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Everything posted by Exwoofer

  1. Wow they are pretty unique! I've no idea how they fit into the genisis of NI gloves but they look the correct pattern for the year (with the cross stitching on the palms - I have similar ones in black). The colour is a complete mystery though.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. These green rubberised type were still in use in the 80s - by the longer serving guys. However, most of us by this time had been issued a new version. This type was almost exactly the same as the WW2 white version. These were not old stock resurfacing but newly manufactured - still in a cheap cotton material. As has been said - we only used these for locker layouts and kit inspections. I have looked on Ebay plenty for an 80s dated one of these white versions but so far without luck.
  5. I served between 82-88 in the Infantry. The short answer to the OP question, in my experience, is yes. As has been suggested - this was not really a choice as SOPs usually said that you had to have a First Aid kit in your webbing. However, my kit lists (and memory) of the time only suggest 'a basic first aid kit' not a list of content. My basic kit included - plasters, bandages, dressings, triangular bandage, paracetamol, zinc oxide tape, antiseptic cream etc. In 1983 I attended the RAMC Medics course (RMA 3) and as a result I carried a greater range of medical items following this. IMO the lists above are pretty advanced for the 80s - even as Company Medic I did not carry all those items and I would suggest that the average soldiers carried far less. During the 80s (the 70s would have been similar) there were two sorts of standard first aid kits carried in the field by none RAMC / RMA staff. These were: The Field Dressing Pack - containing just (12?) FFD (First Field Dressings) and nothing else. The First Aid Kit NCO - see pics attached for an example kit list. Both these were carried in similar satchels of the WW2 type (most of ours were actually WW2 dated !! To be honest First Aid in the Army, up until at least the 90s, was very very undervalued and under resourced. Yes most people were trained in basic First Aid but the equipment was appalling. During my time (I served with 3 different Infantry Regiments) this was always the case. As basic as the kits above were you would be lucky to find a kit which had half its content most of the time! An exception was the Army vehicle First Aid Kits - as these were on the vehicle CES kit (kit list) and so were inspected more frequently. It was partly because of this situation that I volunteered to take the Army medics course - however even then this gave me access to only a slightly greater quantity of kit and slightly better medical kit. Thankfully a posting to Cyprus changed this for the better as at one station I acted as Company Medic and I had my own small medical facility and accompanying kit. The UN scales of issue for medical kit was brilliant and I had access to hospital quantities of supplies !!! I had drips, dressing packs, suture kits and a whole range of medicines. Everything a medic could dream of in fact. I came away from there with literally rucksacks full (I was officially encouraged to do this) and this stock lasted me for the rest of my service. There were other better First Aid kits available in the Army in the 80s - for example the 'Basic First Aid kit' and the 'First Aid Kit - Supplementary (both were in the same kind of packaging) but I have to be honest and say I NEVER saw or used these in my service. Why ? I don't know - I even served in NI during this period and never even saw them there either - to be frank the First Aid situation was no better even on an operational tour !! I can provide more info, pics and details if anyone requires it - just ask. Hope this helps.
  6. I admit it is feint - but that does look like a 1979 date! Amazing if correct. As the 'Demise' document suggests - the GS Bergan was adopted (on a very limited scale - most frequently seen in use in NI) in the mid 70s but most examples seen of this date have design differences to the later (1983/84) issued version. Yours though looks like the later type but has the early date - amazing. I have another version which is made from a material close to the MK2 58 nylon webbing material and it too has the later design features. Unfortunately mine has no date but thanks to your pack it can be suggested that this was possibly a late 70s design - likely to be used in conjunction with MK2 58 webbing - as the 'Demise' document suggests was planned.
  7. True story - this came public as a result of my FOI request a few years back now. There are a couple of others out there too :-)
  8. I can confirm that the first issue of the Cap Cold Weather was indeed made in olive drab.These were a British equipment item as distinct from the version worn in Korea. The pattern changed to DPM C1976. Info taken from the pictured publication - dated 1975.
