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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.

 

Australian Army Boots (WW1 style)

Early pattern, World War 2 ankle boots (First World War style) without the toe cap stitching that is synonymous with the Second World War pattern boots. This particular pair was made in 1941 by J.J. WHYTE and they are extremely rare now, from a collector's perspective. Especially in an "unissued" condition. It was this early style of boot which equipped the initial AIF troops of the Australian 6th Division, 7th Division and 9th Division when they were dispatched to the Middle East. The Australian 8th Division assigned to the Malaya and Singapore area; as well as the Militia units dispatched to the Pacific area were also kitted out with this pattern of footwear. These comments are supported by the numerous photographs attributable to this era. This particular pair are devoid of the metal heel and toe caps - and have a plain leather sole. This item is held in the Kokoda Historical Collection.

Australian World War 2 Boots - 1941

The underside of the above listed pair of Australian Army Boots (WW1 style) manufactured by J.J. WHYTE in 1941. As can be seen by the manufacturer's stamping, this particular pair is dated 1941 and are sized 9.5 inches. In comparison to the pair shown on the following page (those made by W. PEATT), this particular sole is completely devoid of any "metal work"   i.e.  heel plate or toe plate.  One can only imagine the poor traction gained by boots with such a flat leather sole, on the slippery conditions of the Kokoda Track. Photo courtesy of the Kokoda Historical Collection.


Wish to learn more about Australian Army Boots, worn by troops on the Kokoda Track ? Please Click Here

W.PEATT - 1940 Australian Army Boots

A pair of Australian Army Boots made by W.PEATT in 1940. When Australia mobilised for war and formed the Second AIF (Australian Imperial Force) - the industrial capability of this country was drawn upon, to outfit this new army. Bearing in mind that Australia already had a small Militia force in service; by late 1939 - both the AIF and the Militia were expanding rapidly to meet defence needs. Government owned factories simply could not fulfill the contract of supplying all boots for the two armies. Subsequently, the production of Australian Army Boots was outsourced to private companies. This particular pair of boots was manufactured by the WILLIAM PEATT BOOT COMPANY which was situated at 55 Langridge Street, Collingwood (Victoria).


Wish to learn more about Australian Army Boots, worn by troops on the Kokoda Track?  Please Click Here

Metal Heel Plate - Australian Army Boots

The underside of the Australian Army Boots, made by W.PEATT during 1940. The metal heel plate (shaped like a 'horse shoe') is evident on the actual heel of the boot. An extract from the army pamphlet 'CARE OF THE FEET - NOTES FOR FOOT ORDERLIES' printed during 1942 states:-      "Iron heel-tips protect the heel; in the sole, studs give give grip and save the leather from excessive wear. THE HEEL. The heel of the boot serves two main purposes. 1. In marching, it enables a man, without undue strain on the calf muscles, to reach the position of maximum purchase sooner than he woudl otherwise be alble to do. 2. It provides a flat, wide surface for contact with the ground. The heel should therefore be firm, broad and level. its actual depth overall, including iron tip, is 1 1/4 inches - almost exactly 3/4 inch more than the thickness of the sole". 


Wish to learn more about Australian Army Boots, worn by troops on the Kokoda Track ?  Please Click Here

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