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Packing large pack?


Ejh1896
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I'm looking for instructions on what went into the large pack on the 08 webbing and is there a prescribed order it goes in? I have found said instructions for German tornister but nothing for the british kit???? Help please.

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I believe the Large pack was for packing the great coat into among other items whilst not being worn, I may be wrong though, so please correct me if this is the case?

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According to The Pattern 1908 Web Infantry Equipment (War Office, 1913);

Greatcoat

Cap comforter

Holdall with laces, tooth brush, razor and case, shaving brush, comb.

Housewife, fitted

Mess tin and cover

Socks

Soap

Towel

Another slight variation ; 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, January 1915.

Iron Ration

Abdominal belt

Holdall with

Shaving brush

Tooth brush

Comb

Laces (Spare)

Razor

Housewife

Jersey (in hot weather)

Towel

Cap Comforter

Great Coat

Shirt Flannel

Socks 1 pair

Mess tin and cover

Card showing details of kit

It is a pack, by the way, not a large pack. One haversack, one pack.

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According to The Pattern 1908 Web Infantry Equipment (War Office, 1913);

Greatcoat

Cap comforter

Holdall with laces, tooth brush, razor and case, shaving brush, comb.

Housewife, fitted

Mess tin and cover

Socks

Soap

Towel

Another slight variation ; 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, January 1915.

Iron Ration

Abdominal belt

Holdall with

Shaving brush

Tooth brush

Comb

Laces (Spare)

Razor

Housewife

Jersey (in hot weather)

Towel

Cap Comforter

Great Coat

Shirt Flannel

Socks 1 pair

Mess tin and cover

Card showing details of kit

It is a pack, by the way, not a large pack. One haversack, one pack.

Is the abdominal belt what was once called a cholera belt AKA flannel binder? The product of some incredible reactionism by some medics who refused to accept that cholera was not caused by letting your stomach get chilled more than half a century after the true cause had been discovered

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According to The Pattern 1908 Web Infantry Equipment (War Office, 1913);GreatcoatCap comforterHoldall with laces, tooth brush, razor and case, shaving brush, comb.Housewife, fittedMess tin and coverSocksSoapTowel Another slight variation ; 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, January 1915.Iron RationAbdominal beltHoldall with Shaving brush Tooth brush Comb Laces (Spare) RazorHousewifeJersey (in hot weather)TowelCap ComforterGreat CoatShirt FlannelSocks 1 pairMess tin and coverCard showing details of kit It is a pack, by the way, not a large pack. One haversack, one pack.

That's brilliant thanks. I didn't realise they had to pack so much in what is not a big pack! Have just tried to get it all in but failed, mess tin will have to live on the outside.

Oh and I'll always refer to it as a pack not large pack from now on!!!!!

Cheers.

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Hi

Originally its just called the 08 pattern PACK there being no 'large' before it although it was sometimes referred to as a valise. The PACK being worn on the back and the 08 HAVERSACK being worn on the side when in FSMO although this changed with the introduction of battle order when the pack/valise was dispensed with and the haversack worn on the back. There are several versions of each

regards

Dave

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Hi

Originally its just called the 08 pattern PACK there being no 'large' before it although it was sometimes referred to as a valise. The PACK being worn on the back and the 08 HAVERSACK being worn on the side when in FSMO although this changed with the introduction of battle order when the pack/valise was dispensed with and the haversack worn on the back. There are several versions of each

regards

Dave

I think the valise was something different - the officers valise certainly was and was not normally carried on the march but went in the regimental baggage

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#7

bit of a throwback from the Slade Wallace equipment when the back was called the valise although its only referred to as the PACK on the introduction of the 08 equipment

Dave

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That's brilliant thanks. I didn't realise they had to pack so much in what is not a big pack! Have just tried to get it all in but failed, mess tin will have to live on the outside.

Oh and I'll always refer to it as a pack not large pack from now on!!!!!

Cheers.

A while ago I took a look at the subject of how you get so much kit into the pack, and was still left puzzled, however I think it is often overlooked that the average height/size of the men 100 yrs ago, was distinctly smaller than we are used to today. The photo shows my own Greatcoat carefully folded, rolled and compressed and the Pack just about manages to take it, but the coat is for someone 6' tall referred to day as XL in size, so it's hardly any wonder it's a struggle to get it in. Having said that you can clearly see why many mess tins were buckled onto the outside of the Pack etc.

