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Liberty

1980's Uniform questions

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Forgive me if this sounds like a noob question... cause it is!!

 

I have recently acquired a Ferret that spent most of its days with the BAOR. It is painted, quite accurately, in it's 1980's colours when it was with 12 Field Royal Engineers (Nova Scotia).

 

I would like to collect together the correct uniform of the period. But don't know exactly what I am looking for.... photos of the period show a variety of combinations.

 

As I understand it so far:-

 

Dark navy beret with RE badge.

 

Operational Wear

 

Green T-Shirt.

DPM Jungle Shirt??? With 4 hole stitched buttons not webbing.

DPM Combat Jacket With 4 hole stitched buttons not webbing.

 

Either DPM Combat trousers OR Plain green trousers???? (Lightweights?)

10 hole boots

 

Barrack Dress

 

Green shirt

Woolly pully

Not sure about the trousers..... No2 or Lightweights??

Boots.

Stable belt or Webbing???

 

Would rank insignia have been slides on shoulder epaulettes, any stripes on arms???

 

How much of that is correct?????

 

Would there have been a cold weather option for head gear or gloves?

 

Would a reconnaissancedriver in a Ferret have worn webbing???? Or just used the pouches as storage?

 

Tear me apart..... but be gentle...

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12 Fd Sqn was part of 25 Engineer Regiment in the 1980's, as was 43 Plant Sqn of which I was a member from '88 -'91. I might get the exact Military designation for the clothing wrong, but I should be able to be fairly accurate in what we were wearing at the time.

 

In Camp

 

Standard works dress for the troops would have been Lightweight trousers and shirt green either KF for us of the older generation or the new issue cotton job. HD Pullover would be worn during the winter months. Navy beret with RE cap badge, boots combat and most likely the '58 pattern webbing belt. For inclement weather the SSM would make a decision for additional wearing of combat jacket or DPM waterproof.

 

An alternative for the office wallahs, clerks etc, would have been Trousers barrack dress, No2 dress shirt, Beret of course, Stable Belt and shoes.

 

On Exercise

 

Bearing in mind exercise usually meant going to build something out in the woods, dress would change slightly depending on an individuals trade and job at the time. In the main it would be Lightweights, boots and beret or if being really warry the battle bowler. We were issued these green long sleeved vest type things which were worn under the combat jacket, but a lot of the guys bought their own DPM "T" Shirts from the PRI stores or Silvermans etc. Norweigian shirts were all the rage at one time.

 

The Ferret Driver, like any other driver would carry a full set of webbing, same as the rest of the Squadron, you'd never know when the Ferret would get parked up and suddenly the driver becomes another grunt hanging on to a bridge panel

 

Hope this helps

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Depending on when in the 1980's you are talking about - in the very early 80's for the field Transport units (RCT) still had 68 pattern DPM jackets and trousers worn with Shirts KF (aka Hairy Mary's), no t-shirts underneath. Trousers would have the green corlene belt. Boots DMS with woollen socks and brown puttees. Either the regimental beret or cap comforter and "turtle" steel helmet or (perish the thought) DPM cap

For barracks - either 68 pattern DPM or O/D lightweights with shirts KF and, in chillier times, the wolly pully. Trousers held up with either the green corlene belt or a Regimental stable belt. Boots DMS again- highly bulled though - with puttees as above.

Webbing would be the usual 58 pattern kit. Corlene belt sometimes had a pouch worn at the base of the spine carrying the army issue clasp knife.

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I've been told that putties went out as boots went from 8 hole to 10 hole??? I'm aiming for late 80's, so longer boots, no putties..... would trouser twists be in use, or just trousers folded into boot tops??

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Hi, Liberty.

 

Trouser twists, or just thick elastic bands, would be worn with the higher boots.

 

Puttees were generally worn even with the higher boots, until the (vast) majority of people in the unit had the new boots. Then, it was up to the RSM to make a blanket decision on the subject.

 

When the jerseys were worn, then the stable belt would be worn over the top of it. The rearward facing tounges in the buckles invariably snagged on the inside of the jumper sleeve whilst marching...

 

Best Regards,

 

Prof.

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I've been told that putties went out as boots went from 8 hole to 10 hole??? I'm aiming for late 80's, so longer boots, no putties..... would trouser twists be in use, or just trousers folded into boot tops??

