THE BRITISH POLICE HELMET

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POLICE INSIGNIA-WALES
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POLICE FORCES in WALES

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*** WANTED TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION***
OLDER POLICE HELMETS, WELSH POLICE BADGES, BELT BUCKLES, PHOTOGRAPHS.PAINTED / DECORATED TRUNCHEONS, TIPSTAFFS, HANGARS, SWORDS.
I DO NOT COLLECT CURRENT POLICE FORCE ITEMS OR I/D WALLETS

CLICK HERE TO E-MAIL ME

My name is Ross Mather, and I live in the town of Bridgend, South Wales in the UK. I am a retired police officer from South Wales Police. I completed 30 years operational police service in both South Wales and Manchester. Passionate about Welsh police history, my collection has been built up over that period. Because of that passion, I became the volunteer Curator of the South Wales Police Museum in December 2010. I retired from that position in October 2013.

 Many badges are of older Welsh forces. Names reflect forces which existed in the past, i.e. Welsh counties, towns and boroughs. Today, four police forces exist in Wales. The rest? Consigned to the history books. This collection is widely respected and used as a main point of reference especially for Welsh badges and helmets. Most older helmets are lost forever, by the fact that most were given back in and destroyed at force level. Surviving helmets were often discarded after the badge was removed i.e. by insignia collectors. From personal experience I know it is easier to display a frame of badges, than display the original helmets.

It is very important to give careful thought to the environment and atmoshphere in which a helmet is kept. An attic or perhaps a garage would seem an obvious choice. Store the box in some convenient corner? That may be a decision you could well regret. Extremes in temperatures, especially an attic, or a damp garage, 'creepy crawlies' which will eat the softer helmet materials. All or any of these can quickly reduce grandad's helmet into something a far cry from what it was when stored away. Enjoy the collection. If you have anything to dispose of....please...try me first.
*Click on photo to enlarge*

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Sir Robert Peel

The evolution of law enforcement and policing in England and Wales goes back to Anglo-Saxon times. It is a complex subject, and many a website could be dedicated to that subject alone. 
Suffice to say that in 1829, Sir Robert Peel passed the Metropolitan Police Act, and from that time, London had its very first organised police force. One important provision of the Bill was that the police force was to wear a standard uniform, consisting of blue swallow tailed coat and blue trousers for wear during the winter period, changing to white trousers for the summer.
At this time the headwear was a tall top hat. Made from beaver,  it was strengthened with leather side pieces, and a thick leather crown. On the inside was a wire and cane strengthening ring, which gave strength and ridgidity to the hat.
  • 1863    New style helmet trialed, based on the military 'Prussian' helmet.
  • 1865    New style helmet adopted. 
  • 1867    The Inspectors of Constabulary report showed that there were 237 police forces established in England and Wales. Each Chief Constable would have had his own idea on the type and style of uniform and would have been free to experiment with helmet and uniform for their respective force.
The historian or collector will come across various shapes in helmet design, such as the Coxcomb, the Rose top, and the Ball top, and these have continued up until the present day. Throughout England and Wales regional preferences have remained for many years.
There were several variations in materials...i.e. Luton and Salisbury had hats made from plaited straw, and during summer months, some forces such as Swansea, Southend and Peterborough wore a white coloured helmet (see photo). Senior officers helmets tended to be more ornate, with additional metal or silver fittings.

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"This apple looks a bit sus to me Mike!!!"

Constable Mike Gunter, Gwent Constabulary (right) and myself Constable Ross Mather, South Wales Constabulary (left) during an I.P.A. / town twinning exchange visit in Austria.

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Victorian period Glamorgan Constabulary helmet

Close up photograph of the Glamorgan Constabulary helmet in the 1890's. The helmet design remained the same up until 1963, when Glamorgan changed to a rose top design helmet.

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Glamorgan Constables (Pontypridd) c. 1914

ABOVE: Constable B.83 Edward Grace (joined 6.3.1909) and Constable B.210 John Evans (joined 13.4.1912). Photographed at Pontypridd about 1913 or 1914.

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Glamorganshire Constable (Bridgend) c.1890

ABOVE: Metropolitan 'rose top' style helmet worn late 19th century by Glamorgan. Photo taken at Bridgend.
BELOW: A photograph of a Glamorgan Constable at Aberdare, showing his late 19th century uniform kepi and badge. (See example of that Victorian badge on 'Police Badges of Wales' page). 

