Gum boots, also known as trench waders, is another term used for the rubber thigh boots served out to men going into the trenches, popularised by the "Wellington Boot" or "Wellies" worn by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. During the First World War production of the Wellington boot increased dramatically, especially after the first winter, as the need for suitable footwear to cope with the perpetually muddy, battle-torn lands across Europe were essential. The War Office approached the North British Rubber Company to construct a suitable boot for difficult, flooded terrains in the trenches. They produced a total of 1,185,036 pairs to meet the British demands.
Glossary of words and phrases[edit source]
The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of Great Britain during the Great War. Included are trench slang, service terms, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used. They have been transcribed from three primary sources (see Contents). Feel free to expand upon and improve this content.
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