This artefact is a World War I tropical Pith Helmet. The Pith Helmet is made of cork and covered with a khaki drill twill cloth. It was used by 7/324 Captain William Deans of the Canterbury Yeomanry (CYC). As a lieutenant, William Deans left New Zealand with the Main Body (16 October 1914) bound for Egypt and then Gallipoli. Serving with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, he was on a scouting party just out from Walker’s Ridge when on 10 June 1915, they came under attack from the Turks. They had to wait until darkness fell before making their way back to safety. Unfortunately, William Deans was wounded and had to be evacuated off the peninsula.
This Pith Helmet is currently on display as part of “Harnessed: New Zealand’s War Horses” exhibition in the Freyberg Gallery until December this year.
Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.