Green Steel Helmet
The Highlanders’ Museum
This helmet tells us about the fate of one man captured by Nazis during World War Two.
It belonged to a soldier from the 51st Highland Division. This regiment took part in the Dunkirk invasion during World War Two but found themselves cut off from the rest of the forces involved. With no chance of rescue, surrounded and low on ammunition, they were forced to surrender. Over ten thousand members of the division were taken prisoner on 11th June, 1940.
The owner of this helmet was among hundreds of men from the 51st Highland Division sent to a camp called St Valery en Caux. He would have faced meagre rations and been expected to work exhausting and labour-intensive tasks. Nowadays, the third Geneva Convention provides protection for Prisoners of War.
The helmet was returned to Scotland in 1986 by the Mayor of St Valery-en-Caux in 1986 who presented it to The Highlanders’ Museum.
Steel helmets had been originally introduced during World War One to replace cloth headwear, due to the number of lethal head injuries sustained.
Memorialising… James Ingram, a soldier who overcame adversity.