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1929 Royal Navy MkIV Service Respirator and "Kidney" Carrier

Article about: This Mk.IV Respirator is a fairly recent, and a rather important addition to my collection. It's one of only a slack handful of early Mk.IVs that have managed to avoid being re-configured wi

  1. #1

    Default 1929 Royal Navy MkIV Service Respirator and "Kidney" Carrier

    This Mk.IV Respirator is a fairly recent, and a rather important addition to my collection. It's one of only a slack handful of early Mk.IVs that have managed to avoid being re-configured with newer types of filter and carrier during the latter half of the 1930s. So this example as you see it here is in its original configuration with the Type A filter and the kidney shaped carrier.

    The Mk.IV was the first true General Service Respirator that actually suited the requirements of all three services. The SBR of the First World War with it's short hose and chest mounted carrier wasn't deemed suitable for use by the Royal Navy, who wanted a new respirator with a longer hose and a carrier which could be slung by the wearers side. This subsequently led to the development of the Mk.II General Service Respirator. However, the army, also wanting a new respirator didn't like the long hose and slightly bulky design of the Mk.II, so the Mk.III General Service Respirator with a short hose and chest carrier very similar to that of the SBR was introduced into service. Both of these masks were produced and used during the 1920's, eventually both were to be replaced by a respirator that would suit the needs of everyone. The Mk.IV's principle was quite simple, it was based around a set facepiece design which suited the needs of all three services. Other components such as the hose, carrier and filter would vary dependant on which service a particular respirator was manufactured for. Based on the dates found on early Mk.IVs, it appears they first went into Service in 1929.

    The Mk.IVs were initially fitted with the Type A filter, this carried on from the Mk.II and Mk.III Respirators which were both fitted with them. In appearance, the Type A is identical to the filter of the SBR although it's painted grey as apposed to varnished metal. Today, finding examples of Type A filters is actually harder than finding early MK.IV respirators themselves, as many Mk.IVs were upgraded with Type E filters in the 1930s and the Type A filters were either retired for training purposes, or scrapped.

    Two lengths of hoses existed, short for the army and their chest mounted carriers, and long for the Royal Navy who preferred them slung by their sides. Initially, the Mk.IV continued to be used with the same type of carrier as it's predecessor, hence the reason the example shown below which came with the kidney shaped carrier of the Mk.II.

    Finally, here the photographs, enjoy! I'm not too sure how they've ended up in such a strange order, I'm working on it!

    Cheers,

    Danny

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  2. #2

    Default

    That is gorgeous! Very jealous of that one...think Karkee will be salivating when he sees this one 😀

  3. #3
    NCA
    NCA is offline
    ?

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    Well that's a bit nice! Very impressive to see such a rare mask. Carrier reminds me of the US diaphragm mask bag...

  4. #4
    ?

    Default

    Warspite is quite right! Lol

    That is a beautiful mask and haversack Danny! I like how both items are marked with the naval "N"...

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks very much for the comments guys, I am indeed very fortunate to have found this piece. I found it on a random classified advert, the seller must have thought I was absolutely nuts calling him at 2100 about some dusty old gas mask

    Cheers,

    Danny

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