Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Welcome to our 3 new members..
  2. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

    The Pubic Crab Louse appear to be world class Pole Vaulters.Cute little devils . I am starting to itch.....Aaaaarrrrgh.
  3. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Wow! Never saw any that big :wow:

    Gentian Violet application generally took the form of a humerous face on both cheeks, as our Nursing Orderly was a signwriter in civvy street! :lol:

    Looking at past postings they'd been laying dormont for twelve months.
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Senior Member

    Here is an interesting fact about the "crabs", or pubic lice.:D

    Pubic hair provides evolutionary home for gorilla lice

    February 11th, 2009

    There are two species of lice that infest humans: pubic lice, Pthirus pubis, and human head and body lice, Pediculus humanus. A new article in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Biology suggests one explanation for the separation of the two species.

    Find Info on Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More - Faster w/Bing ™ -


    In the article, Robert Weiss from University College London describes how he was struck by inspiration while pondering the question of why lice would separate into two groups when our ancestors are quite uniformly hairy, "I was having difficulty envisioning a clear separation of habitats between the groin and other parts of our ancient common ancestor. My 'eureka moment' came, appropriately enough, in the shower: although naked apes have pubic hair, surely our hairy cousins don't?"

    Pthirus pubis, popularly known as crabs, evolved from the structurally similar gorilla louse, Pthirus gorillae. Interestingly however, while genetic analysis carried out by David Reed at the University of Florida indicates that this split occurred around 3.3 million years ago, humans are believed to have diverged from gorillas much earlier - at least 7 million years ago - suggesting that early humans somehow caught pubic lice from their gorilla cousins. Happily, this may not be as sordid as it sounds. According to Weiss, "Before one conjures up a King Kong scenario, it should be noted that predators can pick up parasites from their prey. The close contact involved in human ancestors butchering gorillas could have enabled Pthirus to jump hosts, rather as bushmeat slaughter practices allowed HIV to invade humans from chimpanzees in modern times."

    So, while head lice may be viewed as a 'family heirloom', inherited down the generations as humans have evolved, pubic lice may well be a recent and slightly unwelcome gift from the more hirsute branch of our evolutionary family.

    More information: Apes, lice and prehistory, Robin A Weiss, Journal of Biology 2009, 8:20 doi:10.1186/jbiol114,

    Journal of Biology | Full text | Apes, lice and prehistory

    Source: BioMed Central


    Pubic hair provides evolutionary home for gorilla lice

    Body and head lice have always been with us it seems, but the pubic variety are an acquired problem.:mad:
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just flicking through war diary for 2 Wilts , 29th November 1939.
    It says ,

    7 men HQ company (3pl) discovered to have lice.

    Seems it was a big enough event to make the war diary .
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    No thanks for bring this lousy old thread up!

  7. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Owen after being itchy from about post 2 onwards (!), I remembered reading in the RAOC 1 BOD War Diary about disinfectors. Had a quick look and it seems as if there was a real effort, at this time at least, to keep things disinfected.

    Some entries from the diary....

    Letter dated 22 December 1939
    Laundry and Disinfecting Machinery

    ....The question of the supply of laundry machinery for No. 1 Base Ordnance Depot is subjected to the recommendation awaited from Director of Ordnance Services, British Expeditionary Force, who has under consideration the whole question of base laundries and decontamination services. A certain amount of plant is ready for immediate issue as soon as the questions of War Establishment and other details as to size of plant have been settled.

    NANTES 6/1/1940 - Began another enquiry into local laundry facilities within a radius of fifty miles of NANTES. This is needed because of the steady increase in R.S.D. receipts in clothing and blankets.

    There are still no disinfectors arrived from U.K. and saw the D.E. & M officer who agreed to obatain a VELOX from CHERBOURG from French sources.


    The disinfector is already earmarked at Cherbourg and is waiting destination [to Nantes]

    Mess tins, arms, M.T.spares and bicycles could go to workshops. Clothing and blankets after disinfection, to Laundries. Boots to the Boot repair Shop...

