Light anti-gas mask respirator : Australian Army

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL25222.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Rubber; Steel; Glass; Elastic
Maker Maribyrnong Munitions Factory
Place made Australia
Date made 1943-1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Australian Army Respirator, Anti-Gas, Light. Gas mask respirator with lefthand side-mounted, green painted metal filter canister. Two-tone black and brown rubber face mask has two circular eye pieces in protruding moulded brow. Circular metal frontal air intake. Adjustable elasticated harness. Two different size cork stoppers for sealing the filter and mouthpiece openings are connected by a short length of cotton tape. Rubber face mask embossed on right cheek with 'ANSELL 43'. 'NORMAL' embossed on face mask at right jaw hinge. '21' printed in black under right eye piece. Filter canister is stamped 'WILLOW' on the rim of the lid and printed in black with '8' and an arrow. The base of the filter canister is embossed 'No.2 / WILLOW / 43' and is printed in black with an arrow. The metal circlip which connects the canister to the face mask is stamped 'H.A. 1943 No.6'. The canvas yoke for the harness has the initials 'J.P.' written in pen, under which is a block of indecipherable letters or numerals, then 'M.H. & CO. / 1944'.

History / Summary

Released by the manufacturer in October 1943 and referred to as 'Respirator, Anti-Gas, Light'. Intended to replace the GS type, then in use. Its improvements were its light weight, simplified carriage and its waterproof container. The change from the snout mounted type of respirator gave a soldier greater freedom in firing the rifle from the right shoulder. Modified design of the outlet valve created better acoustic qualities. Available in three sizes; large, normal and small. The respirator followed closely the British light pattern but the camouflage effect is an Australian innovation for jungle warfare.