Despite the design improvements in 1951, few Canadians fighting in Korea saw these updates until late or post-war. As a result, soldiers were still dealing with the 1937 Pattern E-Tools and, once more, they turned to their General Service Shovels instead. Men used their GS shovels in a variety of ways, including digging bunkers, foxholes, latrines, and fortifying defensive positions. The shovel was meant to be used for certain types of digging, as it was heavy and bulky to carry, with no designated carrier or spot on a soldier’s webbing. However, many tucked the handles inside their webbing and carried their GS shovels with them anyway. Shovels were often carried into the field on patrols to use for dismantling hazards or traps, and, occasionally, were even used as a weapon.
The overall design remained relatively unchanged from the GS type, produced in the First World War. One variation to be noted during this time period: the change in handle from a “T” shape to a “D” shape for some Canadian manufacturers. This GS shovel still has the “T” shape handle and was produced by E&W Lucas Ltd. in 1953.
Donated by: Lou Belic
Object ID: RCRM1985.022.001