Anti-Flash Gloves

As another year ends, it is perhaps a good time for reflection. Looking back 2021 has seen the world begin to open up again and although things are still far from normal, at least it has been possible to get back out to living history events, markets and shops to look for kit in person again, rather than relying purely on online shops. Hopefully we will get back to even more normality in 2022 and put the last couple of years behind us. I have plenty of items to bring you in the new year and as usual there seems to be no shortage of interesting items out there to collect, research and write about. We are now entering our seventh year of the blog and I am very proud of how the site has developed over the years as it has turned into a great online resource for all things British, Empire and Commonwealth Militaria!

Back to today’s object, however. Earlier in the month we looked at the anti-flash hood used to protect a sailor’s head in the case of an explosion. This item of protective clothing was not used on its own, however, and is paired with a pair of matching anti-flash gloves that protect the user’s hands from flash burns:

These gloves are made of the same treated cotton as the hood, designed to offer protection from sudden flashes of flame rather than prolonged exposure to fire. The gloves stretch up to the elbow to provide full protection, a piece of elastic is sewn into the wrist to pull the fabric in here to prevent such a long glove from billowing out. A second piece of elastic is provided at the cuff to make a good seal with the wearer’s shirt:

The gloves come in a cellophane stores wrapper, with a sticker on the front giving details of NSN number and a barcode for stock keeping procedures:

Much of the same information is repeated on the label inside the gloves:

The gloves are seen when a ship is expecting action, such as in this image where sailors in blue overalls have donned anti-flash with their usual uniforms:

Different types of anti-flash gloves were produced, this being the simplest. One sailor recalls:

If the practice of anti-flash gloves and hood are worn correctly bare skin will be covered up and the prevention of heavy burns can be carried out to the best of its ability.

I loved my gloves I had as I was lucky to get the gloves with the leather style hand parts for use in the ops room. So much better than the full cotton ones that were a nightmare trying to type injections in the Radar system lol. As for lack of communication it didn’t hinder it. I never had a problem listening to the other people over the head sets be it internal comms or external over the net. I defo didn’t fail to hear the gollies blowing their whistles the RP’s rimmed the night before followed by their shouting about the emissions.

Obviously they won’t stop you burning if you are faced with full on fire but they are there to prevent flash burning hence the term anti flash. It’s not rocket science

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