New Zealand MKII

COMMONWEALTH FORCES IN ITALY 1944 (NA 13384) A New Zealander poses with his sniper rifle in the ruins of Cassino, 26 March 1944. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

General Information: The first soldiers who embarked from New Zealand during the Second World War arrived without helmets. They were supplied with British MKIIs and, in some cases, South African-made MKIIs. The New Zealand armed forces ordered helmets from Britain, but because of shortages, a decision was made to import 40,000 helmet shells from Australia. The Australians also supplied liners and apparently chinstraps as well. These components were assembled locally in New Zealand. In addition to these domestically assembled helmets, a large number of completed Australian MKIIs were imported. In 1942, the backorder of British MKIIs began to arrive in New Zealand.[1]

The New Zealand MKIIs can be readily identified by the chinstrap lugs which bears the stamp “NPZ” along with a four-digit date stamp for the year of manufacture. The “NPZ” was the logo for Precision Engineering Company Ltd. of New Zealand.[2]

Displayed Example: This New Zealand MKII has the typical “NPZ” logo on the chinstrap lugs along with the date, 1941. The liner band has the year stamp 1942, and size stamp 7. It also bears the manufacturer’s initials, T.T.C. This stands for the “Teddy Toy Company” of Degenham, England.[3] Apparently, at least some of the liners used to complete Australian MKII shells for the New Zealanders, came from Britain. The rim of the helmet has is stamped “C.S. 1564.” The “C.S.” stands for Commonwealth Steel of Australia.[4] The net on this piece is a type frequently found on Australian and New Zealand MKIIs. It appears to be original to the helmet.

Collector Notes: These interesting helmets, often relics from campaigns in North Africa and Southern Europe, can be purchased for relatively modest prices.

[1] Anderson, Terry. “NZ Lt Colonel Mk II Helmet.” HelmNet (private website). August 7, 2022. 10th post. Accessed December 10, 2022.

[2] Anderson, Terry. “Who is NPZ on the New Zealand Mk II helmets?” HelmNet (private website). May 30, 2021. 1st post. Accessed December 10, 2022. (There was an understanding among collectors that NPZ stood for New Zealand Pressing Ltd, but recent research by collectors in New Zealand revealed this to be not the case.)

[3] Skrzynski, Marek. “British MkII helmet liner – manufactures mark.” HelmNet (private website). 5th post. March 3, 2012. Accessed December 10, 2022.

[4] Lucy, Roger. “British MkII helmet liner – manufactures mark.” HelmNet (private website). 8th post. March 4, 2012. Accessed December 10, 2022.

Published by maplecreekmilitaria

I am a collector of military headgear from 1915-1945

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: