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During the early days, paratroopers carried no more on a jump than
they could carry inside a small pack suspended across the chest or inside the front body straps of the harness but John Rock
experimented ceaselessly with suitable jumping apparel and airborne supply equipment. Finally, in 1941, the Denison camouflaged
smock was issued which meant that normal battle equipment could be worn under the smock. Additional equipment was packed in
a kitbag which was attached by rope to the paratrooper's lower right harness strap, and secured also to the body by an ankle strap
to the right leg. The 20ft(6m) length of rope was stowed in an exterior pocket of the kit bag and paid out when the bag was released
in flight by jerking out a pin on a cord attachment from the ankle strap. A spring device absorbed the shock of the mid-air fall of
the heavy bag.
Bren & rifle valises, made of felt, were clutched to the body and secured and released in the same way as the
kit bag. The prior landing of the kit bags and valises at the end of their ropes helped to absorb the shock of the paratrooper's
body on the ground.
Once formally awarded your wings, you were deemed to have accepted, as long as you were medically fit to do so,
the obligation to serve with a parachute unit on operations, and to carry out parachute descents when ordered to do so.
For this, parachute pay of an extra 2 shillings a day was awarded - increasing the weekly pay-packet from 21
shillings(£1.05) to 35 shillings(£1.75).
and future failure or refusal to carry out a parachute descent would almost certainly result in a trial by Court Martial.
The Irvin brooch on the right-hand side was presented by the parachute manufacturers to all successful trainees