Tag Archives: Model 1878

The Uruguayan “Colonial Pattern”

While many South American countries adopted sun helmets that were based on the British Foreign Service Helmet and the French Model 1878 pattern sun helmet, we would be remiss to describe these as “colonial pattern” helmets – notably as many of Latin America’s nations were actually former colonies of Spain. Thus while the helmet was the high domed pattern these were worn by the fully autonomous and independent government armies and military styled police forces – not by a colonial force.

What is unique about these South American helmets too is that little has been documented on their use, and even where these helmets were made isn’t entirely clear. This example above dates from the late 19th century or early 20th century and certainly does feature lines that show a British and French influence. It is a six panel helmet and features the Uruguayan military styled police badge on the front.

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The French Colonial Pattern Helmet

The Model 1886 French sun helmet – a pattern known as the “sugar loaf.”

The Model 1886 French sun helmet – a pattern known as the “sugar loaf.”

Just at the colonial pattern sun helmet remains an iconic image of Britain’s “Soldiers of the Queen,” this style helmet was worn by the French forces in far flung conflicts. And whereas the British pattern seemed to evolve with numerous nuances and differences in a plethora of patterns and variations, the French military relied on basically two colonial patterns. Continue reading