Gaiters or puttees?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Vasco, Aug 19, 2009.

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  1. When and, more important, why did short puttees become the smart thing to wear?

    When I was a cadet in the early 1960s, nearly everybody wore gaiters, I think. I can't remember what we wore in the OTC in 1966, but when I joined the RMR in 1968, they were wearing puttees - but I distinctly remember seeing The King's Regiment wearing blackened gaiters at Ballykinler later in 1968. By the time I went to the RAF OCTU in 1972, even they were wearing puttees.

    I very much preferred the puttees myself, having invested in a couple of pair of Fox's - they were very comfortable, better than gaiters at sealing your trousers to your boots if you wound them properly (which my OCTU flight commander did not know how to do and refused to be told) and there was nothing to polish or blanco. I would wear them today for hill walking except that my Alt Bergs have very high, thick padded ankles and they just don't work properly.

    And were gaiters properly known as gaiters or were they anklets?
  2. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Puttees every time.

    They gave support to the ankle but more to the point did not have to be blancoed and the brasses cleaned :D
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Spot on there and they didn't leave a mess on the bottom of your denims.
  4. I remember a certain CSM explaining to me gently that they were anklets ,................. cos only effin bishops wear effin gaiters !
  5. Joined up 1970 having to put blanco on gaiters to the satisfaction of a certain drill Cpl in Arborfield who shall remain nameless. That fuker was not easy to satisfy! Can't remember when I got puttees but not long after passing out. Puttees were the best.
  6. I joined in 1970 and for at least a year we wore blancoed anklets (Navy wore gaiters; double the size and with four straps/buckles). There were two types, one had leather straps that had to be boot-polished and the other had webbing straps that were blancoed. Both had brass buckles and a fiddle to Brasso!

    Some time around 1971/72 we were instructed to boot polish over the blanco and continued to use them for working-dress.

    Puttees had replaced anklets for use with combats by 1973 but I can't remember when we stopped using anklets altogether.
  7. Gaiters are a lot more "ally"......

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Not an 'Andy Capp' to be seen!
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  9. I only ever blancoed gaiters and polished brass buckles in basic and trade training. After that, every working unit I was in wore boot-polished gaiters with blacked out brasses. I prefer gaiters myself.

    As I remember it, gaiters superseded putees, since only the "old sweats" ever wore them. So when did putees actually make a comeback?

  10. We wore blancoed gaiters when I joined in '59 and there were two unofficially recommended ways of making your trouser/gaiter interface look better - weights or knicker-elastic bands. I preferred weights. 8)
    I didn't see puttees until '62 - at the same time as I was told to remove all the bull from my work boots and dubbin them! 8O
  11. The chap 3rd from the right -- revolver carried nonchalantly in his lower left Dennison pocket. Nails!
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  12. That's his racing spoon
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. I used both during my time,and also found that the puttees much the better,1- for giving some support to the ankles 2-much easier to clean.As per an earlier post i used weights with BD and gaiters,but found it better to use elastics with puttees.
  14. When was your time? I ask because I had the impression that it was airborne forces that introduced the short puttee, so you may be able to date the transition!
  15. All I remember is that puttees were a real bitch to put on with a hangover :(