Hose Tops

#1
One for the ancient FARELF hands.

For some incomprehensible reason the words "hose tops" drifted into my conciousness.
I think I recall wearing these things with shorts, and I remember having a string tie with two small flashes at the top (in Arm/Service colours?) but for the life of me I can't remember what happened at the lower end where they met the shoe/sock. Did the ankle length desert boots cover the join between sock and hose top? Conversely, did the hose top overlap the top of the desert boot?

I will worry about this all day until someone enlightens me!
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#2
They're also worn with the kilt. In ceremonial dress they're worn with spats but in working dress they're worn with high leg boots. In the good old days it was boots and puttees.

I've heard people say that they wore them with gaiters but that would have been long before my time.
 
#3
IIRC the hose tops were a footless stocking which went over the sock. The boot DMS (Ammo in your day?) was then worn with a puttee and stringed flash was worn on the roll down at the top. In true army fashion I remember them being itchy as hell.
 
#4
Sodding awful things, had to wear them o9n gate guard at Airport Camp Belize circa '74. Worn with black Regimental puttees and boots DMS. Never stopped itching.
 
#6
I clicked on this topic with enthusiasm, misinterpreting as the American understanding of the word: webbing.
Sadly I cannot contribute as I didn’t have a fcuking clue and had to resort to M. Google. Any chance of a US hose-top discussion?
 
#7
IIRC the hose tops were a footless stocking which went over the sock.
That's so, the hosetops were actually described on the 1157 as 'Stockings, footless'.

Although the bog standard colour for infantry and RA was kharki, there must have been at least 50 differents varieties for different arms and regiments. Pretty well every corps had their own, the medics' dull-cherry toned ones stood out a bit!

The Scottish regiments usually had their tartan as the folded bit on the top.
 
#8
IIRC the hose tops were a footless stocking which went over the sock. The boot DMS (Ammo in your day?) was then worn with a puttee and stringed flash was worn on the roll down at the top. In true army fashion I remember them being itchy as hell.
Ah....got it. You are absolutely right about ammo boots and puttees. That explains my concern about how the lower end worked.

The desert boot memory caused the confusion. I now remember that on Saturday mornings we could wear a civilian form of uniform to work, consisting of white shirt, white shorts, long white socks (I think with the stringed flashes) and desert boots.
 

CanteenCowboy

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
They're also worn with the kilt. In ceremonial dress they're worn with spats but in working dress they're worn with high leg boots. In the good old days it was boots and puttees.

I've heard people say that they wore them with gaiters but that would have been long before my time.
No no no, diced hose (either red/white or red/black) are worn with Spats (Gaiters Highland) and Lovat Hose (Lovat Green (well obviously) are worn with brogues in 'kilt working', Lovat Hose are good as they actually have feet. Nowadays the RRS wears red/black diced hose.

The only 'people' I knew to wear BCH with kilts were Tug O' War teams and the Black Watch (spit) RP Staff (spit), I always wore cotton rich socks under my diced hose had to be a light colour, and any colout under the Lovat Hose to comfort my little toes as Army Brogues are not the most comfortable style of footwear.

Again one of the good points about being a stinking civvy now, I will never again have to wear brogues just because it's Friday. But then again it's also slightly sad.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
No no no, diced hose (either red/white or red/black) are worn with Spats (Gaiters Highland) and Lovat Hose (Lovat Green (well obviously) are worn with brogues in 'kilt working', Lovat Hose are good as they actually have feet. Nowadays the RRS wears red/black diced hose.
You must have been in a very rich battalion. We wore (and the regiment still wears) diced hose tops with spats. Diced and plain hose tops were worn with puttees and DMS. Diced being issued and plain being self purchase.

The only 'people' I knew to wear BCH with kilts were Tug O' War teams and the Black Watch (spit) RP Staff (spit), I always wore cotton rich socks under my diced hose had to be a light colour, and any colout under the Lovat Hose to comfort my little toes as Army Brogues are not the most comfortable style of footwear.
As I understand it is still drill order with assault boots although not often worn.

Again one of the good points about being a stinking civvy now, I will never again have to wear brogues just because it's Friday. But then again it's also slightly sad.
You may not have to but there is nothing stopping you.
 
#12
The askaris in one (and probably more) of the old colonial African regiments used to wear footless hose/puttees with bloody sandals in parade order. Only the British could think of wrapping legs in wool in the tropics. Superb phot by the way. When was it taken? Pre-64 obviously.
 
#13
The askaris in one (and probably more) of the old colonial African regiments used to wear footless hose/puttees with bloody sandals in parade order. Only the British could think of wrapping legs in wool in the tropics. Superb phot by the way. When was it taken? Pre-64 obviously.

May '61, just after my passing out parade, hence the creases in the starched shorts & jacket, before any parade, to avoid creases in the shorts one couldn't sit down as it would crease to buggery, the same with the jacket, the first "shoulder arms" creased the sleeves, fortunately the working dress was a soft, unstarched cotton shirt with rolled up sleeves, see below. I'd dumped the "Bombay Bowler" aka "Wolseley helmet" & put the cap on so my mum could see it was me when I sent her the photo .
 

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#14
Thirty rounds of 9mm: all that's standing between law & order - and 10,000 screaming natives armed with sharpened guava fruit.
 
#15
Thirty rounds of 9mm: all that's standing between law & order - and 10,000 screaming natives armed with sharpened guava fruit.
:) In any serious disturbances I always went out with an armed section, the others would be tooled up with long batons aka pick axe handles & shields, akin to the lads in steel helmets in this shot, my car (land rover) crew, all picked from a tough tribe who had traditional grievances with the local tribes! In our mob, the NRP, no African policeman was allowed to serve in his own tribal area for at least ten years, preferably never!!
 

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BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#16
:) In any serious disturbances I always went out with an armed section, the others would be tooled up with long batons aka pick axe handles & shields, akin to the lads in steel helmets in this shot, my car (land rover) crew, all picked from a tough tribe who had traditional grievances with the local tribes! In our mob, the NRP, no African policeman was allowed to serve in his own tribal area for at least ten years, preferably never!!
Are they pith helmets or are they more like British bobby's helmets?
 
#17
I quite liked the get-up to be honest, DMS blue hose tops putees and red flashes(forever losing) and a manly brown pair of knees,ffs whats not to like?
and to come back in mid morning and a freshly laundered starched to **** clean pair of shorts and a shirt on your bed, all for the princely sum of 2/6 a week to the dhobi-wallah.
 
#18
I remember my mother once quizzing me about these strange numbers inked on my shirts. I explained it was my dhobi number. She thought I washed all my own kit. 'Yes mam, but not in the colonies.'

The NRP lids were pith helmets - solar topees and not true 'Wolsleys' (which had a taller crown). They were better than the ridiculous-looking flat-topped BSAP equivalent.
 
#19
Are they pith helmets or are they more like British bobby's helmets?
A type of pith helmet, officially called "small Khaki covered cork 'Polo' Helmet, smaller than our "Wolsey" type pith helmets which we only ever wore in full dress. Because I spent nearly 18 months on the Border patrol between Katanga (Congo) & N. Rhodesia & so often spent several days in the bush well off the beaten track I was allowed to wear a Bush hat, a wide brimmed slouch hat not unlike the Aussie hat without the turned up side! On these patrols I always took my Pistol, at least one .303 and a Greener shotgun! You never knew quite what you would run into!
 
#20
Elephants?
 
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