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Housewife .....are they still issued?


Mike C
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Now Gents,

 

The humble Housewife - not the sort you have at home cooking your dinner (oh dear, I think that was politically incorrect these days!) but the basic buttons/threads/needles et al issued to soldiers in a handly little carry roll.

 

What is it called these days (I'm sure its not a 'Housewife' a la WW1), and I mean exactly, as per the NSN designation

What's its NSN?

Indeed, are they still issued?

Are they issued in 'cammo' cloth or still the nice bleached white cotton?

 

Be very interested to hear, please.

 

Thanks

 

Mike C

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I had one issued to me in 1959 - it was khaki in colour and was allowed to keep it on de-mob. Mine was still fairly complete on the completion of my National Service - foolishly, I gave it to my mother who quickly used the contents and the container was "lost". I still have the hold-all for my washing kit which I used regularly until a couple of years ago whenever I was travelling away from home - but my wife dislikes it and bought another posher version for me. Really, I still prefer my Army one and rather enjoyed seeing my Army Number written inside whenever I opened it after 50 years!

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Now Gents,

 

The humble Housewife - not the sort you have at home cooking your dinner (oh dear, I think that was politically incorrect these days!) but the basic buttons/threads/needles et al issued to soldiers in a handly little carry roll.

 

What is it called these days (I'm sure its not a 'Housewife' a la WW1), and I mean exactly, as per the NSN designation

What's its NSN?

Indeed, are they still issued?

Are they issued in 'cammo' cloth or still the nice bleached white cotton?

 

Be very interested to hear, please.

 

Thanks

 

Mike C

 

 

A search for ' NSN sewing kit ' on the search engines should find you what you want .

 

The ones I saw back in the 80's /90's were olive green canvas , but were possibly Dutch issue :undecided:

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There is 8315-99-571-3835 HOUSEWIFE UNFILLED

 

But both the numbers associated with it (her) are RN Vocabulary codes, so that must be something special for sailors.

 

There are two other types:

 

8315-99-130-8947 SEWING KIT,HOUSEWIFE

DCTA Ref 23192 UK/SC/2528-23192

 

8315-99-571-3836 SEWING KIT,HOUSEWIFE

1-212-21877

 

The last one is a RN Vocabulary reference & if you compare this NSN with the top one you'll see it is consecutive & it must be the one with all the bits in.

 

So the Army one is 8315-99-130-8947 & is to the specification of the Defence Clothing & Textiles Agency.

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Gentlemen,

 

Thank you for your replies, which are all most illuminating indeed!

 

The 'latest' Housewife I have in my modest collection of same is dated in the mid-1990s (Australian issue), and my recent inquiries indicate that the same type was also issued in AUSCAM pattern, but has more recently been withdrawn from Aussie service.

 

Clive: do you know if the kits you quote the NSNs for are still on issue, ie are the NSNs still 'live'?

 

This is great stuff: thank you.

 

Mike C

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I reitterate: I was never issued one, nor ANY of my compatriots in the 1970's.

 

There ARE a number of our members who are currently serving in the Army on this Forum.

So, OK, Guys, HAVE you been issued an Army Housewife?...................:laugh:

 

If so, then it WILL have an NSN if it was issued.......;)

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I reitterate: I was never issued one, nor ANY of my compatriots in the 1970's.

 

There ARE a number of our members who are currently serving in the Army on this Forum.

So, OK, Guys, HAVE you been issued an Army Housewife?...................:laugh:

 

If so, then it WILL have an NSN if it was issued.......;)

 

I never had a housewife either in the early 80s.....if you discount the one since divorced and the current "domestic manager" (now THAT'S politically correct !!:-).....mind you, I still had to do the dinner and put the washing out yesterday....:().......

 

The bloody frustrating thing nowadays is trying to seek out the various military ACI's, NSN's, QM catalogues, etc......I'm trying to write a decent book on combat clothing and the lack of official references...or access to, is damn frustrating !!! Locating Lord Lucan AND Shergar is quite possibly a far easier task........:-\

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I never had a housewife either in the early 80s.....if you discount the one since divorced and the current "domestic manager" (now THAT'S politically correct !!:-).....mind you, I still had to do the dinner and put the washing out yesterday....:().......

 

Well, you could argue the point that the, 'Domestic Manager' is doing her job. And delegating alloted tasks! LOL!

She could be working from the lofty heights of Managerial responsibility & saying: 'Dont do as I do, Do as I say'!....

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I never had a housewife either in the early 80s.....if you discount the one since divorced and the current "domestic manager" (now THAT'S politically correct !!:-).....mind you, I still had to do the dinner and put the washing out yesterday....:().......

 

Well, you could argue the point that the, 'Domestic Manager' is doing her job. And delegating alloted tasks! LOL!

She could be working from the lofty heights of Managerial responsibility & saying: 'Dont do as I do, Do as I say'!....

 

Hmmm.....the latter sounds like my boss at work...:(....

