In the past we have looked at the standard British Army hussif or housewife; tonight we are going to consider the version produced as part of the 1944 pattern tropical kit. In the jungle a sewing kit was of even more significance than in temperate battlefields. Clothes are easily ripped on dense jungle vegetation and the hot and humid condition causes fabrics and stitching to decay at an alarming rate. Whilst the eventual disintegration of uniforms is inevitable, with care the soldier could delay this as long as possible.
The 1944 pattern hussif is similar in design to its forebears, but made of green cloth rather than white, with a pair of green tapes to wrap around it and tie it shut:Opening it out the black waterproof lining becomes visible as does a piece of shirting material sewn into the flap, this can be used as a pin cushion or cut up an used for patching damaged uniforms:The pocket inside the hussif would contain needles, buttons and threads, some of these are missing on this example, but there are still some green plastic buttons, a pack of darning needles and some grey wool for repairing socks:The National Army Museum has a sealed pattern example of the 1944 pattern hussif here, this example is dated 19th October 1944, showing production had certainly begun before the end of the war. Despite this very little 1944 pattern webbing or equipment had reached the Far East before the end of the war; much of the equipment would not enter regular service until the Malayan Emergency when it finally came into its own.