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  1. #31
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    I know it doesn't pertain to the Highland WWI footwear, but my grandfather fought in WWI, in the US Army, and he said they were issued roughout brown boots which the soldiers brought to a gleaming black through their various methods.

    At least the British brown boots shown earlier in this thread were smooth leather!
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  3. #32
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    Last week i did read an online article (reference not available) mentions the continued use of Dubbin and similar methods for water proofing the boots did turn the leather colour from brown to black.
    And as far back as i've been able to find in British military history, when practical and even when not, The British Army has been polishing kit as long as there has been a British Army. So, even those few soldiers who may not have had available a second pair of boots, black, polished for inspections and ceremonial duties, could probably bring up a pair of boots, used in the field/trenches to minimum applicable parade standards in a surprisingly short albeit frantic period of time.

    Jacques
    "I know of no inspiration to be got from trousers."
    Lt. Col. Norman MacLeod, QOCH, c. 1924

  4. #33
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    Wink

    As a young Jock/squaddie in the oh so distant past, we polished EVERYTHING including our "gutties" (plimsoles/sandshoes) even the soles of our leather brogues. As for Dubbin, we used to keep hidden what we called "field" boots. These were a well broke in pair of DMS boots used only for field exercises/maneuvers that had been laagered with dubbin to help keep your feet dry as possible. The only way to revitalize them back to barrack standards was to burn them with a candle/bic lighter to get the dubbin out; which usually was unsuccessful. I agree that the replacement boots for the standard DMS(Doc Martin Specials) where in my opinion a catastrophe, so I bought my own non-issued boots and only wore issued when absolutely necessary. RHIP(Rank Has Its Privilege's).
    Aye Yours.



    VINCERE-VEL-MORI

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  6. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laird O'the Cowcaddens View Post
    As a young Jock/squaddie in the oh so distant past, we polished EVERYTHING including our "gutties" (plimsoles/sandshoes) even the soles of our leather brogues. As for Dubbin, we used to keep hidden what we called "field" boots. These were a well broke in pair of DMS boots used only for field exercises/maneuvers that had been laagered with dubbin to help keep your feet dry as possible. The only way to revitalize them back to barrack standards was to burn them with a candle/bic lighter to get the dubbin out; which usually was unsuccessful. I agree that the replacement boots for the standard DMS(Doc Martin Specials) where in my opinion a catastrophe, so I bought my own non-issued boots and only wore issued when absolutely necessary. RHIP(Rank Has Its Privilege's).
    Dear Laird O'the Cowcaddens;
    Thank you for the post. From my past experiences with British Army and the RAF (a fine alternative to the army) serving in Canada, i knew it would not take long before some Squaddie would come and prove me right. Polishing the brass fire extinguishers in barracks, did you do that as well? We Canadians must have learned that from you.

    Jacques
    "I know of no inspiration to be got from trousers."
    Lt. Col. Norman MacLeod, QOCH, c. 1924

  7. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
    Dear Laird O'the Cowcaddens;
    Thank you for the post. From my past experiences with British Army and the RAF (a fine alternative to the army) serving in Canada, i knew it would not take long before some Squaddie would come and prove me right. Polishing the brass fire extinguishers in barracks, did you do that as well? We Canadians must have learned that from you.

    Jacques
    In the RAF but...
    Only if the extinguishers were brass,, but they weren't, they were painted red, with the appropriate band of colour for the extinguishers contents. But they did have to be spotlessly clean, and if they had chrome parts, they had to be shining.

    The brass door and window fittings had to be polished, along with the linoleum floors ( no electric polishers!!!) . Glass spotlessly clean, every crook and cranny also spotless. The inspecting SNCO wearing white gloves would run his hands over every surface including the tops of the doors on the light bulbs on the ceiling and at the head of the bed.
    And then the toilets and showers.. Every surface spotless and shining.

    In basic and early trade training.. Bed packs, the bed had to be stripped of all sheets and blankets. Bar one blanket, They were folded into a specific pattern, see photo below, that's not a box holding the sheets, but the bed cover, carefully wrapped around.
    Note, the One blanket on the bed, the three lines of the weave straight down the middle, bulled shoes beneath the bed, and number 1 hat carefully positioned.
    The photo furniture is exactly as I remember it. Except there was no card in the middle front of the bedpack.
    If they didn't like it, your bed pack was likely to be thrown out of the window.. Raining or not..

    I notice the basic error in that photo, the bed should be centred under the light on the wall... Someone would be in deep xxxx.

    Once past the early trade training, the bed packs were not required, unless the flight was in serious trouble for something. Instead the bed had to be made properly, hospital corners, perfectly smooth and flat.

    Boots DMS that's Direct Moulded Sole, can still be bought, though that's not the current issued boot. https://www.cadetkitshop.com/product...boot-size-6-12 an awful lot of polishing needs to be put into this new pair..