 

It's rather ironic that "her at home" is only 4'11 tall and I'm 6'4".....I wouldn't cross her though..!! :-D

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I'm still serving and can confirm they are not an issued item of kit, unfortunately. I've been in for 18 years and have never seen an issued one but as stated earlier in the thread you can buy many different types of "housewife" in many different cam patterns.

 

I do however remember my Dad's housewife, he served in the Royal Horse Artillery in the 50's and kept it for many years and it is exactly as described earlier, I remember it being a light coloured off white possibly beige roll which when rolled up it was tied in the middle to keep the contents secure, it contained various buttons thread and needles.

Edited by recymech66
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Thanks, Reccymech: your contribution and experience is appreciated.

 

Seems 'commonwealth' armies no longer issue sewing kits. My latest info is that the Australian Army DPCU kits were still being manufactured in 2000 and issued for some time after that date, but are no longer on issue either. The NSN is still listed in the Australian stores list, but annotated 'withdrawn from Service'. They were costed at just over $3.00 AUD each, with contents.

 

It would appear from your and earlier posts (eg Ferretfixer) that the British Army has not issued housewives for many, many years (we are apparently a bit slower in the colonies!:laugh:)

 

Again, thanks to all for the responses.

 

Mike C

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I mentioned earlier that I was issued with one when I joined up for my National Service in 1959. The only times that I can remember using it was when I was transferred from an Infantry Regiment into a Corps and I had to sew on the new shoulder flashes on my BDs and then subsequently different Formation and Command Badges as I moved around.

 

In those days, you were issued with three pairs of socks - heavyweight grey ones - and mine lasted right through my two years service without being "holed". However, after just the first week in the army, I remember a guy in my barrack room showing his new socks with already enormous holes in the toes and he was busy with his "hussuff" darning them up. He was laughing at the time and said - "I am always heavy on socks". I think that he must have had pointed toes!

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I reitterate: I was never issued one, nor ANY of my compatriots in the 1970's.

 

There ARE a number of our members who are currently serving in the Army on this Forum.

So, OK, Guys, HAVE you been issued an Army Housewife?...................:laugh:

 

If so, then it WILL have an NSN if it was issued.......;)

 

Serving TA since '84 and never been issued one. TQMS has been through the list of available items and he can't find one.

 

Nige

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I mentioned earlier that I was issued with one when I joined up for my National Service in 1959. The only times that I can remember using it was when I was transferred from an Infantry Regiment into a Corps and I had to sew on the new shoulder flashes on my BDs and then subsequently different Formation and Command Badges as I moved around.

 

In those days, you were issued with three pairs of socks - heavyweight grey ones - and mine lasted right through my two years service without being "holed". However, after just the first week in the army, I remember a guy in my barrack room showing his new socks with already enormous holes in the toes and he was busy with his "hussuff" darning them up. He was laughing at the time and said - "I am always heavy on socks". I think that he must have had pointed toes!

 

I thinkyou were proberly still being issued 37 pat or 44 pat kit which I think was a complete system which included everything needed as i dont think you were expected to buy your ownstuff unless it was from stores to replace lost issued kit.

Jon

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Perusing the various pamphlets that comprise the Clothing Regulations 1953 I note:

 

Pre NSN, VAOS Ref CC 0480

Only issued to men

Not issued to officers, women or TA

Troop ships were required to carry 50

When a soldier was discharged or transferred to TA he was allowed to keep it. Along with these items, although not sure I would be too keen on the part-worn woollies.:shake:

 

App2622.jpg

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I ended up buying a 'Webtex' one for those little emergencies with C95.

 

For most serving personnel, if you weren't issued items you tended to make up your own Gucci kit list anyway.

 

Comfort and personal admin being key drivers as to what extras you aquired along the way, whether it be sewing kits, Sporks, Speed Spoons, Pocket Rocket burners, Micro Petzl head torches, extra pouches and compartments added to Bergens and of course the add ons and alterations to your belt kit. The list goes on and depended upon your role or trade!

 

This could all of course start a new thread on Gucci kit and personal additions and the like.

 

Swift and Bold.

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I was issued one in 74 as a Para Regt recruit, still serving TA now after 37 years. It was the white 37 pattern type with broad arrow on it. Inside was buttons (metal and green plastic) thread and grey wool for darning, some needles and sewn onto inside flap was a bit of green material similar to the KF shirt - I presume for putting needles into for storage, some later types issued were the green rubberised holder (similar to the wash kit holdall) but with same contents -still have it up loft along with the black plimsolls, sausage bag, green gloves, string cellular Y fronts and vests and the infamous blue short etc - deep joy and memories lol

 

Gary

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I remember those infamous shorts Gary. And being forbidden to roll them up in any way. Ditto the KF shirt, which you couldn't make any attempt to get to fit properly.The whole point being to make you look as ridiculous as possible while you were a sprog. I have a picture of me in depot 1966 with my locker in the background and you can just see my two pairs of striped pyjamas, squared off 12x12. I never once saw anyone wearing them - all that re-ironing - and mine finished up under a bumper on a bull night eventually. The MOD must have had warehouses full of this stuff that from the 40s and 50s they were determined to get through before redesigning anything.

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