  9. The missing MKV Helmet (this is a reply I sent to Paul but as others may find it useful I thought I would reproduce it here too). During my research into the MK 6 (in conjunction with the Author John Bodsworth) I did my very best to pin this down. I assumed, as you would, that if there was a MK 6 then there must have been a MK V.Indeed, in certain notable books on helmets (and websites etc) I found the last version of the GS steel helmet was described as the MK V. I even found mention of a MK V in some training pamphlets. However,John and I sourced and researched the official British Army publications – i.e.relevant sections of COSA (Catalogue of Ordnance Stores and Ammunition –Section CN) and LoC (List of Changes) and it was clear that, prior to the MK 6,the last issue of the GS Steel Helmet was titled MK IV. The complete answer to the ‘MK V’ issue is a little more detailed so here is that bit. The GS Steel helmet MK IV is really a composite item and it could not be ordered as a complete article – only the separate component parts could be requested. The component parts being: Body Headband Lining Spider ChinStrap (I appreciate that at G1098/unit stores level the helmet may have been provided complete - but this would have been locally assembled if so) The body is clearly the Steel bit and the style of this changed over time. The MKIV body was issued from c1945 and it remained in service until its replacement,the new MK 6 helmet, arrived in 1985 – although universal replacement took a few years. In COSA and LoC the collective term for the complete helmet was named after the body i.e. Helmet Steel G.S. MK IV. The lining assembly – i.e. Headband, Lining and Spider – detailed above is the MK V version (also known as the 1956 pattern) and this was introduced into service in March 1959 (according to LoC's). The introduction into use of the MK V liner may possibly account for some confusion about a ‘MK V helmet’ – but it should be noted that following the introductionof the MK V liner that the GS Steel helmet continued to be listed in COSA (and throughout its service life) as the Steel Helmet GS MK IV. During my research upon official MOD stores publications I have yet to identify any GS helmet titled MK V. Therefore,it is my conclusion that there are two possibilities as to how the next GS helmet was titled MK 6: (1)There was (possibly) an experimental GS Helmet which was provisionally given the title MK V. If this is the case it is not listed in COSA (other trials helmets are) and it is not titled as such in any of the helmet trials reports seen thus far. (2)Following the introduction of the MK V liner, the MK IV helmet was known colloquially known by some in the Army as the MK V Helmet (hence, the use ofthe term ‘MK V Helmet GS’ appearing in some training pamphlets). Either because of this error or in order to remove the possibility of doubt the new nylon helmet may have been titled Combat Helmet GS MK 6. Note- It has been suggested that because another helmet was already titled MK V (possibly a Royal Armoured Corps helmet) that this caused/required the use ofthe MK 6 title. However,this can easily be discounted because: a)The sequencing of GS helmets related to that pattern alone – as indeed was the case with all other patterns (otherwise we would be on helmet MK 529 not MK 7!!!) b)The sequencing of GS Helmets had remained unaffected by previous helmet issues and MKs. i.e. there were numerous other MK II helmets known prior to the introduction of the MK II GS but the title MK II GS was still used. I hope this helps.
  10. I believe its the 2nd pattern 44 webbing haversack. Possibly with an attached pouch on the front. Pic from Karkee Web
  11. As with all kit - issue was often on an individual or unit basis. So some new kit was issued to newly joined soldiers first then as stocks increased it was issued to units as a whole (the old item being handed in and the new kit issued to a whole battalion or unit at the same time). Sometimes kit was also issued on a 'waste out' basis - which meant you only got issued the new kit as and when your old item broke or it needed replacement (and you only got the new style kit after stocks of the old kit had been used up) - until which time you used the older style item. In general (during Cold War times), new kit got issued to front line units first - i.e. Regular Army Infantry and teeth arm units- who were based in BAOR. In later years NI was added to the 'priority for issue' list and new kit was often issued there prior to UK based units etc. The main exception to this would be kit designed for a specific purpose/theatre - NI, Korea, jungle kit, Arctic kit etc - so units going/based there would obviously get the kit first.
  12. I agree about the 'Spork' being very useful - I have one and use it regular. Be careful with wooden spoons being used in the field for long periods though - my RAMC Doctor blamed my wooden spoon for me getting gingivitis (gum disease) in Cyprus in 1987 which required my hospitalisation (wood being less easy to clean than metal/plastic).
