During World War 1, mustard gas was a new type of chemical warfare introduced to battle. In the poem Dulce Et Decorum Est, it talks about the people who are being gassed. The poem describes these men as "bent over like old beggars" and "an ecstasy of fumbling" as soldiers tried desperately to put their gas masks on. This image is a graphic representation of the poem showing a soldier gasping for his last breath of air. (J)
An official photo describing the kit of a British infantryman in 1939. Note that the gas mask ('respirator') and anti-chemical warfare cape are parts of the outfit, remnants of WW1 memories. In actual combat, and marching with full kit, the British infantryman would carry a pack known as a "valise" that contained more clothing and personal items. Officers wore the exact same uniform save for markings of their rank.