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Post WW1 and WW2 era Aussie Water Bottle query

Article about: Can anyone offer anymore info on these Mark VII style kidney shape bottles. The only photo i can find of their use is here from 1945 Royal Australian Navy commander at the Japanese surrender

  1. #1

    Default Post WW1 and WW2 era Aussie Water Bottle query

    Can anyone offer anymore info on these Mark VII style kidney shape bottles.

    The only photo i can find of their use is here from 1945 Royal Australian Navy commander at the Japanese surrender
    see
    019422 | Australian War Memorial

    They are enamelled and seen in Black, Cobolt Blue and Khaki green (see pic with known carriers).
    The stopper is attached via the shoulder cord eye with a metal chain, it has a spring loaded seal held by a bayonet type catch on the pins of the bottle.

    Some collectors have told me they were offered to British Officers and eventually Aussies but all preferred the blue enamel cork top canteens... they were made in Australia from approx 1918 onwards, unlike the British made Standard issue (Pattern 1903) royal blue enamel canteens issued to the AIF... The black ones, with black felt cover and blackened leather slings/harness (Patt 1903 Mounted Units slings) being for CD (Air Raid Wardens, Police Emergency units etc) and the khaki/green for military Home defence units and being most predominant in WW2.

    pete

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Post WW1 and WW2 era Aussie Water Bottle query

    no helpers here? I'd like to find out more
    Regards
    René

  3. #3
    AIF
    AIF is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Post WW1 and WW2 era Aussie Water Bottle query

    Yeah these bottles were introduced into the Australian army in the 1920s - 30s militia period and were designed to replace the older bottles but they were a failure because they didnt hold enough water so we reverted back to the old ww1 type bottles.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Post WW1 and WW2 era Aussie Water Bottle query

    Thanks AIF for your comments.

    Some time ago i posted a similar query at the Great War Forum
    on these Australian made 'emergency issue' and 'home front' bottles but didn't get very far at all.

    As a comparison in sizes etc i have pictured a Pattern 1903 Blue enamel (left) Aussie made Rheem bottle post WW1 (middle) and the smaller black 'Phillips' Bayonet cap bottle (right).

    pete

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    AIF
    AIF is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Post WW1 and WW2 era Aussie Water Bottle query

    No worries Pete! You can really see the size difference now... Im not entirely sure about this but I think the surplus bottles were reused by the army as kerosene containers as years ago I saw a few that had old paper kerosene labels on them that were D/\D stamped... Unfortunately I didnt grab one as Ive never seen one like it since.

    Cheers Luke.
    Last edited by AIF; 12-22-2011 at 01:03 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #6

    Default

    Apologies for bringing the thread back from the dead rather than starting a new one. I'm looking for info on these water bottles too. I have a green one which is in pretty nice condition.

    A couple of small bits of info which I have been able to glean:

    1. These appear to have been an inter-war piece of equipment.
    2. Although I have never seen a carrier or wool cover specifically made for these, I have seen a nesting tin cup - on an ebay auction last year where the set of bottle and cup went for almost A$300... if anyone saved the pics from that auction I'd love to see them
    3. These were made in three colours - blue for the permanent forces, green for the militia and black enamel for civilian agencies such as police, fire, civil defence and the like.

    Due to the capacity of the water bottle (1 US quart/950ml) and the style of the cup, it looks like these were an attempt to copy a US M1910 style of canteen system, but with Australia's limited manufacturing capability in the interwar years, design changes were made from the US item - the water bottle was manufactured in similar fashion and design to the existing MKVI enamel water bottles; the nesting cup was soldered tinware like a quartpot or billycan of the day, but had a fold-under handle like a US canteen cup with the difference being that the handle was bent up from wire rod rather than stamped sheet metal. The water bottle fits nicely in my US M1941 mounted canteen cover, with a little bit of space left over for a nesting cup.

    As for the sprung cap, it looks a bit extravagant for the interwar years, which spanned the Great Depression, so maybe the water bottle was designed to be an officer's accoutrement? I can't see any advantage to this water bottle over the normal enamel Mk VI type. It holds less water and would have been more costly and fiddly to manufacture.

    It's a nice little mystery which we'll solve at some stage I hope.

    EDIT: I just had a thought... what if these were manufactured by Australia during WWII under reverse lend lease for US forces in Australia?

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