Some time back we looked at the different Mk II anti gas eyeshield packets here. Today we are looking at the Mk III version. The eyeshields themselves appear to be unchanged, but the design of the packet has been updated to change the orientation of the COECDO instructions from horizonal to vertical:
As was often the case, these eyeshields remained in store and were inspected and found to still be serviceable in 1955:
The packets are printed with decontamination instructions and what to do if you hear a gas alarm:
The contents of the packet are unchanged and includes both clear eyeshields:
The tinted eyeshields were included, according to an official history, for the following reason:
Tinted eyeshields were introduced for tropical and sub-tropical theatres to increase comfort by combining anti-glare with anti-gas and anti-dust protection.
This paragraph shows the other use for the eyeshields, to keep dust out of the eyes. The same history explains:
Eyeshields were a cheap expendable store…the use of eyeshields for anti-dust purposes, if so desired, was permitted.
The packs usually contained four clear eyeshields and two tinted examples. The eyeshields were flat packed and had to be secured at the corners with press studs to be worn:
The eyeshields were used vastly more often as cheap protection ot the eyes from dust and dirt, even seeing some service aboard naval ships:
One might be forgiven for thinking that the eyeshields had had their day by the end of World War II, although the inspection codes on the packets shows this was not the case. The official history explaines the thinking:
A drop of liquid nerve gas in the eye can be lethal; this emphasises the necessity for the continued inclusion of eyeshields in our anti-gas equipment.
These were favoured by both my father and myself for use as lightweight and comfortable goggles for riding our motor biles in the 1960s.They had been used by my father in the Western Desert in WW2, and he pointed to the fact that Rommel liked them too. Many pictures of him in the desert show a pair around the brim of his cap.