Rubber Outer NBC Gloves

As part of the British Army’s NBC equipment, men were issued with two pairs of gloves. An inner white pair of gloves was made of cotton, whilst the outer, impermeable layer were made of thick black rubber:

These gloves were issued in five different sizes and were packaged in a protective clear plastic sleeve:

A small V-notch is cut into the plastic to allow it to be easily ripped open to access the gloves:

A card packing label is sealed inside the packet and this has the stores code, size information and date of packing printed on it:

The size and date are also printed onto the cuffs of the gloves with white lettering:

The gloves are made of a heavy duty black rubber and these early examples have texturing on the palm and fingers to aid grip:

Later production would delete this texturing in favour of a plain glove.

The gloves were availabe in sizes 8, 8 1/2, 9, 9 1/2 and 10 and the following guides were issued to help soldiers chose the correct sizing of glove:


1. TO MEASURE YOUR HAND. Place your right hand on the chart over the outline of the hand printed in red. The position of your first finger is critical. Read off the mesurements on the vertical and horizontal scales.

2. TO WORK OUT YOUR GLOVE SIZE. Use the conversion chart and measurements of your hand to work out your NBC size. It should help most people to obtain the right sized gloves. However, the chart will not work for everyone because to be accurate hands have to be measured in three dimensions and the chart can only deal with two dimensions. The red hand outline helps you to locate your hand for measuring. Using it as an example you can see it is 91mm across the palm and 123mm first finger tip to thumb crotch. A hand of this size would probably need a size 9 NBC glove.

These gloves gave the wearer three hours of protection in a contaminated area, more if they were decontaminated within 15 minutes.

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