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C.E.PRYKE
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.

 

English Clothes Brush

This warranted bristle brush, made by 'H.B & Co.' was purchased in England during 2005. The date of manufacture is stamped '1940'. In the absence of any residue shoe polish (boot polish) or other leather type dressing; the possibility that it may be a brush used for the polishing of footwear - may be ruled out. It is possible that this brush may have been used for the removal of "lint" and dust from uniforms. Perhaps of the type used by an officer or 'batman' to a Commissioned Officer; to maintain the appearance of tunics, trousers etc. I would be interested to view any comments by other collectors from England or elsewhere, on this issue. As this item may have been issued (or purchased) by any other member of the British Commonwealth, it has been included amongst the kit for other nationalities. (Image courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection)

English Bristle Brush - 1940

A close up of the English Bristle Brush. The manufacturer details of H.B & Co. can easily be discerned alongside the date of manufacture, being 1940. Should you 'left click' on the picture, the enlarged image shows traces of "lint" which supports the suggestion that this type of brush was used to maintain the appearance of clothes and uniform. Please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator if you can assist with any information regarding this item.

Blue Enamelled Steel Water Bottle

This Mark VI water bottle was the standard water bottle to the Australian Army in two World Wars. Constructed from blue enamelled steel, the water bottle comes in a number of minor variations, depending upon who manufactured the item. Technically known in military jargon as a 'Bottle, water, enamelled' - it was closed by way of a cork stopper, finished with metal fittings. These metal fittings were coated in a type of 'tinning' but were eventually prone to corrosion when exposed to the elements - over a period of time. The bottle itself was tough and hard wearing; evident by the fact of how many survive to this day. It was covered by a khaki woollen outer which fitted completely over the bottle, leaving only the neck exposed. I have found examples of this type of water bottle in many far flung battlefields; from Gallipoli in Turkey to the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. One such example, located near the 4th Battalion Cemetary near Anzac Cove, had been sliced in half, down the centreline and a stick shoved into the neck of the bottle; to form a makeshift frying pan. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.

Mark VI Water Bottle with Woollen Cover

A Mark VI Water Bottle with it's khaki woollen cover - prior to fitting. It can be seen here in the photograph, where the neck of the bottle will protrude from the cover. Once fitted, the top flap through which the neck has passed; is then sewn closed by the individual soldier. Often a length of string or light cord, was sewn to the inside of the cover, prior to sealing the woollen flap. The free end of the string was then tied to a metal loop on the top of the cork; preventing the cork from becoming lost or seperated from the bottle whilst in use. Inspection of numerous examples of the woollen cover have led me to believe that the material from which these are made, is consistent with that of the Great Coats made in Australia during the Second World War. I would be interested to hear from other 'collectors' on this point of view. Both the water bottle and the cover displayed in these photos; are in "unissued" condition. An ink stamping of the date '1942' is barely discernable on the upper left portion of the wool. The seam on the outside of the cover would suggest that this particular example is "inside out", however as these particular items were mass produced in their hundreds of thousands; there are often manufacturing errors - so that not all seams correspond for a neat appearance (from a seamstress point of view) when fitted to the bottle. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.

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