I am working on a display on Gas Warfare and have a few questions. The first British gas helment was the Hypo which was one layer of chemically treated wool flanel the form of a loose fitting bag which the wearer pulled over his head and tucked into the collar of his uniform. The following series P, PH, PHG had a double layer of flannel, one chemically treated and one not. The reason put forth in all of the research that I have found is that the two layers were needed because the solution attacked the fabric. My guess is that the untreated layer was a barrier layer between the wearer and the treated fabric and it would be the innermost layer. Any thoughts and any indepth references out there? Thaanks... Bart
First we had the good old 'hankie' or sock dipped in a bucket of urine...Then came the 'Black Veil Respirator' & goggles, which had to be kept moistened. This was found to be impractical, as many men found it 'difficult' to tie during the heat of battle. Next came the 'Hypo' hood, developed by a Captain in the Newfoundland Regiment.
As far as I'm aware the 'P' hood range was developed after the 'Hypo' or 'smoke hood' was found to be inadequate, one because the 'mica' vision panel was brittle & could snap easily, thus rendering the hood useless. Secondly,it was very hot & uncomfortable to wear as there was no way of breathing out, so could only be worn for short periods. Finally, with the advancement in different gases being used, some were found to actually attack the 'flannel'fabric & the 'PH' hood was made of a cotton flannelette to counteract this. It had glass eye pieces & a non-returnable valve which was gripped between the teeth & you breathed out through it. The 'seal' was formed by simply tucking the bottom of the hood into your tunic. Known as the 'Goggle-eyed (Googly-eyed) ****** with the tit'. Then of course, came the 'Box Respirator'....Ian