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H.G.FRASER
Gallipoli Historical Tours

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.

 

1903 Pattern (Mounted Pattern) Leather Leggings

The 1903 Pattern Leather Leggings (also known as 'Mounted Pattern' Leather Leggings) are more associated with the First World War, rather than the 1939-1945 conflict. However they equipped many troops in both the jungle and desert campaigns of the Second World War. To support this; you need only look closely at photographs of diggers on the Kokoda Track - to see that these leggings were favoured as protection for the lower legs from sharp undergrowth or rocks. Even whilst wearing shorts. Novice collectors in Australia often refer to these as "Light Horse" Leggings. Whilst this is true, they were worn by nearly all British Commonwealth Cavalry and mounted troops. However they were also utilised by drivers (horse drawn wagon drivers) and mounted Signallers during the Great War. They were fitted by wrapping the legging around the calf of one's leg, so that the split (or join) ran along the shin. A long strap (three quarter inch wide) was rivetted and stitched to the inside of the lower portion of the legging. This strap was wrapped around the outside leg and passed through two leather loops, that were also rivetted to the rear of the calf area. The end of the three quarter inch strap tapered down to five eights of an inch in width. The end of this strap was then fastened by passing through a five eights 'half buckle' (with tongue and roller). A short strap at the very top of the legging passed through an identical buckle. If kept dressed with a suitable leather dressing, this article was very durable and many examples survive to this day. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.

J.OAKMAN Leather Leggings

A close up photographn of the 1903 Pattern (Mounted Pattern) Leather Leggings; showing the manufacture details of 'J.OAKMAN' and dated 1939. The actual size of the leggings is indicated by the number 16, and the Government "Broad Arrow" acceptance mark is also evident. I have seen this style of legging with a manufacturing date as late as 1943. No doubt this late production was maintained as a result of 'feedback' from frontline reports - such as from New Guinea campaign and the Middle East campaign. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.

A.J. OAKMAN 1903 Pattern Leather Leggings 1928

An example of 1903 Pattern leather leggings manufactured in 1928 and used by the Militia Light Horse units which served Australia between the end of the Great War and the beginning of the Second World War.  Note that the manufacturer of this particular pair is "A.J. OAKMAN" in comparison to the previous example, which bears the stamping of "J. OAKMAN".   The number stamping of '15' denotes the calf size.

Carter Paterson & Co. 1903 Pattern Leather Leggings

An example of 1903 Pattern leather leggings as manufactured by Carter Paterson & Co. of Melbourne, Victoria.  Manufactured in 1939, Carter Paterson & Co. were leather bag merchants who supplied military items for the Department of Defence.

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