Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
THE ARMY planned to send
kilted Scots into battle wearing stockings
and women's knickers. The bizarre plan,
only just made public, was dreamed up
to protect World War II troops from gas
attacks. Kilted troops had suffered horrific
injuries in the First World War when their
legs were exposed to gas.
But the Scots regiments
were angrily resisting plans to replace
their kilts with English-style battle
dress. So secret tests involving long
stockings and ladies' woollen bloomers
were ordered at the Porton Down chemical
weapons centre in Wiltshire.
Army doctor Archie Fairley,
who trained in Glasgow, dressed five soldiers
in kilts, but with stockings tucked into
knickers underneath. The unusual underwear
was soaked in a cocktail of protective
chemicals, dissolved in white spirit.
The soldiers were exposed to mustard gas,
and the tests showed that the knickers
did protect them.