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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.
WW2 Khaki Cotton Shorts (close up - double buckle system of fastening)
Close up image of the double buckle fastening system, detailing the "tongueless" buckle system. The pressed metal buckles incorporated small prongs which by way of friction, prevented the cotton straps from pulling free. Also evident are the pressed tin buttons which form the closure system for the fly of the shorts. Brown coloured plastic bakealite buttons may also be found on this pattern of Australian Second World War shorts, depending on the manufacturer.
Braces (Suspenders) Leather
These braces (suspenders) were issued to support the general service woollen trousers that formed part of the Universal Pattern uniform. They were made from leather with an elasticised cotton portion at the rear. Each end of the braces has a pair of leather straps with a button hole. These fastened to the buttons that were sewn in place on the waistline of the trousers. The braces are stamped with the Department of Defence 'D - arrow - D' to denote that they are Government issue.
Braces (Suspenders) Leather close up
As close up of the 'underside' of the leather braces, showing the 'D - arrow - D' ink stamping, indicating that they are Government issue.
Pattern 37 Belt
The Pattern 37 Web Belt was used by all British Commonwealth troops and experienced quite an extensive service life (albeit with some slight modifications). The belt consisted of a 2 & 1/4" (2 & one quarter inch) wide piece of webbing which had a front and a reverse side. The reverse side had a continuous series of small "pockets" woven into the belt. The very tip of each end of the belt, was fitted with a brass encasement from which two brass prongs protruded. The belt was adjustable; so that once the desired width of the waist was ascertained, the excess length folded back onto itself and passed through a brass keeper. The 'prongs' at the tip of the belt, slotted into a small 'pocket' on the inner edge of the belt. Thus, the desired length was secured and this system prevented the belt from inadvertantly working open and becoming loose on the wearer. (PLEASE REFER TO THE PHOTOGRAPH) As can be seen in this picture, the belt has been adjusted to size, however the brass prongs have yet to be inserted into the securing pockets. The length of the belt was secured by way of a brass "male & female" buckle arrangement. The original design of the Pattern 37 belt that went into production for war service, had two 1" brass buckles sewn onto the rear of the belt. These buckles sat where the 'small' of the back would be on the wearer. The Pattern 37 Shoulder Brace straps passed through these buckles, which supported the weight of the load carrying equipment once the set was put together for wear. From a collector's perspective, it is unfortunate that the Army adapted this belt for "Parade" use, by removing the two rear 1 inch buckles. The subsequent result being that many surviving belts are missing the two rear buckles. This actual item is held in the Kokoda Historical Collection.