The Chindits' Damned Pack... just how heavy was it really...?

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Hebridean Chindit, May 13, 2011.

  1. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    When it comes to carrying kit I work in Kilo's and had to convert the pounds. I see 100 lbs works out at 45 Kilos.


    That's a useful conversion for me Andy. That would be one bag of cricket top dressing on my back for the duration, helps put it into true perspective.:)
     
  2. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    But I still weigh in at 17 stone and I was still 6' 1" the last time I checked... :rolleyes:

    Normal work wear and carrying my tool vest (a certain popular Swedish brand name nicked by a popular sweet) I roll in at 105kg

    A nice hand reference is 1kg is approx 2.2lb so if the approx weight of a Lee Enfield is 8.8lb that rolls in at approx 4kg
     
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    It was useful for me to have the weight in metric as this really brought home to me the load that was carried. As you say Ken it then depends on the other factors (or as the Americans would say factooors!:D) involved:

    Climatic conditions
    Objective and possible enemy interference
    Type of marching and terrain underfoot
    Availability of water
    On going health of pack carrier and so on.

    I have always wondered how I would have fared in 1943, I was pretty fit in my 20's and 30's, but you just never know do you?
     
  4. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    I was a British Airways techie and in a "protected" job as it was Gov run at the time I was twenty...

    There but for the grace of the Big-Yin go us all (except those that choose to walk that path voluntarily)

    My dad's house never had a bathroom until the mid 1950s, his dad lived in a black-house as a kid, my great grandfather had no writing, was a fisherman/crofter, did his 25 in the RNR and lived to be 93...

    We truly should appreciate how blessed we are...
     
  5. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Crazily I'm up for that Eddie!! Although I would be hard pressed to join the 17 stone club.:D
     
  7. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    I'll drive the support vehicle... :D

    I'd be interested but haven't done any serious "walking" in thirty years...

    (strewth, what have I started :eek:)
     
  8. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Bamboo and I are meeting up this weekend for a drive up to Walsall so I'm sure we'll discuss the matter whilst in the car.

    Whilst on the matter it would be interesting to see if there are any other people out there who would be interested in this 'walk'.

    Those who are please make contact and we'll start putting things into motion and try to organise something.

    Ed

    Or we could march, but we'd better start today!!!:D Get back in that gym mate!:lol:
     
  10. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

  11. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    (I blame it on the unusual heatwave were having):D

    :poppy:Have a good time and safe travels chaps...:poppy:
     
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Ken,

    Must try and get us all up there next year, whether by wheel, rail or even FOOT!!:)
     
  13. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Sans pack... :lol:

    If I got up there I'd cause chaos by asking for the veggie option...

    An old friend of my wife's that wrote a book on the Para's was a veggie and enquired on a military flight (to Belize iirc) when offered a spam sandwich what happens to veggies in the Para's...

    "They die, Ma'am..."

    was the polite reply... :D
     
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Frankie Boyle has a funny routine which ends in a restaurant, when the lady asks the waiter if there is a vegetarian option?

    The waiter replies "Yes madam...***k o**".

    I had the veggie option last night indoors, mainly because the chicken was under cooked.:)
     
  15. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Who was that handsome chap I saw in those reunion pictures...? :D

    I keep missing Donnie MacKenzie (26 Column) to ask the questions - unfortunately he was under the weather last week and just as I set up to talk to him this evening and someone knocked on his door...

    I did get this wry comment though...

    ... I don't remember all that was in it but it was an awful weight...!

    He's traveling to France with his youngest son for a holiday next week so I hope to meet up with him then...

    I still hope to meet up with Major Bill Towill (3/4 GR) but he has had a bad run of it of late...
     
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Between you, Eddie and myself, we are absorbing a goodly amount of the Burma veteran experience. I know you understand and feel the same way as I do about these men and their memories from that time.
     
  17. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Updating what Stanley Rothney (90 Column) noted with additions noted by Lt. Col. Vaughan, 7NR, and other sources...

    What we were wearing as standard issue and my Lee Enfield.
    The standard issue FSMO big-pack, not the Everest pack - the Commandos had them - I sewed two ammo pouches onto each side of the big-pack for extra storage space - the "K" ration packs slipped right in them.
    The small pack worn as a side pack.
    About 50 rounds for the Lee Enfield kept in pouches kept on webbing braces - there was a hook on the front for ammo pouches.
    A bayonet, kept on the left-hand side of the waist band.
    Two Grenades (type 36) - one kept in each ammo pouch.
    The Dah machete, supplied without a sheaf - the American Dah machete was much better than the crude Indian thing originally used: longer, fleeter, better balanced; I sewed two straps onto my belt to keep my blanket in and kept the machete wrapped up in that - it formed the centre of the roll as you wrapped it. Some did also have the sheaf.
    One Bren magazine.
    Spare clothing, not much mind - spare socks (four pairs), a vest, pants - that's about it - we got stuff as it was dropped in. A spare shirt or bush jacket, a spare pair jungle-green trousers, one pair of gym shoes???
    We flew in with 5 days "K" rations - 15 tins, spread out over the pack - in the tins were bacon+hash/processed cheese/meatloaf; also: 15 small packs biscuits, five packs tea/sugar/milk powder, five packs dextrose tablets, five chocolate bars, five packets lemonade powder, five fruit bars...
    Mess-tin, mug, knife, fork and spoon - a lot of us ditched our mugs early on and used a jam tin or some such thing - it was more useful if you were brewing up.
    Atin water bottle, not much use, mind - approx. one pint.
    The canvas chagal, much more use than the tin water bottle, kept the water cooler - obviously, more weight in water - approx. 4 pints.
    Five-by-five packs cigarettes.
    "Comforter" - wooly "commando" head covering.
    A special lightweight blanket; it was a pretty good quality thing.
    Gas Cape.
    Groundsheet.
    "Toggle" rope???
    Clasp knife.
    Towel, soap, razor, brush, comb, toothbrush, nail-clippers.
    Ref my dad's notes - although many Chindits were known to grow beards, the Cameronians were expected to remain clean shaven.
    The "housewife" for sewing buttons on, etc. - this was kept in a side pack
    Toilet gear, the "bog-bag" - we had to ensure everything was buried - within "K" rations, up to five packs soap-powder and toilet paper.
    A field dressing.
    A bottle of Mepacrine tablets.
    A tin of water purification tablets.
    Entrenching tool - useful for "burying" as noted above.
    Orange "panic" map.
    Waterproof wallet for personal papers - I still have my dad's - quite a tough piece of material...
    The Cameronians wore their puttees on the inside tied with bow-ties, just to be bloody different!

