Leather Artillery Knee Pad

Today’s soldier wears far more body armour and padding than his predecessor in the Second World War. Body armour was in its infancy and heavy and unwieldy, and the idea of padded protection on knees and elbows for the combat infantryman was unheard of. Despite this, leather knee pads were issued in small numbers during training to soldiers form the Royal Artillery who might be expected to remain knelt on one knee servicing their guns for long periods of time. The pads were of the simplest construction, being merely a shaped piece of leather and a simple strap to attach it around the leg:imageA buckle was fastened to the one side for the strap to secure through:imageThis example is /|\ marked:imageAnd dated 1941:imageThe manufacturer is ‘AG & CL’, I believe this would be the mark of A Garstin & Company Ltd of London who specialised in fancy leather goods between the wars:332px-Im1929BIF-GarstinPhotographs of the knee pads in use are rare, but this example of the Parachute Regiment training on mountain howitzers shows off the knee pads:imageThe front of the pad can be seen on the man on the left, and rear on the man on the right:IMG_4808My example seems to be unissued and the lack of photographic evidence would suggest that these pads were not used with any great regularity.

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