Royal Warwickshire Regiment 
Re-enactment Group

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As well as their weapons, ammunition, explosives, food and other living essentials, soldiers either carried or had transported with them, other items to aid them in a battlefield situation. This page looks at some of these in more depth:

General Service (GS) Shovel/ Pickaxe:

In battlefield situations, the ability of a soldier to be able to find and/ or make cover against enemy fire was very important.

To this end many soldiers were issued with a General Service (GS) shovel or pickaxe in addition to the Entrenching tool they carried as part of their battlewebbing.

This allowed soldiers to 'dig in' quickly in any situation. Those men carrying heavy equipment, such as a Bren Gun or PIAT (Projectile Infantry Anti Tank), were not required to carry a shovel or pickaxe.

Leather Jerkin

In cold or wet weather, soldiers would wear a leather jerkin over their battledress and put their webbing on over it. The Jerkin was not as waterproof as a rain cape (see 'small pack' page) but more practical for every day use.

These were not usually carried by soldiers during the D-Day landings but were issued and worn later in the campaign from the Battalion stores.

Mk II 'Light' Anti Gas Mask and Carrier

The Mask and carrier was either slung across the shoulder or attached to the belt. The carrier and it’s contents were lighter and easier to use than the previous version.


The Kit consisted of:

  1. Carrying bag with either a shoulder strap or belt hooks attached to the rear.
  2. Eye protectors in a protective case.
  3. Gas mask with air filter fitted.
  4. Anti Dimming stick, for use on the lenses of the gas mask to stop them from misting up.
  5. Tin containing eight tubes of anti-gas skin ointment.
  6. Tin containing anti-dimming rags for use on the gas mask lenses.
    We have a video about the Gas Mask on our YouTube page, link below.