Pup Tent

Probably the easiest piece of British Army tentage to find is the humble pup tent. This is a small, two man tent, officially called a bivouac tent, that was introduced in 1942. It was made in brown canvas and was a traditional triangular design:

Weather flaps are fitted at either end that extend outwards to a point and are secured with interlacing cords:

When unlaced, these flaps can be folded back to give access to the interior of the tent:

The tent has loops sewn along either side of it which allow wooden pegs to be passed through, twisted and hammered into the ground to secure the tent down:

Pockets down either side of the tent can be filled with stones or earth to weight down the edges to stop the wind from creeping under the sides of the tent:

The tent does not have a ridge pole, but does have two wooden poles to support it, along with eight wooden pegs that are hammered into the ground to hold the tent up:

The tent is stamped with the mark for John Hawley and Co of Walsall:

Margaret Haydon was one of those who worked making the pup tents, albeit the variation with an integral mosquito net:

During WW2 I worked as an overlocker at Congleton Garments, opposite the electric sub-station in Bromley Road, Congleton. I made “san fry” tents which were part of the soldiers’ equipment and they had to be carried with them. The tents were made from very thick beige net and the material came through to me with tape attached ready to tie into the pegs. My job was to overlock the material and then sew it up to make it into a tent for one person. This was day work and I can remember that the making of the tents was very mauling work.

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