Australian Aertex Washroll

Many of us in the UK are familiar with the rubberised fabric washroll that was introduced as part of the 1944 jungle kit and continues in service to the present day. With its cord to tie around the waist and pockets to hold wash kit, it is a very useful item to keep a soldier clean in the field. The design was not just used by the British however and today we are looking at an example from Australia where the basic design has been modified slightly. Firstly, instead of being made of rubberised canvas, it is now made in an open weave aertex fabric, although the similarity of the basic design is very apparent:

Like its British equivalent, tapes are provided at each end to tie around the waist and a pair of shorter tapes in the middle to secure it when rolled up:

Aertex is obviously not waterproof and so, to protect the contents and prevent any wet items such as tooth brushes or razors damaging other items in the pack, this washroll has clear plastic sewn into the inside to provide the waterproofing:

This method of construction seems perfectly acceptable and I am not clear why it was chosen over the British pattern, perhaps it was as simple as what materials were available to the manufacturers in Australia. The wash roll is undated, however it is probably from the immediate post war period and was probably in service at least as late as the Vietnam War.

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