L4 Gunner Impression, 1983

It is 1983 and this L4 gunner is on exercise. He wears the 1968 Pattern combat uniform, with shirt, scrim scarf, short puttees and DMS boots and on his head is the Mk4 helmet with Mk 5 liner, covered in DPM fabric and scrimmed. As an L4 gunner, he carries the little webbing wallet containing the cleaning kit for his LMG. His webbing is the 58 pattern set with field dressing taped to the shoulder and a smoke grenade hooked through one of the loops on the yoke. He wears the recently introduced Mk2 Assault Life Jacket as he is coming ashore from a landing craft.

  1. 68 Pattern Smock
  2. Assault Life Jacket
  3. Mk 4 Helmet
  4. Shirt
  5. L4 Cleaning Kit
  6. 68 Pattern Trousers
  7. 58 Pattern webbing set
  8. Scrim scarf
  9. Short puttees
  10. DMS Boots
  11. L4 Light Machine Gun

2 comments

  1. I did my NZ Army recruit training in 1983. At that time the NZ Infantry Battalions still had L4’s, but on the recruit course, we trained on the original .303 models. Many were manufactured in 1941 but despite their age were still effective weapons. Had some good time at the range shooting them.

  2. Great impression – well done!

    With the puttees begin by rolling them like a bandage, so the start of the puttee (the end with the straight edge) is outermost. Place this straight edge against the inside leg roughly in line with the inner ankle. Wrap the puttee around your ankle tightly: clockwise for the left; anticlockwise for the right. Some soldiers would wrap the puttee just slightly higher up the leg for each turn, but it’s not necessary. The line of stitching next to the lace holes on the outside of the DMS boot should be where you are aiming for with the bottom corner of the triangle of material that forms the end of the wool part. Wrap the tape tightly around the middle of the puttee. Towards the end of the tape go just past the apex of the woolen part and then thread the end of the tape inside the tape wrapped around the puttee. Pull all the remaining tape through, and then pass the tape over where you first tucked it in and take the tape back around the back of the tape wrapped around the puttee. Keep repeating until just a very short piece remains and just tuck this in (hope this all makes sense!)

    Pick helve carriage between (?) the belt and kidney pouches is a bit of an unorthodox method. Most would just secure it at the yoke and cape carrier, wrapping two sandbags around the helve shaft to provide some cushioning.

    Although seen in period photos, you would be ‘encouraged’ to carry smoke grenades in ammo pouches, usually with the request involving the question: ‘who so you think you are, John Wayne?’

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