Topic: Soldiers' Load
Dress and Equipment (1918)
S.S. 135 — The Division in Attack; Issued by the General Staff, November, 1918
Appendix K – Dress and Equipment
1. Officers. — All infantry officers taking part in an attack must be dress and equipped exactly the same as their men. Sticks are not to be carried.
2. Fighting Order. — It is impossible to lay down definitely the equipment rto be carried in an attack. It must depend upon the distance of the objectives, the condition of the ground and other circumstances. Weight must always be the guiding factor in arriving at a decision in the matter of equipment. The following is suggested as a normal fighting order for all ranks of infantry, machine guns, light mortar and engineer units:—
(i.) Clothing, etc. Worn on the man. — As issued.
(ii.) Arms. — As issued.
(iii.) Entrenching Tool. — As issued.
(iv.) Accoutrements. — As issued.
(v.) Box Respirator.
(vi.) Solidified Alcohol. — As issued.
(vii.) Articles Carried in the pack. — Mess tin, cardigan jacket, when issued, pair of socks, spare oil tin, holdall, iron ration, unexpended portion of day's ration, waterproof sheet, and two sandbags.
(viii.) Ammunition. — 170 rounds, except for signallers, scouts, runners, machine, Lewis, and Stokes mortar gunners and carrying parties, who will only carry 50 rounds.
(ix.) Bombs. — The number to be carried must be determined by the task to be carried out, the condition of the ground and the general physique of the men. (See S.S. 182, "Instructions on Bombing," Part II, para 28.)
(x.) Aeroplane Flares. — Two, carried one in each bottom pocket of the jacket. They are not required by engineer, pioneer, machine gun and light mortar units.
(xi.) Water. — One filled water bottle. A second water bottle is useful when there is likely to be difficulty in sending up water, or in warm weather.
3. Disposal of Surplus Clothing and Equipment. — The surplus clothing and equipment of each man will be tied up in his haversack or a labelled sandbag, which will be stored under cover at the unit's transport lines or in some suitable building, if available.
4. In addition to the munitions and stores mentioned in paragraph 2, the following ammunition stores, etc., may be required:—
(i.) Wire Cutters and Breakers. — Wire cutters must be attached to the man's shoulder strap by a string, and cutters tucked into his waist belt.
(ii.) Picks and Shovels. — The tools should be carried on the back.
(iii.) S.O.S. Signals. — Twelve should be carried by each company, to be distributed among the reserves.
(iv.) Artillery Flags or Discs. — One to be carried by a selected N.C.O. Or man in each platoon of assaulting troops.
(v.) P. or K.J. Bombs. — Carried by parties especially detailed for clearing trenches and dug-outs.
(vi.) Hand and Rifle Bombs. — Carried by bombers and rifle bombers, either in waistcaots, haversacks or canvas buckets. (See S.S. 182, "Instructions on Bombing," Part II, para 28.)
(vii.) Very Pistols. — Two 1-in. Very light pistols should be carried with each company headquarters for signalling to the artillery.
5. Issue of S.A.A., Tools, etc. — In order to save the men unnecessary fatigue, it may be possible to issue the S.A.A., bombs, tools, flares, S.O.S. Signals, etc., mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 4, which are not part of the man's ordinary equipment, at a forward dump. This dump must be sufficiently far back, however, to avoid the danger of heavy shell fire and the resulting confusion.
These stores, which are additional to the establishment fixed for the dump, should be laid out beforehand, so that no time may be lost in issuing them.