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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Scott View Post
    Dubbin was certainly used by the British Army and, from the broad arrow marked examples here, appears to have been an 'issue' item: https://www.blancoandbull.com/boot-c...forces-dubbin/

    There are also some recipes here: https://www.blancoandbull.com/boot-cleaning/dubbin/
    Very interesting site, I hadn't realised the military had ever issued boot polish / dubbin. The site talks of its issue in WW2. But we certainly weren't issued with it by the 1970s we had to buy it ourselves.. Meanwhile there's a tin of cherry blossom not 3 feet from me.
    "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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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    Very interesting site, I hadn't realised the military had ever issued boot polish / dubbin. The site talks of its issue in WW2. But we certainly weren't issued with it by the 1970s we had to buy it ourselves.. Meanwhile there's a tin of cherry blossom not 3 feet from me.
    We were still required to polish our buttons in the early 1980's and i can't recall being issued any Brasso either.
    "I know of no inspiration to be got from trousers."
    Lt. Col. Norman MacLeod, QOCH, c. 1924

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  5. #23
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    About the hose, you see plenty of photos showing Highland troops wearing their diced (or tartan in the case of some pipers) hose-tops with puttees.

    About the selfcoloured hose, I'm not sure about the colour. There might have been a wide range of colours considered "khaki" by the army, and due to variances among contractors. About WWI hose I don't know, but plenty of WWII hose survive and they vary from olive green to brown to tan and everything in between.

    In WWII officers wore different hose, in a pale beige, the same colour often seen in civilian kilt hose back then, not sure if this was also the case in WWI.

    One thing to do for sure: ignore the colours in the colourised photos of WWI soldiers, they get several things wrong.

    Here's a photo that was colourised around time it was taken, nice to see



    Before colour photography you have coloured B&W photos, and paintings. Here's one, showing hose that appear to be exactly the same colour as the tunics. (BTW it's rare to see the bagpipes painted so accurately. You can see they're fingering F, and some have their B finger lifted too, oddly enough.)



    Another painting, showing diced hosetops with khaki spats. I do wonder about the Royal Stewart bag-covers, perhaps one of the wartime battalions?



    Now back to the B&W world, note the pattern knit into the cuffs of his khaki hose



    Here's a combination I've rarely seen, khaki hose with spats



    An officer with pale beige (not cream, more like fawn) hose and (probably) brown shoes. Note the officers' brown sporran with tassels and no badge, seen in some regiments.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 11th August 20 at 05:04 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  7. #24
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    Lightbulb brekin in the boots

    Ammo boots were notorious for killin yer feet until broke in. It's the double sometimes triple soles. What I and most everyone I know did was to put on a good pair of woolen socks and put on the boots as soon as we got them and take a long hot shower then wear them all day. That way they conformed to your feet and got the wax out a good bit. Then a candle, spoon and Kiwi polish to finish the process.
    Aye Yours.



    VINCERE-VEL-MORI

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  9. #25
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    The original boots that were issued to the First Canadian Division at the beginning of the war were complete cr_p. They were of such inferior quality (another purchasing boondoggle by our infamous Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes) that they fell apart as they camped on the Salisbury Plain during the winter of '14-'15. They were rubbish ... almost like cardboard and whatever the Canadian Corps wore after that is whatever the British could spare. My wife's great-grandfather served in Flanders/France with the Toronto Scottish (can't remember the Battalion number) and their kilt was a tawny brown solid colour. Brown makes sense but who knows when a million or so Imperial troops are scrambling for kit during a few short month.
    Those ancient U Nialls from Donegal were a randy bunch.

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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninehostages View Post
    The original boots that were issued to the First Canadian Division at the beginning of the war were complete cr_p. They were of such inferior quality (another purchasing boondoggle by our infamous Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes) that they fell apart as they camped on the Salisbury Plain during the winter of '14-'15. They were rubbish ... almost like cardboard and whatever the Canadian Corps wore after that is whatever the British could spare. My wife's great-grandfather served in Flanders/France with the Toronto Scottish (can't remember the Battalion number) and their kilt was a tawny brown solid colour. Brown makes sense but who knows when a million or so Imperial troops are scrambling for kit during a few short month.
    I remember reading that the members of the CEF referred to those boots as "Sham Shoes" in reference to said Minister.
    Last edited by Macman; 13th August 20 at 10:37 AM.
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove."

