williams" mentioned in the text is probably G. Valentine Williams, special war correspondent of the Daily Mail in 1915.
The recto of the photograph depicts the steel helmet, held by a middle-aged man--presumably its inventor, H.P. Miller.
Subject Terms:
Gladstone, William Glynne Charles, 1885-1915.
Great Britain. Army -- Equipment.
Helmets -- Great Britain.
Miller, H. P.
World War, 1914-1918.
Gelatin silver prints.
Williams, Valentine, 1883-1946.

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