    Perhaps they had learnt something from WW1? Did they have disinfectors or similar then?


    Also, just come across this from 5 ABW 1942 whilst in Iraq in the Monthly Hygiene Report for December:


    Recently issued winter clothing was found to be infested with pediculi corporis when drawn from 211 A.O.D. Arrangements have been made for the delousing of the whole unit affected
    Owen and von Poop like this.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi All,

    It seems fairly obvious to say that lice were an ever present in the Burma campaign. My guess is these pesky devils took somewhat of a back seat in the scheme of things, when you consider the mosquito and leech problem they experienced.

    At most Chindit bivouac, the order of play was pack off, tea, dinner, replenish water if possible, then de-louse your clothing!

    I can't imagine what it must be like to be constantly irritated by these little buggers, but perhaps exhaustion takes over at times like that and sleep comes regardless?:)
  9. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    The following attachment is from a 4 BOD file, (I can't remember which one at present), all about Bed Bugs....

    Attached Files:

  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    My Diary for Saturday 7th October 1944 reads:

    Our present location skin factory, slightly lousy.

    What actually happened was that we came across this empty building near Assisi and, on entering, found lots of what we took to be double decker bunk beds. They had latticed wire frames stretched across where a mattresses would normally be found and so, grateful for small mercies we all gratefully dumped our paliasses on the beds and retired for the night.
    On waking in the morning we all found ourselves covered in flea-bites and
    realised that the wire frames normally held animal skins.
    The MO's orderly spent the next few days trying to rid us of our newfound friends !
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Reading this interesting thread again and the references to head lice.I remember my mother with a nightly ritual, combing out my sisters' hair, checking for nits.

    In those days there was no TV and the only entertainment was the radio playing in the background with the 9 o'clock news on the BBC Home Service,the big event of the day.When my mother found a nit on the nit comb,she would despatch it with her thumb nail producing an instant crack as the nit met its doom.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Hate to be picky but nits are empty eggshells.
    >> Head lice and nits

    I had head lice when a lad, not nice.
    It first came to my Mum's attention as when I lad I was a choir boy at church.
    I spent whole service scratching my head , Mum decided to have a look when we got home.
    I had head lice & had some lovely shampoo to see them off, my head is now itching just thinking about it.
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I always knew them as nits.No doubt they must have been in a unhatched state as they generated the sharp crack as they were crushed by the thumb nail against the nit comb.

    My mother in discussing health issues always proclaimed "prevention is better than cure" in carrying out this ritual.

    In addition to this there was County Council school nurse who used to monitor and treat heavy head lice infestation in pupils.

    As regards shampoo,this was not available during this era but there were concoctions made up by chemists to treat infestation.Other than that it was a case of using brands of washing soap such as the Fairy green washing soap...luxuries such as the toilet soap of today was unheard of.

    Times have changed,our children and grandchildren have never experienced head lice but my wife was always aware of the possibility while the children were in primary school.
  14. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    These are from 7 Cheshires diary whilst in Italy, October 1943. (WO 169/10192 - copied by Lee (


    Owen likes this.
  15. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member


    ALLAN PRICE Member

    My veteran chum Harry said lice were a menace in Italy and they all had them,they would carry a tin of AL63 anti-lice powder it the small pack(if anyone has a tin of this,i've been looking for one for about 5 years!)
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Other than on one single occasion in a skin factory I can't remember any other occasion where I or my comrades were infested with lice.

    Infantry veterans may well say otherwise ...... Perhaps they will let me/us know ?


    ALLAN PRICE Member

    Ron,he did say they had spent time sleeping in pig pens so may have got a few extra guests from there!He was mountain Battery RA.
  19. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Lice became a deadly problem for the German 6th Army after its encirclement at Stalingrad. Hygiene went to hell and the lice multiplied. The typhus they spread killed thousands, especially after the victims were herded into the Soviet camps at Beketovka.

Share This Page