South African Shell Dressing

Last December we looked at a South African first field dressing here. First field dressings were issued to each individual solider and were designed for immediate use in the case of injury. Medics had larger bandages for use in the field for more serious injuries, known as shell dressings and it is the South African version of this dressing from World War II we are considering today. It is a single, large dressing in a cotton bag with instructions for its use printed on one side in English:

The opposite side repeats these instructions, but in Afrikaans for those South Africans for whom this was their main language:

Unlike British shell dressings which opened at the top of the packet, South African versions open on the side, with a couple of little stitches to hold the contents but easily broken to access the dressing:

Further instructions are printed on the opposite end of the dressing packet, again in English:

And Afrikaans:

These South African dressings are really quite scarce in the UK and this example has taken many years to track down for the collection. I am still looking for post war versions to add to my SADF collection, but the printing on those is much simpler than this example.

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