OFFICER'S FULL DRESS HELMET
For the most part, the foot artillery wore the same headdress as the infantry from the beginning of its existence. In 1856 they adopted the busby, which had been authorised the previous year. This headdress was similar to that of the RHA but with significant differences. There were no caplines and the goatshair plume was placed on the left side stemming from a brass grenade socket. The top of the plume reached the top of the busby. The red bag was on the right side.
In 1878, the individuality ended as they were ordered to wear the infantry pattern helmet, modelled somewhat on the Prussian model. (The victory over France by the Germans in 1870 had spawned imitation of this helmet by many countries).
The Officers’ helmet was made of cork covered in dark blue cloth in four seams. The peak, front and back stiffened and covered with unseamed blue cloth. The front peak was bound with gilding metal 3/16th ins wide and the back peak with patent leather. The distance from both peaks to the centre of the crown was 10 ½ Ins and 8 ins from side to top. There was a gilt convex bar down the rear of the helmet. The gilt curb chain was attached to two gilt rosettes on the side. A gilt cross piece at the top of the helmet had a gilt 2 ¾ spike screwed into the top.
By 1881, it was decided that a ball finial should replace the spike (ostensibly to protect horses from injury). Again a feature of the German artillery. Because of campaign activity, many officers did not replace the spike until the end of 1882.
Despite the fact that many observers declared the helmet “Ugly” it has in fact endured for over 100 years as a full dress helmet, being worn by many regimental bands to this day.