This first figure is a representation of a 19th Armoured Regiment, Captain in Italy during 1944. As he is wearing his Service Dress (SD) he is out of the front line and must either be on official business or on leave. This particular SD was manufactured by John Jones Ltd, Cairo, Egypt. The SD cap does not have any manufacturing information.
The one wound stripe and four service chevrons single this man out as a veteran of the 4th Brigade. This captain was probably promoted from the ranks and would possibly have been a infantry NCO in the 19th Battalion before it was converted into a armoured regiment in 1942.
On both the sleeves is the red square patch of the 4th Brigade and on the epaulettes along with the rank pips are the brass NZ Rifles (NZR) shoulder titles which are interestingly backed in black material.
With the Sam Browne and SD jacket off you can see the shirt, tie and braces worn underneath. The collar is removable and is held onto the shirt with collar studs.
A closer look at the shirt, detachable collar and tie. Both the collar and shirt are marked President, Size 4.
This second figure represents a private of the 25th Battalion, 6th Brigade as he may have appeared in November 1943 on the advance of the NZ Division across the Sangro river towards Orsogna in Italy.
The markings on these size 6 trousers show they were manufactured in 1941 by the Barry Manufacturing Company Ltd.
The BD blouse is dated May 1943. The back view shows the mattock tucked down the back of the 37 pattern haversack and the pannikin attached to the haversack flap.
Close up of the mattock manufacturer information and date. It is dated 1916 and marked Brades Co. which is a trade mark of the Birmingham William Hunt and Sons.
Inside his pockets you may find…
ONE – Wallet with both Italian and military issued currency (1,5 and two 10 lire notes)
TWO – two types of field dressings.
THREE – Soldiers service and pay book.
FOUR – Military hankie.
FIVE – civilian matches (made in Australia)
Inside the haversack you may find…
ONE – US manufactured jersey
TWO – one of the many different types of scarfs that were made on the home front for family or friends serving overseas.
THREE – Housewife with a selection of buttons, buckles, wools and thread to keep the uniform going in the hostile environment of overseas service.
FOUR – a spare set of underwear manufactured in Victoria, Australia.
FIVE – to keep the spirit going a catholic prayer book. This one was published by Catholic United Services Auxiliary , Queensland, Australia.
SIX – a US Italian phrase book dated January 1943.
SEVEN- Indian made Iron ration bag.
EIGHT – British ration tin of boiled sweets salt and matches, dated October 1943.
NINE – Indian manufactured hold all. From left to right the contents are; Soldiers Mirror ( this one is a private purchase and was one of the items sold commemorating NZ’s 100 years in 1940), Razor (private purchase self sharpening Rolls Razor), Bakelite shaving soap case (private purchase Clubman), Brass button stick and Knife Fork and spoon set.
This third figure represents a member of the 35th Battalion from around August 1943 while it was based in Noumea, New Caledonia. The 35th Battalion was part of the 14 Brigade, 3rd NZ Division and took part of the 3rd Divisions actions in the Pacific at Vella Lavella (September 1943 to February 1944) and Nissan Island (February 1944 to May 1944). In early 1944 the NZ government decided to recall the 3rd Division back to NZ due to industrial manpower problems. The 35 Battalion started to reduce its numbers from April 1944 and by the end of the year had been completely disbanded. Many of the members of the battalion who were not returned to essential industries ended up as reinforcements for the 2nd NZEF in Italy.
The back showing the 37 pattern haversack. All the components of the 37 pattern webbing are manufactured by the Canadian Zephyr Looms and Textiles company.
The above pacific uniform was designed at the Jungle and Mountain Warfare school at Trentham Camp, Wellington specifically to suit the needs of NZ service men while in service in the Pacific. It was issued to each man of the 3rd Division in two sets there was the Summer Dress, like the example above, which was plain khaki drill material and another which had been sprayed with lacquer (dark green, chocolate brown, black and lime green) for combat use.
Along with the bush jacket and battledress trousers, there was also a shirt and hat manufactured.
Below is an example of the issue shirt, this one with removable epaulettes, and the bush jacket that has had the camo lacquer spray. As you can see from this example, once worn and washed a few times the lacquers faded into a muted tone with no clear definition to the camouflage pattern.
On the inside of the jacket on the lower right hand side there is a size marking along with date (very faint and date is unreadable) and manufacture stamps.