In addition to the ludicrous Gor Blimey cap, the Army had other immediate clothing issues for it's men in the front line.
British industry was flat out trying to mill as much khaki serge as it could for service dress. The slightly heavier weight cloth required for greatcoats was also in great demand. However, it was ruled that service dress came first and greatcoats would have to come second. Therefore a quicker and cheaper alternative to a woollen greatcoat had to be found quickly - until supply could be be restored.
The solution was found in France to manufacture cheap animal skin jerkins and jackets from goatskin. The French Army ate goat meat so skins were readily plentiful. Thus, the B.E.F. placed contracts with the local inhabitants to 'run-up' these urgently needed winter garments for the men at the front.
Remarkably effective, they were both warm and comfortable. They could be worn without restricting movement and they were often worn on top of greatcoats by those lucky enough to have them. When soaked and sodden with rain, they became heavy and retained the smell of a wet dog. The smokey atmosphere of a trench brazier stuck to the fur as well earning these garments the nickname of 'stinkers'
Welcome to our online 'blog' charting the history of the many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment and the part they played in the Great War.
Starting back in March 2014, we have recorded the events of 100 years ago on the centenary of their happening.
Keep checking back to see how the Great War is progressing for the men of the Suffolk Regiment.