As a young child I lived in Ballarat and can remember wearing a balaclava to school on chilly winter mornings. Not a great fashion statement but they certainly kept my ears warm!
During World War One, women and children at home knitted scarves, mittens, socks and balaclavas for the soldiers on the Front. During the unprecedented cold winter of 1916-1917, they would have been much appreciated. As you can see in the photograph below, it was a bitter winter.
France. 1916. Portrait of an unidentified member of the 24th Australian Battalion at a frozen water point. He is wearing a sheepskin vest and balaclava as protection against the cold.
Image courtesy Australian War Memorial. Image EZ0123.
If you’d like to knit your very own balaclava, check out the various patterns on the HJS Studio website.