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Re-enactment Uniform, Weapons, and Equipment




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If you've been elsewhere on this website, you'll have seen the Weapons and Equipment section in the history component. This is a complementary guide to equipment carried/worn by the Group as re-enactors. Starting at the feet!


The British Soldier of WW2 wore a number of styles of boot. Predominantly, however, he wore the Boot, Ammunition - which had hardly changed for 100 years. A steel studded sole (numbers of studs varied by trade, cost, and in some cases unit). Rubber soles were also seen, particularly by the Commandos. Officers wore their own Brown boots. Those personnel parachute trained either in Canada or the US sometimes wore the Corcoran brown high leg boot (at least one member of 317 FSS wore these in Normandy). Re-enactors of 89 FSS wear a variety of the above for completeness. 


Being parachute trained 89 and 317 FSS personnel wore the 1942 Trousers parachutist in the field its larger, leather lined front pocket and additional rear field dressing pockets, mark it from the standard 1937/40 Pattern Battledress trousers used for walking out and other duties. Re-enactors of 89 FSS have both. 


Other ranks initially wore a khaki woollen shirt "Angola" with a brown KD short collar to attach a detachable collar to, later the 1944 Pattern shirt in a greener khaki was introduced. Officers bought their own. Re-enactors of 89 FSS have a selection. 


The Jacket, Battledress 1937 and 1940, distinguishable by the latter's exposed buttons were worn throughout WW2. Re-enactors of 89 FSS have both. Officers had also service dress which may occasionally be seen, with SD Cap and Sam Brown Belt. 


As members of the Airborne Divisions 89 and 317 FSS personnel wore the Maroon Beret complete with Intelligence Corps cap badge. Re-enactors of 89 FSS wear them with pride. 

Smock, Denison, Parachutist 1942

As Airborne troops 89 and 317 FSS personnel the camouflaged Denison Smock. Re-enactors of 89 FSS wear either a 1st or 2nd Pattern smock. 


Airborne troops had to minimise the equipment they carried, but still wore the load carrying 1937 Pattern webbing - the system of pouches and packs carried all they needed in the field, but was often discarded in battle in favour of bandoliers of ammo, for both the Sten and Enfield. All Int Corps personnel carried holstered pistols. Re-enactors of 89 FSS have sets of webbing (including the ankle gaiter) and spare belts and gaiters for smart walking out. 


As Airborne troops, distinctive rimless Parachute Helmets were worn, Re-enactors of 89 FSS have a number of war time styles. 


The Sten Mk V 9mm Carbine was used both in Normandy and at Arnhem, as well as either a .45 Colt Automatic or .38 Enfield revolver. Earlier in the war, the Mk II Sten was used as well as the .303 Enfield Rifles. Bayonets and FS Fighting Knives were also carried. Re-enactors of 89 FSS have an appropriate selection of legally held blank firing or deactivated weapons for display and use at public shows. Bayonets and Knives are never drawn in front of the general public, save at a recognisably safe distance. 

Other Equipment 

A large amount of other equipment, both military and personal, is held for public display. This includes wartime style airborne Jeeps for transport, tent-age, cooking equipment for the home comforts and a fully functional wartime intelligence office with telephones and typewriters. This all leads to a rounded WW2 era display. 

(Cost!!! The average cost of putting a WW2 era airborne representation together is just under 1000.)

If you visit the "Links" web page you will find a list of suppliers of re-enactment equipment.


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