  13. I am not sure what you mean by '1950-1960 KFS set'? To my knowledge - a set of KFS was issued - of a simple, plain, stainless steel design - was issued from at least the 50s onwards. The exact style changed over the years as new contracts were placed and there are most likely dated examples for every year from then to today (given that these get replaced very often due to loses). Anchor Surplus (army surplus shop) used to have a massive tub full of 2nd hand issue KFS in their shop - whilst sorting through these I found examples from multiple decades and years. As for the 44 KFS - these were not issued by the 80s when I was in but my Dad was issued in a set in about 1962 during National Service and he was BAOR based for his 2 years service. Some lads may have used such a set later in later years, as indeed I did at times, but these would have been their own item - not a set issued to them. I think the 44 KFS set stopped being issued in the 60s but don't have a record for this. NSN and arrow marked KFS were used in camp canteens, NAAFI's, married quarters and camp messes (i.e. Officers mess) and these were often 'borrowed'. So at any time you would have found pre-dated KFS in use later - i.e. 60s/70s dated ones being used in the 80s and 80s dated ones used later on etc. Hope this helps.
  14. If it is of interest to any member I have recently found a seller on eBay who is selling 2014 dated spoons - they are brand new and have the broad arrow and an NSN - I purchased a few too check. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371429097044?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&var=640505446436&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
  15. With respect – I disagree. I think the combat cap is a good design (one that’s been around over 60 years) and it fits the purpose well i.e. as field headdress. Where it suffers is in the application – SNCO’s don’t like it as they prefer the supposed smartness of a beret – which is far less practical in the field. It’s a situation like the combat shirt/jacket – as first issued in the CS95 uniform kit range. This was designed to be worn un-tucked but for reasons of smartness its most often insisted that it be tucked in by SNCO’sand its banned from being worn as a outer garment too. A case of inflexibility in mind – despite the best efforts of the designers and the best of intentions. I remember when Boots Combat High were first issued – the instructions were that they should not be highly polished and we retained a pair of DMS forparade use. That plan lasted as long as the first muster parade after issue!!
  16. Like most, I was issued and wore the DPM combat cap early in training - until being issued a beret (about 6/8 weeks in I think). As a result there was some negativity attached to wearing the cap. However, after joining my battalion I continued to wear the cap when permitted – mainly on exercise – for example on night time patrols and ambushes (I was Infantry). For this use I thought the cap well suited and it was worn by plenty of others too in this role. Being a small item it was easy to mislay though. Also, not being an essential item (it wasn’t on the usual kit lists) - it did not need to be replaced.
  17. Ref the Soviet items (membership card etc) – the US Army produced a set of fake USSR documents for use by troops acting as enemy during the Cold War period (I think these were originally produced during the 70s but they will have been updated following this I imagine). During major BAOR exercises, for example, the enemy forces (designated as‘orange forces’) wore uniform items to distinguish themselves from the friendly forces. During exercise Brave Defender (1985) the enemy forces (acted by certain British Troops) used these US fakedocuments sets for sure – as I have a magazine article (somewhere) which illustrates them in use. If you would like a new home for you documents – I can provide that J I have a small collection of items used by these forces – See attached pics.
  18. The MK6 Helmet was standardised in 1984 and first went on general issue in late 1985 - although obviously it took some time for the issue to be universal. The DPM helmet cover was originally available (during trials) in just one size - for Small, medium and large sized helmets.The trials however, highlighted the requirement for a bigger outsize helmet and a second cover was made for this helmet. At the point the MK6 went on GS issue therefore there were two sizes of DPM helmet cover. One with no size indicated for S,M & L helmets and another marked for outsize helmets marked as such. These covers had the horizontal and vertical elastic banding. Any cover with only horizontal elastic is a trials issue type - as the cross band style was manufactured from 1984 and this was the type used when the MK6 first went on general issue. This data follows some extensive personal research using official sources. Edit made in the light of access to further COSA records.
  19. Part of the confusion/mystery surrounding the elusive NI boots stems from there likely being a number of types having been under trials. Certainly the ones I remember did not have a 'crepe sole' although they were plain toed and they were similar in the uppers to the latter issued BCH. The sole, whilst not of a DMS design was in a similar style - i.e. deepish treads.
