Connaught Rangers Dress Helmet
Connaught Rangers Dress Helmet which is an example of the type conventionally adopted by most regiments of the British Army from 1878. The design was heavily influenced by the pickelhaube helmet (from the German ‘pickel’ meaning ‘point’ and ‘haube’ meaning ‘bonnet’) worn by the Prussian army from 1842 – the spike was originally used to hold a plume of horsehair. The helmet was worn as part of full formal dress, the curb chain being worn at the chin whilst on official duty but then draped over the peak and suspended from the spike base on unofficial engagements. The badge features the Irish harp to represent Ireland and the Crown to represent Britain. The inscription around the harp reads ‘HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE‘ from the French meaning ‘shame on him who thinks evil of it’.
The Connaught Rangers were formed in 1881 with the amalgamation of the 88th Regiment of Foot (known as the Connaught Rangers) and the 94th Regiment of Foot (formerly the ‘Scotch’ Brigade). Nicknamed ‘The Devil’s Own‘ their motto was ‘Quis Separabit’ meaning ‘Who Shall Separate Us’. Over 2,500 Connaught Rangers were killed in action or died from their wounds during the Great War. The Connaught Rangers were disbanded in 1922 under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty following the formation of the new Irish Free State.
Museum Reg. Comerford House Collection
Photo: Colm Hogan