Remember me - echoes from the lost generations

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Graham Martin

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.

print page Close