Australian Long Johns

Despite being a relatively warm country, the Australian military still used traditional woolen underwear for many years after the Second World War for service in colder climes, such as their sojourn to Korea in 1952. Today we have a pair of Australian woolen long johns, produced as part of the cold weather kit available to Australian troops in the 1950s:

The long johns are made of a knitted material, with a three button fly and loops to allow the pair of trouser braces to pass through them to hold them up (no elastic here!):

A cotton tape at the rear allows a modicum of size adjustment:

The cuff of each leg tapers in to get a snug fit with the leg, helping trap air within the long johns and keeping the wearer warm:

A large coloured ink stamp is applied to the front of the long johns and shows they were made in 1954 and are property of the Australian Department for Defence:

As well as this stamp, a label is sewn into the waistbelt:

Happily this pair of long johns seems to be unissued, although quite how it made it to the UK is a little unclear. With much of my Australian post war collection focusing on the Vietnam era onwards, it is nice to occasionally add something from a little earlier.

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