Indian Army Mosquito Net

The risk of malaria was recognised by the military from an early point and by the inter war period precautions were routinely taken to minimise the risk of mosquitos at night. In barracks the easiest method was to rig individual mosquito nets above each man’s bed:

Tonight we are looking at an Indian made mosquito net, produced in the late 1930s, for use in a barracks to cover a man’s bed:

The main part of the net is, of course, the net itself. The 1941 ‘Memoranda on Medical Diseases in Tropical and Sub-Tropical Areas’ explains the correct mesh size for mosquito nets:

Reliance is placed primarily upon the mosquito proofing of houses or the use of mosquito nets. The latter should be employed whenever it is possible in the absence of mosquito proofing. On service, suitable types of bivouac or tent nets should be available and the strictest orders in regard to these should be issued… In the case of cotton netting, the mesh consists of two series of holes, the lines intersecting each other at an angle of about 60 degrees. The mesh is the sum of the number of holes along both lines within an area of one square inch, the hole at the angle where the two lines meet being counted twice. The mesh of the nets issued to the army is 28/29 holes to the square inch. Cotton thread is standardised by weight, being described as “30”, “40”, “50” etc., the higher numbers indicating the thinner thread, the thread used for army nets is 30/40 cotton (I.e. 30 warp, 40 bobbin).

The net is edged with cotton panels that give the mosquito net its structure and has cotton ties that allow it to be secured to a frame or wires and rolled up and tied during the day:

The RAMC’s journal gave some advice on how to set up the mosquito nets back in 1927:

The mosquito net has a plethora of different stamps over it. There is the usual circular Indian Army acceptance stamp that dates this to 1943:

Another large stamp seems to refer to the roll of netting the mosquito net was cut from, again there is a date of 1943:

Finally there is a large purple stamp that I do not know the meaning of, but may be an inspector’s stamp:

This mosquito net is large and in surprisingly good condition, the netting often getting damaged and ripped

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