Originally posted 2017-04-05 14:13:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
What did WW1 British Army soldiers carry in their kitbags?
Soldiers in the British Army carried kit and different weapons, depending on what part of the army they were serving in. Together these usually weighed around 61lbs (27kg), which is about the same as ten light bowling balls.
As their packs were so heavy, soldiers had to be careful not to carry too many extra items, even the letters their families sent could weigh them down and often had to be thrown away.
Most soldiers had these standard items in their backpacks:
Greatcoat (a long army coat)
Mess tin (like a lunch box to hold food)
Groundsheet (a waterproof sheet to use when sleeping or sitting on the ground)
They also wore:
Two ammunition carriers holding 75 rounds (bullets).
A haversack (bag with a shoulder strap worn across the body)
A bayonet frog on their belt (a sheath which their bayonet fitted into)
A water bottle
An entrenching tool (a combined pick and shovel)
Officers were given a few extra items, like a sword and pistol, a pair of wire cutters, binoculars or a telescope and a compass.
(Information sourced from The Western Front Association website – see link below)
Ammunition – things used as weapons, like bullets and bombs
Bayonet – blade attached to the end of a rifle
Binoculars – special glasses used to see distances
Entrenching tool – tool for digging a trench
Haversack – a large backpack, like a rucksack
Infantry – soldiers who fight on land
Lanyard – something worn around your neck on a cord