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When Churchill visited the French XXXIII Corps with [General Sir Louis] Spears, its commander gave him a distinctive poilu helmet, which he thought superior to the round British “soup bowl” steel helmet and which he wore thereafter. “It looks so nice and will perhaps protect my valuable cranium,” he told [his wife] Clementine, saying it was “the cause of much envy. I look most martial in it – like a Cromwellian – I always intend to wear it under fire, but chiefly for the appearance”. (ed. Soames, Speaking pp 132, 129). His new headgear underlined his Francophilia, and his lifelong love of unusual hats, which he felt was useful for cartoonists.
The above quote is a footnote at the bottom of Page 235 of Andrew Roberts’s book Churchill, Walking With Destiny. The time period was November, 1915 in the midst of WWI. Below is a painting of Mr. Churchill in his favorite helmet. Roberts says that Churchill especially loved this particular painting.