UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE NEW ZEALAND ARMY DURING WW2
This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to a Soldier from New Zealand of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in New Zealand 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.
THIS WEBPAGE IS CONSTANTLY BEING ADDED TO - SO PLEASE VISIT AGAIN
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 and 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 item is held in the Kokoda Historical Collection.
Pattern 37 Binocular Case
This Pattern 37 Binocular Case of Canadian manufacture (Zephyr Loom & Textile Limited or Z.L & T) was undoubtably issued to New Zealand troops during World War Two. The binocular case consists of a rigid shell, covered in khaki cotton webbing and secured by way of a single clip stud fastener. The binocular case is fitted with a single buckled fitted to both sides, so as to enable a standard Pattern 37 shoulder strap to be adhered. This then allows the binocular case to be carried as a seperate unit. Or alternatively, it may be secured to a set of pattern 37 webbing and be carried as a part of a kit. Much of this type of kit could still be found as surplus equipment in Australia during the period 2000 to 2010; but is slowly starting to 'dry up' in terms of availability.
Pattern 37 Binocular Case (Inside View)
Inside view of the Pattern 37 Binocular Case, showing the manufacture stamping Z.L & T Ltd. of the company "Zephyr Loom & Textiles Limited". The date of manufacture is shown, being 1943 and the government broad arrow inside a letter "C" to denote Canadian manufacture. Of note is the felt liner on the inside (at the bottom) of the carrier, so as to provide some cushioning and protection to the lenses of the binoculars, when in storage. Here the 1" shoulder strap (brace) can be seen, which allows the individual to carry and discard the item as a single unit.
Jerkin Leather No. 2
Leather Jerkin (vest) as worn by New Zealand troops and other soliders of the British Commonwealth. The design of this article dates back to the First World War. Information from the New Zealand based website, Militarianz indicates that this article of clothing was much sought after for it's warmth; and the sleeveless design made it easy for the wearer to perform manual tasks. It also offered some protection against barbed wire and other sharp objects. Image courtesy of MILITARIANZ.