Heavier than you’d think

At the most recent session of our heritage project we were quite surprised to turn up and find that there were two mannequins dressed in WW1 uniforms who were joining us. One was dressed in the uniform of a German soldier, while the other was dressed in the uniform of a British soldier. Simon Galloway, who joined us for the session, explained the various parts of the uniforms. He also had additional uniforms and helmets we were able to try on. It was surprising how heavy everything was and how coarse the material of the uniforms was. It must have been incredibly uncomfortable when wet and dirty.

Simon also had webbing and rifles for us to look at and try. The rifles, too, were very heavy and awkward to manoeuvre. He showed us authentic bayonets and explained how they were used. We were also able to look at a gas mask and examine a highly sharpened trench tool. We all found it difficult to imagine how soldiers were able to move once weighed down by everything they had to carry with them.