Scots in the Great War 
Living History Group

"Where history comes to life"

 

Quartermaster's Store

The uniform and equipment supplied to keep the soldier in the field, ready to fight, clean, fed and watered.

Webbing

1908 Pattern

One belt, three inches (76 mm) wide
Two braces, two inches (51 mm) wide
Two cartridge pouch sets, each set consisting of 5 pouches and each pouch holding three 5-round charger clips; 150 rounds of rifle ammunition in total.
One bayonet frog (a tubular carrier which connected the bayonet scabbard to the belt)
One water bottle and carrier
One haversack
One valise
Two valise straps
One entrenching tool with separate carriers for the head and helve.

Headgear

Glengarries, Tam O' Shanters the Brodie and Pith Helmets 

Headgear worn by Scottish soldiers in the Great War

Uniform

Top half

Tunic, shirt, puttees

The majority of soliders wore an outwardly similar uniform, with the exception of 'Highlanders' with their kilt, the basic kit was a khaki serge single-breasted four-pocket jacket with stand and fall collar which was had cutaways for Scottish troops.
 
Lighter uniforms were issued for hotter climates, such as Gallipoli, ironically, it was very cold there in Winter.

Bottom half

Trousers, puttees, hob nail boots

Hard wearing and practical as they were,  the trousers, and underwear won beneath could make a man incredibly hot and itchy. On a cold day though you would be glad of them.

Puttees, a Hindi word  were a covering for the lower part of the leg from the ankle to the knee. It consisted of a long narrow piece of cloth wound tightly and spirally round the leg, and serving to provide both support and protection. It was worn by both mounted and dismounted soldiers.

1908 Pattern Webbing

The 1908 equipment, when fully assembled, formed a single piece and could be put on or taken off like a jacket. Ammunition was stored in two sets of pouches attached to the belt at the front, and the straps from these passed over the shoulders, crossing diagonally at the back. The back pack, or "valise", was attached to these diagonal straps, thus spreading its weight.

Earlier pattern webbing

The earlier 1903 webbing had much more leather items, it was not as practical or popular as the 1908 webbing,but remained in service with 2nd Line TF and other home service units.

Small pack and contents

The small pack was carried  by the soldier either on the left hand side hanging from the belt.  Inside the pack was normally carried all his personal items like Hard rations, washing kit, rifle cleaning kit, spare socks and writing equipment.  

Headgear

Food

 

Over 3,000,000  tons of food was sent from Britain to the soldiers fighting in France and Belgium during the Great War. Soldiers  were critical of the quantity and the quality of food they received. The bulk of their diet in the trenches was bully beef (canned corned beef, good quality mead), bread and biscuits. Hard tack biscuits were basically inedible when dry, rock hard tooth breakers, they needed soaked in water to make a porridge, or in meat juice to bulk out meals.


Don't believe us? Try it for yourself, here's a recipe for Hard Tack. Remember do not try to bite through them when dry, you will break your teeth!


Hard Tack biscuits


Mix the flour, water and salt together, and make sure the mixture is fairly dry.

Then roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness, and shape it into a rectangle. Cut it into 3×3 inch squares, and poke holes in both sides.


Place on an un-greased  baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes per side at 190 C 


When it’s done, you’ll want to let it dry and harden for a few days, just out in the open. When it has the consistency of a brick, it’s fully cured. 


Then simply store it in an airtight container or bucket. To prepare for eating, soak it in water or milk for about 15 minutes, and then fry in a mess tin.  It should keep for oh...a century or so.