Tag Archives: Bombay Bowler

Staff Officer Bombay Bowler


As the British Army had phased out the Wolseley helmet completely after World War II, staff officers, brigadiers and general officers had to make due with other forms of tropical headgear when serving in remote stations such as Singapore, the British West Indies and the various African colonies before independence.

There appears to be a brief resurgence of Indian pattern helmet including the Bombay Bowler in use by some British officers serving in tropical stations. This would be a bit ironic as the first sun helmets used by British forces originated in India – but of course the Wolseley does remain in use for the Royal Marines, while other cork helmets have been used for ceremonial purposes for units such as the Gibraltar Regiment. Continue reading

The Italian Aden and Indian Pattern Helmet

An Italian “Aden” Helmet (Collection of Enzo Faraone)

An Italian “Aden” Helmet (Collection of Enzo Faraone)

While it is hard not to see that the Italian Model 1928 helmet was at least highly “influenced” by the British Wolseley helmet, the Italian military also seemed taken by the Anglo-Indian Cawnpore helmet. This particular topee, which is noted for its quilted pattern, was first a popular as a civilian helmet, but soon found its way to the military as a “private purchase” item.

Originally dubbed the Cawnpore Tent Club hat, it was popularized by the Prince of Wales’ visit to India 1875-76. From the First World War to the 1930s the helmet was chosen by fashion thinking British Officers, but in 1938 the Commander-in-Chief India dictated that the Cawnpore Tent Club helmet – along with the Wolseley – were to be phased out in favor of the Khaki Solar Pith Hat (See: Hat, Pith, Khaki, Solar). Continue reading