As we previously have noted in our study of the Conical Asian Hat of the Hong Kong Police, this unique version of the sun helmet – known as the “rice hat,” “paddy hat,” or even pejoratively as the “coolie hat” – was one that had been primarily used by civilians. However, in many cases the line between “civilian” and “military” is blurred, especially in times of insurrections and uprisings. In these cases the conical hat, used as much by so-called peasants in the fields, became a headgear of war.
It was also, as the above photo suggests, a form of true military headgear – with the French and British relying on the conical straw hat for use by indigenous troops in South East Asia and China. The above photo shows French Marine Infantry volunteers in French Indo-China circa 1935. Continue reading →
The “Classic” American Sun Helmet of the late 19th Century. This Model 1887 helmet features four panel construction and is constructed of cork covered with bleached cotton drill.
While the various European powers sought a “place in the sun” and established colonies around the world, the United States in the latter half of the 19th century expanded westward and tamed the interior of the North American continent. Continue reading →
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment took over from the Coldstream Guards at the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace this past April – the second time only that the regiment has performed such duties
While most military planners today know that the ballistic materials provide better protection, the sun helmet still has its place “in the sun,” at least as a dress or ceremonial form of headgear. Continue reading →
One somewhat forgotten sun helmet pattern was that used by the Philippine Commonwealth Army. Issued just months before America’s entry into the Second World War, these seemed based on the pressed fiber helmets used by the United States but offered a larger rear brim. And instead of pressed fiber these were made of pressed coconut fiber!
Reportedly used an a substitute for the campaign or “Montana Peak” hat, these were widely used during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.