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.
Steel Enamelled Cup - Broad Arrow Stamping
The Government stamping of the Department of Defence - "D" Broad Arrow "D". As can be seen in this comparison, there is a slight difference in the dimensions of the two cups, however they are of the same pattern. This again supports the argument of there being slight variations between different manufacturers on the same pattern of article. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.
Steel Cup with Folding Wire Handles
Steel Cup with Folding Wire Handles extended - ready for use. The actual cup is made from steel and has been 'hot dipped' in tin, to render it resistant to corrosion. The design of this cup is more associated with the First World War and many novice collectors mistakingly refer to this design as a "Light Horse" drinking cup. Whilst it was certainly utilised by mounted troops, it was simply a universal pattern drinking cup manufactured for military use in the field by all branches of the service. This particular cup was made in Australia by WILLOW. Any cup which denotes this company of manufacture was made for use during the Second World War. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.
Willow Steel Cup with Handles Folded
The Steel Cup showing the Handles folded back, flush against the body of the cup for storage. The WILLOW brand is discernable in between the two handles and the Government 'Broad Arrow' acceptance stamping is visible at the top, near the lip of the mug. The company brand 'Willow' had it's origins way back in 1887 when two Wilson brothers began building tools and metal working machinery; in Flemington Victoria. They formed a partnership in 1889 to produce tinned plate - tea and biscuit cannisters. In 1924, the trade mark of WILLOW was registered and applied to a range of kitchenware - after the company had produced an inital range of metal kitchen items that proved successful. The company survived the Great Depression but in 1932 was forced to move it's factory from North Melbourne, to Rosebury in Sydney. In 1936 a two acre site was purchased in Alexandria (Sydney) and a modern factory was built and commissioned in 1939. During the Second World War, the factory mainly produced mess tins, rocket cylinder covers, small arms ammunition boxes, gas mask respirator cylinders and soldier's cake tins. The Firm designed and manufactured a new pack of small arms ammunition which was universally adopted by the British Commonwealth and the U.S. Armed Forces. A hot dip tinning plant was erected at North Melbourne to process the defence requirements. Once the war finished, this company changed with the times and branched into the manufacture of plastic items - which replaced tinned metal. The company survives to this day, making many types of plastic items but is probably better known for it's range of 'eskies' and drink coolers. This photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.
WW2 Australian Army mess tin set (double pannier)
An example of the double pannier mess tin set issued by the Australian Army to members of the AIF (Second Australian Imperial Force). Note that one tin is slightly smaller in size to the other, allowing one mess tin to be fitted inside the other for storage. Earlier models were manufactured from steel, whilst this late war example is made from aluminium.