Late 1960’s Northern Ireland Impression

It is the late 1960s and this engineer has been deployed to the streets of Belfast to help build barriers between the Catholic and Protestant parts of the city. He is lightly equipped, but still armed and ready for anything that the locals might throw at him.

The 1968 pattern DPM uniform has not yet been introduced, so he wears the earlier olive green 1960 pattern uniform, with woollen shirt, scrim scarf and short woollen puttees. On his feet he has DMS boots and his helmet is the Mk IV that has been in service since the end of World War II. His webbing is the skeleton 58 pattern set, with belt, yoke and two ammunition pouches. He does not need to wear a waterbottle as he is working with vehicles and supplies are carried in those. He is armed with a Sterling sub machine gun, the sling of which is attached to the butt cap and clipped to one of the D-Rings on the yoke of the webbing so that it cannot be snatched away from him. At this early date body armour is still not common and the infantry are equipped in a lighter variant of standard combat uniform without any specialist equipment.

  1. 1960 Pattern Combat Smock
  2. Mk IV Helmet
  3. 1960 Pattern Combat trousers
  4. Scrim Scarf
  5. Short woollen puttees
  6. DMS Boots
  7. Green woollen shirt
  8. 58 Pattern Webbing
  9. Sterling SMG


  1. Ed, another excellent impression. My only comment is that your DMS boots are not correctly laced. Should be leather laces done in a parallel ‘ladder’ fashion. Tie a knot at one end and thread through the lace holes bottom up then wrap the long end around the ankle to be covered by the puttees. Also the shirt would be the khaki flannel type. Green shirts did not appear until the mid 1970s. My service dates 1969 to 2001.

      • Sorry to be picky but just noticed your 58 pattern belt is upside down. D rings on the back should be at the bottom and are to attach the poncho roll.

    • Hi, it is a very useful detail for cold war re-enacting fans. Thanks both! And can you tell me when were the DMS Hi-leg boots MKI and MKII issued?

    • Yes, the real reason for it is so the laces can be deftly undone by a stroke of a knife should one be unfortunate enough to become a casualty. However I was told years ago by a chap who won the MM in the western Desert, that troops of that epoch were warned against not adopting the ladder style of lacing by telling the story that Gurkha’s would creep about at night and adopt the tactic of feeling bootlaces, and should they be of a crossed nature, the kukri was on hand to despatch the target in the fairly certain knowledge that he would not be one of us. The story was embellished with the telling that morning would find a few individualist Brits, and a number of Yanks with slit throats.

    • Hi Tom- I would love to, but they are all dependent on what kit I have available, if I can remember which box it is stored in and how easy it is to reach! I will see what I can come up with for later in the year…

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