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Glamorganshire Constable (Aberdare) c. 1890

RIGHT.  Victorian period c. 1895. Officers carrying a 'hangar'. This is a weapon based on the Naval cutlass. The Sergeant is wearing 2 medals - the Khedives' Star - Egypt campaign 1882 -91 and another medal which I think is the Egypt Medal - Egypt campaign 1882 -1889.

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Glamorgan Constabulary c.1910

ABOVE. Group of officers one of whom at the rear far left has a 'spur' arm badge which denotes that he is also a Mounted officer. Believed to have been taken outside Pontypridd Police Station.
BELOW.  A photograph I believe to be one of the Glamorgan Constabulary 'Cowbridge Sub-Division'. The Chain of Office shows the symbol for the Borough of Cowbridge. Probably taken in the 1930's.    

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Glamorgan Constabulary (Cowbridge) c.1930

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Merthyr Tydfil or 'A' Division, Glamorgan Constabulary c.1904

BELOW
Neath Borough Police was a small police force
that ceased to exist after 1947.
It was amalgamated to in that year
to become 'N' Division of the
Glamorgan Constabulary. 

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Neath Borough Police 1925

ABOVE. A photograph of the Neath Borough Police
taken in 1925. This is probably  the full
Borough force at that time.

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PC 'B' 22 Cardiff City Police c.1920

ABOVE
Police Constable no B 22 Cardiff. 'B' Division would have him stationed at Canton or Grangetown.

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Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Police c.1910

INTERESTED IN THE HISTORY OF POLICING IN SOUTH WALES WITH HISTORIC POLICE MEMORABILIA DISPLAY?
IF SO, AND WOULD LIKE TO BOOK ME TO VISIT YOUR GROUP, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT ME

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Some of my helmet collection

Swansea County Borough Police
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Senior officer's helmet c. 1890

Swansea County Borough Police
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Senior officer's helmet c.1890

Glamorgan Constabulary senior officers helmet.
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Silver fittings. Probably a Superintendents helmet

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Glamorganshire (Aberdare) Constable c.1875

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First pattern Glamorganshire Constabulary helmet plate c.1875

ABOVE 2 photos : CDV photograph c 1875 showing the first style Glamorganshire Constabulary helmet with brim and comb, introduced to replace the 'stove pipe' hat. Below that, an example of the first pattern helmet plate worn on that helmet, fitted with the Constable's number.
BELOW : Pre-1902 Cabinet photograph of a Glamorgan Constable in the Merthyr Division. In 1908 Merthyr Tydfil became a police force in its own right.  

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Glamorganshire Constabulary 'A' or Merthyr Division. c.1895

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Glamorgan Constable 254 Jenkins, Pontypridd

ABOVE: Police Constable Frederick William Jenkins. Joined Glamorgan Constabulary 17.6.1905. Posted to Pontypridd 5.8.1905. Promoted 1st Class Constable (one stripe) 16. 6.1906.

BELOW. Photograph of the ex-servicemen of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Police who fought in the Great War 1914-1919. Inset photographs are of the six men from that force who were killed in action.

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Merthyr Tydfil Borough Police

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Glamorgan Constabulary 'armed' officers

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3 different style Swansea Borough Police helmets c.1890 - 1969

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Merthyr Division, Glamorgan Constabulary

ABOVE:  Group photograph (also shown in closer detail lower left) of 'A' or Merthyr Division, Glamorgan Constabulary. Pictured top right hand corner is the Divisional Commander Superintendent Anthony Gill. Quite likely to be a full photo of the whole Division prior to the 1908 formation of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Police.

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Glamorgan Constabulary mounted officers helmet

A standard uniform police helmet. When required for ceremonial duties, ball top removed and plume device was fitted. 

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Montgomeryshire Constabulary c.1890

Victorian period group of Montgomeryshire Constabulary officers.

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Glamorgan Constabulary Sergeant (Senghenydd Colliery)

 This Sergeant was stationed at Senghenydd Colliery, near Caerphilly. c.1930.


Cardiganshire Constabulary helmet c. 1930

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Merthyr Tydfil Borough Police senior officer c. 1910

OLD POLICE MEMORABILIA TO SELL? - PLEASE E-MAIL ME 
HELMETS, CAPS, BADGES, PHOTGRAPHS, WHISTLES, HANDCUFFS, TRUNCHEONS ETC....ANYTHING FROM A BUTTON TO A FULL UNIFORM. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GET IN TOUCH.

http://www.britishpolicehelmet.co.uk/google0f84b9f1ceb5418b.html