What’s With the Helmets?

I found another one of my memories to be implausible, at least in part.

The memory of the long-dead French soldier identifiable only by his helmet couldn’t have happened, since the French didn’t adopt a steel helmet until summer 1915.  I couldn’t possibly have seen a soldier dead for many months in 1915 wearing an Adrian helmet; in fact before then the Germans were the only ones with any sort of helmet at all, and it wasn’t steel.

Thing is, I’ve confirmed enough details and found enough things about me from before I had these memories, that I’m not sure I’m in the realm of an easy coincidence any more.  But when my memory pulls tricks like this I’m never sure whether to trust it for anything.

Is it possible at least some of the memories of steel helmets are true?  The only history I can find on this is of models developed by and for the military, but I don’t know if anyone offered these helmets as an optional commercial accessory before then.  I know a lot of things (like trench watches) were never official kit but a lot of soldiers had them, so this is not such a far-fetched idea.

Also, the Adrian (French) and Brodie (British) helmets were very similar to styles that go back many years.  The Adrian is similar to brass helmets worn by French firemen long before the war. Also, before the Brodie, a similar helmet called the “Chapel-De-Fer” existed in England since before the Norman Conquest.  I honestly can’t imagine, with a war going on and lots of people getting killed by shrapnel from overhead, that nobody thought to resurrect such a simple design before 1916 and I would be surprised if I didn’t find out that French soldiers took helmets from firemen, or that the British often had home-made or privately-retailed steel helmets long before the official issue.

Trouble is, at the moment I have no evidence of this.

Once again, I am in dire need of help for research materials here.  This doesn’t make sense; either I keep seeing these helmets where they shouldn’t be and all of my memories are therefore suspect, or I recall these details because they really happened and I’ve remembered something that historians forgot.  If I were to place my bets on the odds here, I’d put them on my memories being suspect.

But on the off chance I do uncover something, this could be a real watershed moment because up until now, I’ve only confirmed things that were not terribly difficult to research and didn’t exactly rock the boat with conventional history.  This is a whole different thing because my memories are hinting that the history books forgot a very important detail about the average kit we had.

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