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Remembered Today:

More Headgear


PhilB
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This is a photo of Royal Fusiliers on the Somme from Forgotten Voices. We see a helmet and a balaclava but what about the other two. Are they wearing the same hat in different modes and what exactly is it - a private purchase?

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I'm leaning towards the New Zealand issue service hat, with the man standing on the right displaying his in an as new condition, whilst the one on the far left has lost its shape due to becoming very wet. They had a very conspicuous peak to their hat, quite similar to the well known Royal Canadian Mounted Police hat of more modern times.

Cheers, S>S

EDIT. This pic shows the New Zealand hat in a range of different conditions with some appearing fairly battered.!

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THe NZ battalions hadn`t been long in France at that time. One wonders whether the RF had come into contact with them (on a hat swapping basis!)

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Perhaps we need to find out if any New Zealand units were reportedly in the area at the time the photo was taken.

Interesting footwear of the chap with the helmet on - any ideas on that one.?

Cheers, S>S

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Perhaps we need to find out if any New Zealand units were reportedly in the area at the time the photo was taken.

Interesting footwear of the chap with the helmet on - any ideas on that one.?

Cheers, S>S

Looks like a wooden clog similar to the kind favoured by the locals in Flanders.

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Given how ropey the Forgtotten Voices are, generally, I wouldn't be surprised if the picture is totally mis-captioned and all the blokes are Kiwis.

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Ekkkk

What well informed person captioned this one?

This is a photograph of 9th (Wellington East Coast Rifles) Regiment in 1916 all of the men in the photograph are New Zealanders.....

Regards Jonathan

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all of the men in the photograph are New Zealanders.....

Regards Jonathan

What did I say? :innocent:

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Thanks, J. Any comment on the "slippers"?

Don't you see that they are wooden clogs with a leather strap over the instep to secure them in place Phil? The shape of the toe is unmistakable and these were common footwear at that time for both French and Belgian peasants who could rarely afford shoes. I can't tell though whether the soldier has boots inside them or dark coloured thick socks like these.

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I take your word for it! I just thought that J might have a specialist Kiwi take on it. :)

Yes, of course Phil, you are quite right and Jonathan may well know more, it is certainly unusual and I have not seen such footwear worn by Imperial troops before. It's just the sort of pragmatic quirk that a more independent minded New Zealander might adopt. I was just curious that you did not respond to the clog suggestion earlier.

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Hi All

I have a very high res copy in my copy of this in NEW ZEALANDERS AT WAR.

In the photograph you can see all the badges and insignia very clearly, unlike the blurry above example.

The photograph is captioned: Diggers enjoy their Rum ration at Fleurbaix June 1916

This footwear item is not a N.Z issue item but as said a clog with a leather strap and long socks rolled up.

They all seem to be in a very relaxed dress, no putties or web gear on.

It looks like he has just taken a fancy to the foot wear... rum and dancing shoes.....

Regards Jonathan

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The photograph is captioned: Diggers enjoy their Rum ration at Fleurbaix June 1916

So is this another case of a mis-captioned photograph, or did the Kiwis go along with the Aussies in wearing the "Diggers" tag.?

Alternatively what were the New Zealand troops known as at the time - can't say I've ever heard a nickname mentioned.?

Cheers, S>S

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Hi

Yes both New Zealanders and Australians being part of the ANZAC legend, were called diggers.

Though in recent times it has become more one sided.....

Digger Mate, friend. Used in the second or third person. This term had been in use on the Aust. gold fields, and New Zealand Kauri gum fields for many years prior to the war. It was not until the end of 1917 or early 1918 that it came into universal use in the A.I.F. or N.Z.E.F. The first to use the term, to any extent were the N.Zealanders from whom it quickly spread through the A.I.F.

Regards J

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