    Oh the contents of the two cupboards had to be carefully laid out in a prescribed manner, including plimsoles painted in whitener, but definitely not on the soles...
    Last edited by The Q; 28th August 20 at 09:17 AM.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

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  9. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    In the RAF but...
    Only if the extinguishers were brass,, but they weren't, they were painted red, with the appropriate band of colour for the extinguishers contents. But they did have to be spotlessly clean, and if they had chrome parts, they had to be shining.

    The brass door and window fittings had to be polished, along with the linoleum floors ( no electric polishers!!!) . Glass spotlessly clean, every crook and cranny also spotless. The inspecting SNCO wearing white gloves would run his hands over every surface including the tops of the doors on the light bulbs on the ceiling and at the head of the bed.
    And then the toilets and showers.. Every surface spotless and shining.

    In basic and early trade training.. Bed packs, the bed had to be stripped of all sheets and blankets. Bar one blanket, They were folded into a specific pattern, see photo below, that's not a box holding the sheets, but the bed cover, carefully wrapped around.
    Note, the One blanket on the bed, the three lines of the weave straight down the middle, bulled shoes beneath the bed, and hat carefully positioned.
    The photo furniture is exactly as I remember it. Except there was no card in the middle front of the bedpack.
    If they didn't like it, your bed pack was likely to be thrown out of the window.. Raining or not..

    I notice the basic error in that photo, the bed should be centred under the light on the wall... Someone would be in deep xxxx.

    Once past the early trade training, the bed packs were not required, unless the flight was in serious trouble for something. Instead the bed had to be made properly, hospital corners, perfectly smooth and flat.

    Boots DMS that's Direct Moulded Sole, can still be bought, though that's not the current issued boot. https://www.cadetkitshop.com/product...boot-size-6-12 an awful lot of polishing needs to be put into this new pair..

    Oh the contents of the two cupboards had to be carefully laid out in a prescribed manner, including plimsoles painted in whitener, but definitely not on the soles...
    Q,
    A little different this side of the pond; we had electric buffers, only one stripe on the blanket, and as our boots were smooth leather they must have been infinitely easier to polish. A lot of good memories though.
    "I know of no inspiration to be got from trousers."
    Lt. Col. Norman MacLeod, QOCH, c. 1924

  10. #37
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    We had "Biltrite" boots.
    Those ancient U Nialls from Donegal were a randy bunch.

  11. #38
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    All our yesterdays

    Looking back I can laugh at all the "Basic Training" imaginative practices we endured in the first couple of months after induction. The first billet I was assigned to was called Napier Barracks, it was a open style with 16 beds on each wing with the ablutions in the middle of the building with a "Torpedo tube" crapper with a flusher valve at one end.
    It had coal stoves in the middle of each wing and waxed and "bumpered" the floors with a long handled short haired brush and an old piece of blanket for extra shine. The beds were exactly the ones shown in the photo, and they sagged badly if some of the metal clips were absent, so you sometimes had to wire them closed. Bye the way, we called the sheet and blanket thing a :bed block". I had not thought of these things in nearly 50 years. All my yesterdays, thanks for the memories.
    Aye Yours.



    VINCERE-VEL-MORI

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  13. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laird O'the Cowcaddens View Post
    Looking back I can laugh at all the "Basic Training" imaginative practices we endured in the first couple of months after induction. The first billet I was assigned to was called Napier Barracks, it was a open style with 16 beds on each wing with the ablutions in the middle of the building with a "Torpedo tube" crapper with a flusher valve at one end.
    It had coal stoves in the middle of each wing and waxed and "bumpered" the floors with a long handled short haired brush and an old piece of blanket for extra shine. The beds were exactly the ones shown in the photo, and they sagged badly if some of the metal clips were absent, so you sometimes had to wire them closed. Bye the way, we called the sheet and blanket thing a :bed block". I had not thought of these things in nearly 50 years. All my yesterdays, thanks for the memories.
    ... deployed to Crimea, after that?
    Those ancient U Nialls from Donegal were a randy bunch.

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  15. #40
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    As a veteran of the US Army, I found the barrack picture quite interesting. To quote Steve Ashton in the military everything is matchy matchy. Why the split of footwear under the bed; the two dress shoes on either side of the boots? I took basic at Fort Knox in Kentucky, beds were bunked two to cubical one soldier's head was north the other south [to stop the spread of germs we were told]. Th Army logo and motto "This We'll Defend" was on the latrine door, but no one had the guts to ask why if attacked we were going to defend the latrine. Our dress shoes were kept in a locker with our other uniforms in a proscribed manner. The latrine as you walked in and turned left was the shower room; walk straight and there was the sinks and toilets all in the same room, no divider. The room was like a green house full of windows. I was in delta platoon and while you were taking care of business you could watch Alpha and Bravo train. I think these were constructed just prior to WW2 this was 1973 they were never torn down.
    Thank God the women didn't train at good old Fort Knox!

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