    Additional items for regulars...
    50 silver Rupees - dad claimed he dumped these early on...
    Bren gun.
    Five magazines for the Bren gun.
    A "lilo" floatation device for those that could not swim.

    Additional items for officers...
    Army issue wristwatch.
    Prismatic compass
    Torch.
    Lightweight jungle hammock.
    Maps, pencils, notebooks, etc...

    Again, as noted before, I'll update this as and when/if I come across any other items...
     
  18. JungleJ

    JungleJ Junior Member

    Updating what Stanley Rothney (90 Column) noted with additions noted by Lt. Col. Vaughan, 7NR, and other sources...

    What we were wearing as standard issue and my Lee Enfield.
    The standard issue FSMO big-pack, not the Everest pack - the Commandos had them - I sewed two ammo pouches onto each side of the big-pack for extra storage space - the "K" ration packs slipped right in them.
    The small pack worn as a side pack.
    About 50 rounds for the Lee Enfield kept in pouches kept on webbing braces - there was a hook on the front for ammo pouches.
    A bayonet, kept on the left-hand side of the waist band.
    Two Grenades (type 36) - one kept in each ammo pouch.
    The Dah machete, supplied without a sheaf - the American Dah machete was much better than the crude Indian thing originally used: longer, fleeter, better balanced; I sewed two straps onto my belt to keep my blanket in and kept the machete wrapped up in that - it formed the centre of the roll as you wrapped it. Some did also have the sheaf.
    One Bren magazine.
    Spare clothing, not much mind - spare socks (four pairs), a vest, pants - that's about it - we got stuff as it was dropped in. A spare shirt or bush jacket, a spare pair jungle-green trousers, one pair of gym shoes???
    We flew in with 5 days "K" rations - 15 tins, spread out over the pack - in the tins were bacon+hash/processed cheese/meatloaf; also: 15 small packs biscuits, five packs tea/sugar/milk powder, five packs dextrose tablets, five chocolate bars, five packets lemonade powder, five fruit bars...
    Mess-tin, mug, knife, fork and spoon - a lot of us ditched our mugs early on and used a jam tin or some such thing - it was more useful if you were brewing up.
    Atin water bottle, not much use, mind - approx. one pint.
    The canvas chagal, much more use than the tin water bottle, kept the water cooler - obviously, more weight in water - approx. 4 pints.
    Five-by-five packs cigarettes.
    "Comforter" - wooly "commando" head covering.
    A special lightweight blanket; it was a pretty good quality thing.
    Gas Cape.
    Groundsheet.
    "Toggle" rope???
    Clasp knife.
    Towel, soap, razor, brush, comb, toothbrush, nail-clippers.
    Ref my dad's notes - although many Chindits were known to grow beards, the Cameronians were expected to remain clean shaven.
    The "housewife" for sewing buttons on, etc. - this was kept in a side pack
    Toilet gear, the "bog-bag" - we had to ensure everything was buried - within "K" rations, up to five packs soap-powder and toilet paper.
    A field dressing.
    A bottle of Mepacrine tablets.
    A tin of water purification tablets.
    Entrenching tool - useful for "burying" as noted above.
    Orange "panic" map.
    Waterproof wallet for personal papers - I still have my dad's - quite a tough piece of material...
    The Cameronians wore their puttees on the inside tied with bow-ties, just to be bloody different!

    Additional items for regulars...
    50 silver Rupees - dad claimed he dumped these early on...
    Bren gun.
    Five magazines for the Bren gun.
    A "lilo" floatation device for those that could not swim.

    Additional items for officers...
    Army issue wristwatch.
    Prismatic compass
    Torch.
    Lightweight jungle hammock.
    Maps, pencils, notebooks, etc...

    Again, as noted before, I'll update this as and when/if I come across any other items...
    Hi there,

    I noticed you queried "toggle rope". This is a piece of rope about 6 feet long with a loop at one end and a wooden toggle at the other. Everyone carried one and they could be linked together to make a longer rope. They were very useful for tying things up and especially for hauling each other up river banks etc. Their most notorious use as to attach yourself to a log in a log-race! They have now been superceded by loop-lines which are half inch nylon tube-tape (similar to climbing tape) with loops at both ends and are issued with a scre-gate caribiner.

    I hope that helps.
     
  19. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    It does, thank you JJ...

    Welcome to the mix and hopefully you find what you're looking for here, or can help those that need it...

    I've got some further updates to this list (not yours but it is now) but am waiting until a suitable point rather than a here-and-there update to it...

    Ken
     
  20. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Lads, I read a lot recently about how bl**dy heavy the Bergens used by the Rhodesian SAS were. Does anyone know how do they compare with the weight of a fully loaded Chindit backpack?
     

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