Personal Kit - Second World War
The Canadian soldier
carried a great deal of equipment into battle with him; he also carried a fair amount of
personal items. This section will focus on those things actually carried in his pockets
or worn on his person. At bottom are some links to other pages dealing with other
personal items he would have carried in his haversack or pouches.
Reconstruction showing personal kit in
use in the Second World War. Enamel mugs were usually white or brown; here a German folding field
stove is in use at left, and the first pattern Canadian stove at right (see also the page
on rations). A ration bag has been used to store tea supplies in. Note the
wristwatch; by the Second World War wrist watches were quite common, either with leather
or metal wrist bands. Period watches did not have a date feature as on later period
Tea was a very common beverage among
the British, and subsequently, the Canadian, Army.
ROLEX was a popular brand name even in the 1940s.
This watch, an expensive item in its day, was purchased for a soldier about to go overseas
and presented as a gift by his parents.
Artifact courtesy The
Calgary Highlanders Museum.
||Waterproof wallets were made from the same rubberized
material as the Anti-Gas cape (in both green, and also green/brown camouflage), and were
often used to carry personal papers, maps, orders, and other items of that nature. In
September 1942, the wallet was officially discontinued to preserve materials but existing
stocks were issued out and unit reserves were ordered drawn on to keep up a supply for as
long as possible.
Artifact and photo
courtesy Gary Balke.