Ethiopia, or Abyssina as it was unknown until modern times, was unique in Africa in that it was the oldest Christian nation on the continent but also in the fact that until 1936 had been – along with Liberia – the only nation to retain its independence. The Ethiopian military, which looked to modernize following internal struggles that began during the First World War and continued into the 1920s.
With the aid of Swiss, Belgian and Swedish volunteers the army modernized and this included adopting European style uniforms and headgear, notably Wolseley helmets – likely original British surplus and later British supplied versions. What is notable about the use of these helmets is that it actually continued until Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed in 1974.
Haile Selassie reviewing his troops circa 1965, less than 10 years before he was deposed. The photo shows that the Wolseley pattern helmet was widely used, and note also the British looking uniforms.
A variety of badges were used from the 1930s to the 1970s, and most helmets featured an Ethiopian cockade on the right side of the helmet. What is also notable is that the pre-war cockade was red/yellow/green, but later changed to green/yellow/red, likely because the Italian cockades worn on the similar M28 sun helmets featured the Italian cockades, which were red/white/green.
Cockades on the post war examples are often seen supported with a thin piece of metal, sometimes worn on the outside of the helmet. However, it has never been established why this practice was done.
Following the 1975 revolution the helmets were no longer used, likely because they were associated with the Imperial past.