1950,s BRITISH MOTORCYCLE DESPATCH RIDERS HELMET.
The death of British national hero T.E. Lawrence from a head injury sustained in a motorcycle accident in 1935 brought about the first serious push in motorcycle safety, particularly with respect to head protection.
At the forefront of that effort was Dr. Hugh Cairns, a British physician who attended to Lawrence while he was in a six-day coma before passing away. Cairns was inspired by the event and began research into the high correlation between motorcycle accidents and head injuries, publishing the first ever report on the subject in a British medical journal
His research led to him lobbying the British military aggressively for some improvements in motorcycle safety, especially since in those days, motorcycle mounted “dispatch riders” were still used widely for reconnaissance and communication. Cairns’ efforts paid off in 1941, when the Army ordered all military riders to wear head protection, a “helmet” made of rubber and cork. Despatch riders serving overseas were still allowed to use the steel despatch riders helmets for protection in combat conditions.
British dispatch riders gearing up for rides in 1941, with their rubber and cork motorcycle helmets as part of their issued gear.
This helmet is in virtually unissued condition as shown in the images. British Army issue and finished in green. maker marked and dated 1951 to the interior.
As a motorbike rider myself I can see how this helmet would appeal to any motorbike memorabilia collector.