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First Field Dressings: They're not all Australian!

Article about: The ‘first field dressing’ i.e., a dressing to be carried by each individual soldier, was first employed by the British Army during the Crimean Campaign in 1855. Each cloth pack contained tw

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    Default First Field Dressings: They're not all Australian!

    The ‘first field dressing’ i.e., a dressing to be carried by each individual soldier, was first employed by the British Army during the Crimean Campaign in 1855. Each cloth pack contained two dressings in waterproof covers (for entry and exit wounds), comprised of a gauze pad stitched to a bandage and a safety pin. The first field dressing was often the first line of treatment and was intended to be applied by the wounded man himself or his comrades. During the early part of the Second World War, these dressings would have been carried in an internal skirt pocket of the Service Dress Jacket or in a special pocket on the shorts or trousers.



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    UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1934
    This dressing was made in England for the Union Defence Force, as it reequipped in the mid 1930’s. This dressing features an area extra flap of material with the instructions “When removing dressings HOLD BAG HERE.” The main instructions also lack a section on ‘use with respirators’.



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    UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1934 (Reverse)
    …In Afrikaans



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    GREAT BRITAIN, 1938
    This first field dressing was made specifically for the Home Office Air Raid Precautions Department in the late 1930’s. They were issued to Civil Defence personnel for the casualties from the massive bombing raids expected in the coming war.



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    GREAT BRITAIN, 1939
    An army field dressing issued by the War Office.



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ID:	782850

    GREAT BRITAIN, 1940
    Another army field dressing issued by the War Office.



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    GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, 1941
    This example was made for the Indian Medical Service (IMS), the military medical service of British India and appears to be faintly marked ‘DEC 1941.’



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    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, 1941
    Made by Johnson & Johnson (Party), Limited in Sydney.



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    GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, 1941
    Another Indian-made dressing which features the Indian Government acceptance mark (a broad arrow surmounting the letter ‘I’).



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ID:	782854

    GREAT BRITAIN, 1942
    Another army field dressing issued by the War Office and marked ‘OCT 1942.”



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ID:	782855

    UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1942
    This Union Defence Force dressing was made locally in Boksburg and also lacks an instruction section on ‘use with respirators’.



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    UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1942 (Reverse)
    …In Afrikaans



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    DOMINION OF CANADA, 1943
    Cloth covers disappeared from Canadian dressings by the end of 1943, when dressings were produced in their waterproof covers only.

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    Does anybody know if the Royal Air Force or Admiralty had their own first field dressings produced? I've seen shell dressings marked to both, but no field dressings...

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    Love the Boksburg dressing, I've been there quite a few times- the place is known for ZA outer suburb Yobbo's (Aust term)

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    DOMINION OF CANADA, 1942
    Early Canadian-made field dressings are often stamped "MADE IN CANADA" in the lower left corner. This particular example is interesting because it is marked "DRESSINGS", rather than the singular form stamped on most other examples. Note the Canadian Government acceptance mark (a broad arrow inside the letter ‘C’) on the right side of the dressing.

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    BRITISH EMPIRE FIELD & SHELL DRESSING MAKERS

    AUSTRALIA
    GREENHALGH’S PTY. LTD.-------------------------Sydney, Australia
    Johnson & Johnson Pty. Ltd.----------------------Sydney, Australia

    CANADA
    Bauer & Black Limited-----------------------------Leaside, Toronto, Canada
    ------DIVISION OF THE KENDALL COMPANY (CANADA) LIMITED
    Johnson & Johnson Limited-----------------------Montreal, Canada

    GREAT BRITAIN
    ARTHUR BERTON, LTD.---------------------------London, England
    CUXSON, GERRARD & Co., Ltd.-------------------Oldbury, England
    H.O. BRANDT AND HAMPSON---------------------Manchester, England
    Johnson & Johnson (Gt. Britain) Ltd.--------------Slough & Gargrave, England
    ROBINSON & SONS, LTD.-------------------------Chesterfield, England
    S. MAW, SON & SONS LTD.------------------------London, England
    SOUTHALLS (BIRMINGHAM) LTD.------------------Birmingham, England
    T.J. SMITH & NEPHEW, LTD.------------------------Hull, England
    VERNON & CO. LTD.-------------------------------Preston, England

    INDIA
    BENGAL CHEMICAL :: CALCUTTA :: BOMBAY------Calcutta & Bombay, India
    MEDICAL STORE DEPOT---------------------------Madras, India

    SOUTH AFRICA
    B. OWEN JONES, LTD.-----------------------------Boksburg, South Africa

    WWI
    CUXSON, GERRARD & CO., LTD.-------------------Oldbury, Birmingham, England
    THE DARTON GIBBS CO.--------------------------Oldbury, England
    ELLIOTT BROS., LTD.------------------------------O’Connell Street, Sydney, Australia
    THE GALEN Manufacturing Co., Ltd.----------------London, England
    GIBBS, CUXSON & CO.----------------------------Oldbury, England
    JOHN BELL & CROYDEN, LTD.----------------------London, W, England
    JOHN TYE & SON----------------------------------157 Caledonian Rd., London, N, England
    THE LIVERPOOL LINT CO.--------------------------Mark Street Mills, Liverpool, England
    T.J. SMITH & NEPHEW, LTD.------------------------Hull, England

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