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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Regional Topics  |  Chinook Country (Moderators: RattlesnakeJack, Sir Charles deMouton-Black)  |  Topic: Pith helmet and helmet plate 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Pith helmet and helmet plate  (Read 8097 times)
redbadge
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« on: January 25, 2015, 08:50:09 pm »


Hoping Rattle Snake Jack might be around to answer this one. But I am open to anyone who might have any other info..
  I acquired this what seems to be a late 19th century pith helmet not long ago. I was told that it could date around the same time as the Riel Rebellion (1885). The inside of the helmet reads 'waterproof tropical helmet made in England'. The helmet brass plate looks to have the same design as the 'West Yorkshire' and reads 'Canada Militia' with inner red felt and a beaver in the center.
 Haven't been able to find much info as of yet. Can somebody help a chap out? Thanks
 Cant seem to post a picture yet. But im working on it.


* m2.jpg (63.25 KB, 350x466 - viewed 194 times.)
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redbadge
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 09:01:16 pm »

I was able to post one picture. I'll see if I can post a close up..


* mil 2.jpg (93.88 KB, 350x466 - viewed 204 times.)
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sail32
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 11:59:48 am »

Maybe one of these sites may help.

http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums/

http://arnhemjim.blogspot.ca/2011/06/british-cap-badges-additional-guidance.html

http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=28488.0
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 04:43:35 pm »

There were two 'rebellions':

- The Red River Rebellion of 1870 that led to the inception of the NWMP (1873), when a Metis Provisional Government was formed.

- the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 which saw several units of Canadian militia dispatched out west.

Your badge is likely of that era or later.

Oddly, a couple of units of irregular 'Cowboy Cavalry' were formed to meet the 1885 emergency. Many of the recruits were ex-pat Americans who swore an oath to the Queen in order to serve. It is thought that some of them were on the lam from US justice.

They were given a horse, saddle (if necessary), a rifle and a pistol. After the kerfuffle, they were entitled to a land grant and the 1885 Northwest Medal.

Check out:

"The Cowboy Cavalry" by Gordon Tolton. They were known as "The Rocky Mountain Rangers". Another formation of the times was named "Steele's Scouts".

Lots of material for several books and a couple of movies ..... if it wasn't a Canadian story.
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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne
redbadge
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 07:47:51 pm »

Hi there. Yes, I am aware that there were two separate rebellions. But what I am wanting to know is if this would be a cap badge of  that time period.. And if so, would it of belonged to a 'general service' battalion?  There appears to be no specific number.
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redbadge
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 08:39:26 pm »

PS. Thanks for the extra info on the Calvary. Wasn't aware of that. And thanks Sail32! I will check out those sites. 
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 10:42:34 pm »

Grant Rombough is your huckleberry - if you can get him to respond.
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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne
RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2015, 02:08:38 am »

Howdy:

My apologies for the delay in seeing and responding to this thread .... haven't been here for a while.

The plate may be a variation of a Canada Militia "General Service" shako/helmet plate, supposedly dating from 1870 and thereafter, such as this one depicted in Daniel Mazeas' "Canadian Militia Badges Pre-1914" (which you will note has a wreath of leaves like those on a British helmet plate of the era) -



.... or this original (which has a wreath of maple leaves) -



To be honest, however, the Canada Militia center of your plate is not the correct size for this pattern of helmet plate, and looks more like the center from the somewhat smaller (i.e. about 1 1/4" diameter circle) pre-Confederation Canada Militia shako plate, which looked like this -



In fact, from the appearance of both components, I am unfortunately of the view that your plate might well be a relatively modern attempt to simulate the appearance of a Canada Militia General Service helmet plate by using a reproduction British helmet plate body (designed to be used with a separate unit-specific center which would cover the raised lip around the opening) together with a reproduction Canada Militia shako plate center.  (These items have been reproduced for use by modern reenactment units and the like.)
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2015, 02:58:21 am »

By the way, according to Clive Law's recently published "Fuss & Fashion - 200 Years of Canadian Military Headdress", the Universal Pattern Helmet (which is what your helmet is) was not adopted for general issue in the Canadian Militia until 1886, although it was in earlier use by the NWMP.  That said, I am aware of some limited military use during the 1885 Rebellion, notably by the Montreal Garrison Artillery unit posted in an infantry role at Regina -

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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
redbadge
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2015, 10:11:36 pm »

Thanks for the reply Rattle snake. And all information you have given! Your the man!
 On a different note..  Do you know much about what happened to 'Batoche house' after the Rebellion? ( Originally owned by Letendre ) I read that it was used as a hospital for the injured metis, as well a prison during the battles, and where Captain French was shot inside the top window by a sniper Metis whom I believe was named 'Rossi'. Thanks
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 04:03:42 pm »

Francois-Xavier Letendre dit Batoche founded the village of Batoche and had a thriving store there, as well as this sizable house -





The following account of the incident you mention comes from Major Charles A. Boulton's "Reminiscences of the North-West Rebellions" -



A photograph taken shortly after the battle at Batoche, showing the "penalty paid" by Alexander Ross -



The house later became the NWMP barracks at Batoche (leased from Letendre) but is no  longer standing.  This is a photo of its foundation -

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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
redbadge
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 06:50:05 pm »

Thank you! Fantastic photos.
 Reason for my question is that I may have come across a fascinating find..
 The possible remains of wooden planks from the Xavier Letendre home. Being a North West Rebellion enthusiast like your self, I thought that you might find this intriguing. 
 A gentleman who runs a private museum near by is looking into it. And I would be more then happy to send you some pictures once I have received more confirmation. 
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2015, 12:42:43 am »

That does sound interesting.  When I was looking for a contemporary photo of the house (or its location) I came across this image at The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture (metismuseum.ca)  -



The related text reads, in part:
Quote
This image (by Peter Beszterda) is wall plaster from the home of Xavier Letendre dit Batoche. It was collected by Dennis and Jean Fisher and their sons in late 1960s or early 1970s.
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
redbadge
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 01:57:15 am »

I have met Dennis once before and have heard of his incredible relics from Batoche and Fish Creek.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Regional Topics  |  Chinook Country (Moderators: RattlesnakeJack, Sir Charles deMouton-Black)  |  Topic: Pith helmet and helmet plate « previous next »
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