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 Personal Kit

Correspondence
Edged Tools
Glasses
Handkerchiefs
Identification
Kit Bag
Lighters
Polishing, Washing & Shaving

Rations

Sewing Kit
Weapon Cleaning Kits

Protective Gear

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Specialist Clothing

Tank Crew Suits

 

Polishing, Washing and Shaving Kit - Second World War

clean.jpg (76307 bytes)
Artifacts courtesy the Calgary Highlanders Museum

A selection of cleaning kit is shown at left, including two pistol cleaning rods (with a slotted tip for inserting a cleaning rag), metal oil bottles, two pull throughs (with a loop on one end and a brass weight on another - the brass end was dropped through the barrel, and then used to pull the looped end (with cleaning rag inserted) through the barrel after it.)  The items are resting on a khaki carrying bag with drawstring closure.

At right is a pull through - with brass end and cloth rags inserted into loops.

pullthru.jpg (50384 bytes)
Artifact courtesy the Calgary Highlanders Museum

brush.jpg (94342 bytes)
Artifacts courtesy the Calgary Highlanders Museum

A selection of polishing kit, with a can of metal polish (marked War Time Pack), boot brushes, and a button stick.  The button stick was a flat piece of brass slipped in behind a metal button when polishing it so as not to stain the uniform.
A British clothes brush, dated 1945 and marked with the British "broad arrow" indicative of military items.  Canadian soldiers in the UK would have purchased many items of British kit for personal use. clothesbrush.jpg (6207 bytes)
bootbrush.jpg (3669 bytes)  
Second World War bootbrush, with a close up of the markings at left - date is 1942. bootbrush2.jpg (4035 bytes)
razor.jpg (47051 bytes)
Artifacts and photo courtesy Gary Balke
Canadian issue shaving kit.  This cloth covered cardboard shaving kit folded up and secured with metal snaps.  The handle and head of the safety razor were secured with a cloth loop, as was a small box of razor blades.  The inset shows the case snapped closed.  Many surviving examples of this case are frayed at the edges.
razor2.jpg (44510 bytes)
Artifacts and photo courtesy Gary Balke
This canvas holdall was used to carry washing and shaving kit, and like the sewing kit, was secured by rolling it and tying it with the cloth tapes.
razor3.jpg (52767 bytes) A khaki handkerchief, along with another example of the sewing kit (this view shows the cloth tapes). The needles are inserted into a white rag, and the thread is kept on cardboard formers.  The shaving kit is marked "Gilette" and has a stainless steel razor rather than a brass one as in the example above.
razor4.jpg (57852 bytes)
Artifacts and photo courtesy Sergeant Karen DalPio, Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada
Holdall, showing a shaving kit, shaving brush, soap and soap dish, button stick, toothbrush, metal comb, tube of shaving cream, tube of tooth paste and pack of razor blades.  Alternately, tooth powder was still in use at this time, and straight razors were also still common in lieu of safety razors.

At left is a sewing kit, with a pair of scissors and set of safety pins, in addition to the items shown above.  A c-broad-arrow marked blanket is shown, as well as two booth brushes (marked Boeckh 1942 and 1940 Meaking).  In the centre are a MacDonald's cigarettes tin, Tip Top cigarette paper, and a Dunhill lighter with the box it came in.

helmetbasin.jpg (40075 bytes)  

While not as versatile as the American M1 helmet, the Canadian Mk II could, like its American counterpart, be used as a wash basin.   A single retaining screw held the liner in place, and by replacing the screw backwards (with the head inside the helmet, the shell would hold water.  Veteran soldiers often drained water from the radiators of running vehicles in order to equip themselves for shaving.  At left is a disassembled helmet, showing rubber head pad, liner, and shell, along with the brass retaining screw.

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