David

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A while ago I took a look at the subject of how you get so much kit into the pack, and was still left puzzled, however I think it is often overlooked that the average height/size of the men 100 yrs ago, was distinctly smaller than we are used to today. The photo shows my own Greatcoat carefully folded, rolled and compressed and the Pack just about manages to take it, but the coat is for someone 6' tall referred to day as XL in size, so it's hardly any wonder it's a struggle to get it in. Having said that you can clearly see why many mess tins were buckled onto the outside of the Pack etc. David

Looks familiar!! I did just manage to get spare socks and shirt in with my holdall and housewife but it was a real squeeze. I'm guessing all your in use stuff, mug, KFS, food etc goes in the haversack. Is there any list for the haversack contents or was that up to the individual?

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#7

bit of a throwback from the Slade Wallace equipment when the back was called the valise although its only referred to as the PACK on the introduction of the 08 equipment

Dave

The meaning of valise had obviously changed by WW1

See the following

"Those officers not on duty all stayed in bed (valises!) and so did the men. We ate, slept, read in our valises. It was so cold outside. We had no fires, absolutely nothing, yet I really believed we enjoyed ourselves. There was practically no shelling." Pte William Purchase

“A” Company Headquarters were a farmhouse kitchen, where we slept in our valises on the red-brick floor." Graves

"Kits for Transport: Great Coats, Valises, Packs, Blankets, etc, will be dumped outside Batt. H.Q. by 4.00p.m.
These men of "I Company who remain at the Brown Line will keep their blankets with them.
The party proceeding to Transport will parade under the Bugle-Major, outside Batt. H.Q. at 5.30p.m. Their blankets will go with these and the remainder of the Battalion"
Extract from Operation Orders by
Lieut. - Col. R.T. Fellowes, D.S.O., M.C.
1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade
There actually appear to have been four things called valises
  1. it seems to have been another name for a kit bag (and when emptied these doubled up as sleeping bags)
  2. an officers leather valise which was more like a conventional piece of civilian luggage with carrying handles and was normally carried on the baggage wagon
  3. a pack valise Graves also mentions these almost in passing and it does sound like a large pack
  4. a form of saddle bag carried in front of the rider and limited to 35 ibs in weight of contents - described by Dr Travis Hampson MC in his diaries
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Looks familiar!! I did just manage to get spare socks and shirt in with my holdall and housewife but it was a real squeeze. I'm guessing all your in use stuff, mug, KFS, food etc goes in the haversack. Is there any list for the haversack contents or was that up to the individual?

Lieutenant Arthur L. Bishop, The Manchester Regiment describes the contents of his haversack in a letter home advising his brother on "coming out"
flask, iron rations, medicine case, scissors, field dressing, maps, combination knife, fork, spoon, razor, brush, soap, comb, tooth brush, compass.
He also describes what is in his pack
Carry a pack on your back. One of the men's converted is what we have. In it carry a regulation blanket, gloves, muffler, Woolsey helmet, one pair socks, and waterproof sheet regulations.
He also has a canvas valise that doubles up as a external sleeping bag and contains
fleabag (sleeping bag), I suit service dress, 1 extra pair puttees, 3 pr heavy socks, ? dozen large hdcks.[handkerchiefs], 1 pair pajamas invaluable when you can (?) get a sleep, 1 pair slippers, 1 cholera belt, change of underwear and khaki shirt.
He advises leaving the sword behind as a "damn nuisance"
It would seem that there were other forms of valise available, one that had a built in folding bed and one that converted into a small one man tent. He advises against these An ordinary wolsey valise of strong canvas is much better than a tent valise such as I have, because when you do see your valise it is always in billets
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The meaning of valise had obviously changed by WW1

Yes the meaning has changed, from circa 1750 to1850 the pack was referred to as the knapsack. The introduction of the Valise equipment in various forms from 1870 through to the final version in 1888 the valise being the large bag/pack for holding the greatcoat, trousers, spare boots, shirt, towel, brushes, socks, knife, fork and fold cap under the flap. This was worn on the back. The 03 pattern leather equipment did away with this entirely but the pack returned in the 08 webbing equipment. It carried a very similar cargo to the valise of previous days.