 

 

Used to get the green twisty elastics from the PRI shop. Never heard of anybody wearing puttees with high leg boots. I seem to remember each troop getting the new boots altogether so everyone looked the same

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I was in the RE's in 1970-80's and want to add that on autumn exercises in BAOR we would often wear our NBC gear over our normal kit, though NBC rubber over boots and gloves, and gas mask were only ever worn when there was a specific NBC drill. Otherwise these extras had to be close at hand. The typical NBC top and trousers were a basic green colour before the Army issued them in DPM camo. Despite being as itchy as the KF Shirt they at least kept us warm. Occasionally when it was really cold we would have our Army long-johns on, plus an Army issue vest under our KF Shirts. Over the shirt we had a quilted sleeveless body warmer! All this extra stuff went under our DPM combat trousers and jacket, which was then covered by the NBC suit, and I even had people wearing a heavy Army parka over all the above mentioned! This then turned people in to Michelin men.

 

BTW - The DPM peaked cap was worn in the British Army, generally speaking, only by new recruits considered unworthy to wear Regimental head gear, such as trainee Paras not entitled to the red beret yet. Very rarely DPM peaked caps were worn on exercise if half the men in the unit were used to signify enemy forces such as for infantry training. I must have worn mine once in 8 years.

 

The DPM peaked cap is I'm told quite a rare item these days. There are scores of reproduction civi market versions but an original from the DPM days is hard to find. I guess it was not made much later than 1985.

Edited by LarryH57

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Used to get the green twisty elastics from the PRI shop. Never heard of anybody wearing puttees with high leg boots. I seem to remember each troop getting the new boots altogether so everyone looked the same

 

Hi, Zero-Five-Two, I was in 5RRF, a TA unit in Coventry at that time, and certainly wore them that way.

 

In the TA (or possibly just 5RRF) it was difficult enough getting a first issue of kit. When mine arrived in its big plastic sack, it had already been picked over beforehand in the QM's, and all the latest equipment substituted for worn earlier versions. This was normal, no point in complaining.

 

The idea of exchanging things that were not worn to pieces just for the sake of uniformity would have caused the QM to explode!

 

A few years later, everyone was out of puttees, except for one female band member, who was very small. Apparently, it was proving difficult to find new boots in her tiny size, so she carried on doing so until she was chopped under the "Strategic Defence Review" 1998. It wasn't personal :-D , all of the Cov 5RRF got chopped, typically only a couple of months after moving to their new purpose built TA Center.

 

Best Regards,

 

Prof.

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BTW - The DPM peaked cap was worn in the British Army, generally speaking, only by new recruits considered unworthy to wear Regimental head gear, such as trainee Paras not entitled to the red beret yet. Very rarely DPM peaked caps were worn on exercise if half the men in the unit were used to signify enemy forces such as for infantry training. I must have worn mine once in 8 years.

 

The DPM peaked cap is I'm told quite a rare item these days. There are scores of reproduction civi market versions but an original from the DPM days is hard to find. I guess it was not made much later than 1985.

 

I agree that Combat Caps did gain some negativity as a result of them being the standard headdress of new recruits - hence the term crow caps. However, a good few lads from my time also associated the caps with 'Them' boys as some of the limited 22 /23 publicity photos of the time pictured troopers wearing combat caps. So they still had some kudos - and me and a good few of my mates wore them whenever we had chance on exercise.

 

As regards availability - I have over 30 of the 70s/80s type in my collection now - mostly in mint unworn condition. Its only the larger sizes that seem to be rare. I should add too that the combat cap has never stopped being on issue. The DPM version stayed in production and in limited use until replaced by an MTP type (I have a new MTP example) and that one is still current kit.

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Yes indeed, the Caps' Combat DPM were only worn in my time in Basic training on the final Exercise.

At unit level they were rarely worn, except when 'Playing' Enemy for Training Purposes.

 

I have often seen them worn in Barracks, by the odd individual. When they have 'lost' their issue beret.

This was done until a replacement could be obtained & PAYED FOR. By the unfortunate persons concerned!

you HAD to wear headgear to salute/ Pay compliments to officers you see.

 

The only People authorised NOT to wear any headgear were prisoners being 'Beasted'/ Marched around camp.

Or when outside doing PT / Running/ Sport.

 

They are still issued today, though as pointed out by another poster. In MTP material. I believe the same 'scorn'/

Looked down on attitude. Still prevails towards; 'Caps, Combat MTP. Today!...:-D

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I have often seen them worn in Barracks, by the odd individual. When they have 'lost' their issue beret.

This was done until a replacement could be obtained & PAYED FOR. By the unfortunate persons concerned!

you HAD to wear headgear to salute/ Pay compliments to officers you see.

 

The only People authorised NOT to wear any headgear were prisoners being 'Beasted'/ Marched around camp.

Or when outside doing PT / Running/ Sport.

 

True about wearing them when ones beret had gone diffy - I had forgotten about that.

 

Also correct about SUS etc not wearing headdress when being beasted about camp. As an ex-RP I can testify to that too. As soon as a person was under escort the beret and belt came off and the next order was - 'step

off to the timing I call out' and then the 'fun' begins (character building stuff you understand).

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