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UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE AIF DURING WW2
This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to an Australian Soldier of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in Australian militaria. It is not exhaustive and will be added to over time. Any reader who wishes to contribute photographs and text will be recognised and credited with such information. I also invite collectors of other nation's militaria to forward content (please see our other countries listed on the drop down menu) - so that a comprehensive list of "Axis" and "Allies" uniform/kit is detailed.
Boot Comparison - WW1 & WW2 Boots
A comparison between the boots issued to the First AIF during World War One and those issued to the Second AIF and Militia Battalions during the Second World War. The pair of boots on the left are dated 1919 and are an extremely rare item. From a collector's perspective, the fact that they have survived at all, constitutes a small miracle. As with all surplus military items, if it could be adapted to civillian use after the war - then it was used as a cheap alternative to 'non-military' manufactured clothing and footwear. Items such as this pair of boots were basically worn until they 'fell apart'. Hence their rarity in this modern era.
The pair of boots on the right are the items which were manufactured in 1941 by J.J. WHYTE and feature in the previous listing. Despite the fact that the First World War boots are "well-worn" and show signs of extensive usage; they still retain their shape and are virtually identical to the boots manufactured in 1941. For those with an attention to fine detail, the 1919 boots have seven eyelets; and the 1941 boots have eight eyelets. This may simply be a result of a minor variation by two different manufacturers; working to the same pattern.
Australian Army Boots (Pattern 10085)
Second World War pattern ankle boots with 'jungle cleats'. This pattern of boot is the type that is more associated with the Second AIF, from a collector's perspective. The official army stores designation is "Army Boot - Pattern 10085" and the toe cap with stitching is clearly evident. In an army pamphlet dated 1942, the characteristics of the army boot are quoted as follows; "The ankle boot has been selected as the most generally useful type. Knee boots give good protection but are expensive in comparison and are much more difficlt to fit. Shoes give relatively little protection". The pam goes on to describe the fitting and description of the components which make up the Australian Army Boot. For further information, see the listing "CARE OF THE FEET - NOTES FOR FOOT ORDERLIES - 1942". This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.
Australian Army Boots (Pattern 10085) Metal Toe Tip
The underside (sole) of the above pictured Pattern 10085 Australian Army Boots with the metal toe tip. An exerpt from the Second World War Army Pamphlet titled "CARE OF THE FEET - NOTES FOR FOOT ORDERLIES" and dated 1942 states:- IRON TOE-TIPS are a useful protection when marching on rough ground, particularly on long marches when the soldier is apt to drag his feet and wear out the toes of his boots and when marching in close order with other men in front of him, he finds difficulty in avoiding the stones and other inequalities of the road.
Australian Army Boots (Pattern 10085) With Jungle Cleats
Colloquially called "Jungle Boots" or Australian Army Boots with "Jungle Cleats"; they are simply an Australian Army Boot Pattern 10085 with the brass cleats nailed to the sole of the boot. These cleats were added as a result of lessons learnt during the Kokoda campaign, in order to add traction to the sole in muddy and slippery conditions. A variation in the design of the metal heel plate can also be seen - when compared to the image above (horse shoe type); in that the heel plate on this particular pair is complete around it's circumference. Image courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.
The first account that I have ever read, regarding the use of these Jungle Cleats by Australian troops in the field - features on page 326 of Paul Ham's book, titled "KOKODA". Referring to the men of the 16th Infantry Brigade (2/1st Battalion, 2/2nd and 2/3rd Battalions) he states "The new troops acclimatised swiftly to the conditions. Their training in Ceylon had proved useful, and they moved with comparative ease, even finding time to admire the 'beautiful butterflys'. Their sprigged boots offered better grip on the muddy slopes. They progressed rapidly over the first few ridges". However, the entry of 16 Brigade into the Kokoda Campaign began in October of 1942. I have never seen any surplus boots dated prior to 1943 - with most surviving examples dated 1944 and 1945. If Paul Ham's information is correct, the manufacture of these boots must have commenced by at least August or September of 1942 - if they were issued to the 16th Brigade in time for their deployment to New Guinea. If you have a pair of these boots (with Jungle Cleats) that are dated 1942, I invite you to contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator with a photograph to confirm this information please.
Wish to learn more about Australian Army Boots, worn by troops on the Kokoda Track? PLEASE CLICK HERE