  20. The round plates (we were issued two) were carried in large packs or holdalls for use mainly in camps and indeed were often taken on the range for lunchtime servings of ‘range stew’ – mmmm lovely! This avoided dirtying your mess tins and having to unpack your webbing.
  21. To re-cap and confirm the contributions here. The rucksack as pictured is for sure the ‘Rucksack GS' NSN 8465-99-132-2813 The type pictured was issued in the early 1980’s (the majority are dated 1984/1985) as a stop gap measure – primarily to improve the load carrying ability of the Infantry. Lessons from the Falklands highlighted the inadequacy of the 1958 Pattern Large Pack (although this was well known prior to the conflict and new designs were already in progress). The Rucksack GS (General Service), as issued in the early 1980s, was a development of an earlier rucksack design – which dated from c1972. In 1972 a new pattern of load carrying equipment was trailed and eventually rejected for service. Collectors know this equipment as 1972 Pattern but the official designation was in fact 1975 Pattern. The 1975 Pattern rucksack was similar to but had minor design differences to the Rucksack GS – for example the side pouch fastenings were plastic clips on the 1975 Pattern, rather than the metal buckles of the Rucksack GS. Whilst 1975 pattern equipment as a whole proved to have design faults and was thus rejected – the rucksack was accepted for limited service (despite having an imperfect design – the load capacity was deemed too small by many). The reason for this decision was that the 1958 Large Pack had been clearly identified as inadequate and there was a need for an improved load carrying capacity for troops in some theatres – one specifically being Northern Ireland. Hence, the 1975 Pattern Rucksack can be seen in many NI photos from this period. More successful was the similar but larger ‘Rucksack SAS’ which was trailed at the same time as the 1975 Pattern Rucksack. This was accepted into service for use by the SAS and other troops with a need for a larger carrying capacity i.e. Airborne troops - in the early 1970’s. The frame and shoulder straps of the Rucksack SAS, the 1975 Pattern rucksack and the later Rucksack GS were almost identical. Although, as suggested, a replacement for 1958 Pattern webbing had been under development prior to Falklands (a number of designs had undergone user trials i.e. 1975 Pattern and more recently 1958 MK2 – nylon) it was far from being ready for service (indeed it would be 1989 before it (90 Pattern PLCE) was introduced into service). However, the pressure to improve the Infantry Load carrying capacity - from the lessons learnt from the Falklands- required that a stop gap measure be introduced into service and thus a slightly adapted version of the 1975 Pattern Rucksack was introduced into limited service around 1984/5 – the Rucksack GS NSN 8465-99-132-2813. This information is sourced from official MOD documents –supplemented by my own personal experiences of the time.
  22. I joined the Regular Army, Infantry, in 1982 so my original issued kit was all ‘Falklands’ period kit - so to speak. We were issued a set of KFS, a green Osprey mug and two tin plates (the tin /aluminium plates were for use at camps where crockery was not provided i.e. central messing in the field or on some camps). The items pictured are all army issue. However, note that there were lots of designs of KFS. They were all silver and plain like those pictured but with minor shape changes. Out in the field things get lost or left behind easily, especially in the dark, so KFS often went missing. As long as you had a KFS in your kit the design wasn’t a problem so replacement with a civvy fork etc was common (as indeed was borrowing items from the NAAFI !). As has been said, in camp you had to carry your own KFS and mug to the canteen so these were used every day. Included in the picture are an exercise KFS set bound with black tape to keep them from rattling and a blue compo ration salt bottle – which comes from the ten man ration pack. Hope this helps.
  23. That's a cracking bit of research - very good effort. I had been working towards doing a similar thing but had only got to the planning stage. This makes sense now - I could not work out why some CT numbers were 80s kit and some 90's - It seemed as if they were randomly issued. With your list it seems they were sequential - albeit with letter code prefix changes. May I suggest that if anyone has any dated items to contribute (to the list) - they post them up here - especially if they contradict the main list (so we can be sure the method is robust). PS I am Rich A - lots of guys will know me (or put up with me )from various FB groups and I am a collector of 1980's Brit uniform & and equipment.
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