Regards

Dave

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  • 2 months later...

A while ago I took a look at the subject of how you get so much kit into the pack, and was still left puzzled, however I think it is often overlooked that the average height/size of the men 100 yrs ago, was distinctly smaller than we are used to today. The photo shows my own Greatcoat carefully folded, rolled and compressed and the Pack just about manages to take it, but the coat is for someone 6' tall referred to day as XL in size, so it's hardly any wonder it's a struggle to get it in. Having said that you can clearly see why many mess tins were buckled onto the outside of the Pack etc.

David

Is there a particular way to fold your Great coat for storage in the pack please?

Paul

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There will be a 'by the book' method, but personally this is how I achieved it. Note, this particular greatcoat is a very generous fitting for someone at least 6' tall.


David

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I imagine so, but I've never seen it. I should also add that to get the coat sufficiently compacted you will have to be prepared to kneel on it as each fold is made. It's surprising just how much it can be reduced in size by doing so.

David

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There's a particularly poignant picture in 'The Manchester Pals' by Michael Stedman (p. 146) entitled 'RAMC men searching the packs of the dead and missing for letters and personal effects etc.' showing a big spread of abandonded large packs. They all appear to have been opened, examined and then presumably speedily repacked, by the evidence of the trailing 1"straps. I just wonder if they would have bothered too hard too stuff back in a bulky greatcoat.

Just a thought. This picture made a big impact on me when I first saw it; every pack seems to represent a dead man.

(Apologies for a morbid note to a technical discussion by the way!)

Paul

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Unsure whether there is a “by the book” method for folding the greatcoat to fit into the pack, but there is a “by the book” method to fold it when kit is laid out for a kit inspection. Back in the early 70s as a school cadet when we still had great coast on issue we were taught this. We folded out straw filled palliasse into 3 and laid out everything by the book. This included the old rubberized gas cape that had been introduced in WW1. Excepting that our mess tins were rectangular and webbing if issued was P37, the kit with an SMLE No1 MkIII would have looked very similar to WW1.

The method for folding the great coat was to do up the buttons on the front, undo the buttons on the half belt, lay it face down, fold the sleeves in, and fold it back into portions about 30cm long from the bottom. Lift it over so that the collar & hest is up and bring the half belt sections over the front and do up one button. It makes a neat package and can be lifted by the half belt without falling apart. The soldiers name inside the back of the collar is readily visible. They can be packed this way for company transport and easily distributed back to the correct soldier.

Regards

Ross T

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c.1972 Australian Army Cadets, BCCU 10 Battalion 2Military District (NSW). We were taught this by the regular army instructors based at the battalion HQ building (now the Hornsby SES building) who were all elderly warrant officers with a selection of WW2 and other ribbons.

This was back in the days when Cadets were focussed on traditional military skills, mainly infantry minor tactics and weapons handling. Our school armoury held about 250 x .303s and half a dozen Brens. However we had to go over to the battalion HQ to draw Owens as these were not kept at school.

Regards

RT

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How does one "box" the large pack?

I was always lead to believe you used 4 rectangular cuts of wood... first one placed in the bottom of the pack..... then put in your contents.... place another piece of wood down either side and then finally the last piece on top and close pack. The force of the contents / great coat will push the wooden sides out tight against the walls of the pack. i am probably wrong though with this. I am sure there will be another way! lol

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I was always lead to believe you used 4 rectangular cuts of wood... first one placed in the bottom of the pack..... then put in your contents.... place another piece of wood down either side and then finally the last piece on top and close pack. The force of the contents / great coat will push the wooden sides out tight against the walls of the pack. i am probably wrong though with this. I am sure there will be another way! lol

I can confirm this practice and it was certainly used among some of the Guards Divisions who always strove to shine out. I had relatives who served in the Grenadiers during the 1st War. They would look for the light in weight wood as was used in fruit boxes at the time and cut them to size to fit the inside of the pack. This produced a really smart squared off effect, which can be seen in some photos - I'll post one when I track it down.

David

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