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  13. #27
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    The Toronto Scottish, and their parent regiment The London Scottish, have always worn those brown kilts, and doublets too. They call the colour Hodden Grey, it's a brown-grey with the slightest hint of purple, the colour that's called taupe in the USA and often called brown in England.

    Here's the Pipes & Drums of the Toronto Scottish where you can see their Hodden Grey doublets, plaids, and kilts. Note that the kilts have royal blue fringe.



    Here are some soldiers of The London Scottish, where the difference in colour between the khaki/drab jackets and the Hodden Grey kilts is clear.



    However people oftentimes have only seen WWI black & white photos of the London Scottish or Toronto Scottish, and imagine that their kilts are the same khaki/drab as the tunics.



    Wow I'd not heard about the shoddy shoes!

    The thing of contractors providing shoddy clothing, blankets, etc is a recurring theme in the American Civil War. You hear of the dye running the first time the soldiers were in the rain and so forth.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 20th August 20 at 03:40 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  15. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    The Toronto Scottish, and their parent regiment The London Scottish, have always worn those brown kilts, and doublets too. They call the colour Hodden Grey, it's a brown-grey with the slightest hint of purple, the colour that's called taupe in the USA and often called brown in England.

    Here's the Pipes & Drums of the Toronto Scottish where you can see their Hodden Grey doublets, plaids, and kilts. Note that the kilts have royal blue fringe.



    Here are some soldiers of The London Scottish, where the difference in colour between the khaki/drab jackets and the Hodden Grey kilts is clear.



    However people oftentimes have only seen WWI black & white photos of the London Scottish or Toronto Scottish, and imagine that their kilts are the same khaki/drab as the tunics.



    Wow I'd not heard about the shoddy shoes!

    The thing of contractors providing shoddy clothing, blankets, etc is a recurring theme in the American Civil War. You hear of the dye running the first time the soldiers were in the rain and so forth.
    My spouse's great-grandfather went everywhere with the Toronto Scottish from the Somme to the end of the war and did it all in that kilt. He was a bit of a mucky-muck ... a higher ranking Quartermaster Sargent and likely didn't get too mucky (I'm assuming a lot, here). My wife does remember him and the imprint on his forehead of his maple leaf cap badge that was pushed into his skull by some concussion.
    Those ancient U Nialls from Donegal were a randy bunch.

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  17. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    Very interesting site, I hadn't realised the military had ever issued boot polish / dubbin. The site talks of its issue in WW2. But we certainly weren't issued with it by the 1970s we had to buy it ourselves.. Meanwhile there's a tin of cherry blossom not 3 feet from me.
    Dubbin makes sense if you're wallowing around in the Flemish mud. So does the whale oil that they rubbed on their feet, lest they rot off to the ankles.
    I will tell you though, having been in the Navy that dubbin will render your boots "unpolishable" and they will never shine again. (lube oil , diesel, JP-5 do that, too)
    Those ancient U Nialls from Donegal were a randy bunch.

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  19. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninehostages View Post
    The original boots that were issued to the First Canadian Division at the beginning of the war were complete cr_p. They were of such inferior quality (another purchasing boondoggle by our infamous Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes) that they fell apart as they camped on the Salisbury Plain during the winter of '14-'15. They were rubbish ... almost like cardboard .
    Nothing changes, when the boots DMS that I was issued with in the 70s and 80s were replaced by more modern type boots they fell apart in hot temperatures..

    The current boots sole falls apart in time as the rubber degrades, soldiers were putting them on and they'd disintegrate on the first walk. The MOD now has a policy of disposing of them after 5 years on the shelf. Unfortunately they tend to buy huge amounts at a time...
    Last edited by The Q; 21st August 20 at 11:16 PM.
    "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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