wot the fcuk were puttees for?

#1
I wore puttees for years. yesterday whilst walking through Eden camp museum I pointed a set out to my kids and they asked me what purpose they served.
I didnt have a clue, can anyone be of assistance?
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#2
Puttees had a myriad uses. Among others, they stopped snakes from biting your ankles, and prevented those really irritating bits of gravel dropping into your boots when tramping about in the boonies.
 
#3
Faced with a narrow stream, you could run through and the puttees would stop most of the water from going into your boots.

If you were in water for long periods puttees/DMS still held an advantage over the current high leg boots in that they held less water.

Puttees could also be improvised into bandages, slings and all manner of strops, etc.

Puttees Snr told me that the original puttees (wound from ankle to knee) were devised to prevent the blast of an explosion travelling up inside your trouser legs, which would have a painful result, but I suspect it was really just to stop your trousers getting muddy.
 
#5
They also stopped the trouser elastics cutting off the blood flow to your feet.
 
#6
Once did a march and shoot - one of my section fractured his ankle but didn't know till he took his puttees off a couple of miles later.
 
#7
Well, in my day (old buffer's voice), not a first aid lesson went by without the use of puttees. How we expect youngsters to cope these days without puttees, I don't know. They'll be giving them these new-fangled automatic weapons next !
 
#8
Putties were used to seal off the tops of DMS boots which were far too short. As for using them for bandages we used to cut them down so they could be put on and off quickly. They were a pain and made your ankles swell
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#9
They were there to unravel on the individual part of the BFT and trip you up causing you to get extra PT!
 
#10
MADPIERRE16 said:
I wore puttees for years. yesterday whilst walking through Eden camp museum I pointed a set out to my kids and they asked me what purpose they served.
I didnt have a clue, can anyone be of assistance?
For those of you who don't know of it here's a link

Well worth a visit, but go early (you will want to stay all day!).
 
#11
asmallbrownduck said:
MADPIERRE16 said:
I wore puttees for years. yesterday whilst walking through Eden camp museum I pointed a set out to my kids and they asked me what purpose they served.
I didnt have a clue, can anyone be of assistance?
For those of you who don't know of it here's a link

Well worth a visit, but go early (you will want to stay all day!).
And you can get free entry on 7 September - it's Veteran's Day - but you'll be expected to take part in the parade at 14:30. (I assume it's the same as previous years).
 
#12
MADPIERRE16 said:
I wore puttees for years. yesterday whilst walking through Eden camp museum I pointed a set out to my kids and they asked me what purpose they served.
I didnt have a clue, can anyone be of assistance?
They stopped unwanted wildlife running up your trousers... especially out in the khuds! :D
 
#13
Puttees are yet another hangover from days of Raj. Word is derived from the Punjabi word Patti which means a bandage.

As quite rightly pointed out they were to protect the lower leg from nasty bites by local wildlife. Originally worn knee length.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#14
Any reason we went to them from Anklets?
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#15
They went so well with hose tops:

 
#16
Puttees looked "ally" with lightweights. However that is not so much a purpose as a side-effect! The invention of cardboard and of velcro made it possible to have immaculately tied puttees every day, all day and in seconds. Rather than after twenty five minutes of wrestling and cursing resulting in the loss of the right creases and the addition of "wrong" ones in lightweight trousers.
 
#18
Mr_Deputy said:
Quite practical in fact.

Mud : take them off and you have clean trousers so you can walk into the Mess for a G&T/pint after long marches! Put a clean pair on and you look smart. No need to wash and dry trousers.

Ankle support - gave some rudimentary ankle support to stop twisted ankles and the like. Also from banging shins on rocks, stone walls etc.

Thorns, barbed wire : stop these from ruining bottom of trousers.

Wildlife : stop these climbing up.

Water : some protection. again, easily replaced with dry ones also. Also snow (have read reports that water will freeze in them tho.)

Warmth : feet and ankles can get right chilly.

Other uses : slings, stretchers, bandages, lashings for A frames etc, keeping mud out of any kit, silencing gobby squaddies and snorers!

Smartness : Generally not a bad idea.

When the MOD bring back barrack dress they would do well to keep a version of puttees in. Partly to reflect history and because they do look quite smart and practical when protecting base of trouser.
Mr_D

They are called gaiters these days! You could possibly wear them in barrack dress in case of spilling tea/coffee down ones lower leg while trying to drink your brew and laughing at ridiculous comments posted on Arrse. :D :wink:
 
#19
Mr_Deputy said:
When the MOD bring back barrack dress they would do well to keep a version of puttees in. Partly to reflect history and because they do look quite smart and practical when protecting base of trouser.
Or gaiters....
 
#20
I wondered about puttees when I wore them (just the short ones - I'm not that old) but when I stated wearing high boots I realised that puttees and ankle boots were far more comfortable, as well as having all the other advantages. Trouble was, boots DMS were pretty rubbishy, so the overall effect was let down. Also, The issue ones weren't much cop - I invested in Fox's very early on - much nicer. They were thinner and slightly stretchy, so they were easy to wrap neatly.

I found wrapping in a slight upward spiral (as illustrated in oldbaldy's pic) was much better than trying for the perfect superimposition approach - they seemed to flex with your ankle when you went for the spiral approach, but the dead square method seemed to encourage them to part company with your boot top.

I've been very tempted to get mine out and wear them with my walking boots, but the boots have so much padding in the ankles that I'm not sure they would wrap properly.
 

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