by Mark Tully
Both Cuthbertson and Simes recommend that as a part of his kit each soldier should carry "a pair of shoe brushes".
Kiwi still makes an excellent, man-sized shoe brush that is similar in style and materials to surviving specimens (See Collector's Illustrated, p. 51). The Kiwi brushes are made of wood (probably beech) with 100% horsehair bristles. The tacky, bright-red Kiwi logo comes off very easily with a little elbow grease and some medium/fine sandpaper. After you have sanded the logo off, give them a final once-over with some fine steel wool, then rub a little linseed oil into the wood to restore the finish and you have an "authentic" pair of shoe brushes!
We have seen the Kiwi shoe brushes at Wal-Mart for $2.99 each. If there is not a Wal-Mart in your area (is that possible?) check your local shoe store they will probably either have them in stock or be able to special-order them for you.
One last tip: wrap your shoe brushes in a scrap of linen to keep them from making a mess of your knapsack or pack!