A puttee is almost like a bandage made of strips of knitted wool which was wrapped around the leg below the knee in a spiral pattern, and was standard issue in the British Army during the First World War. At about 0.6 metres (2 feet) long, it didn't need sizes – one size fitted all. It could be used as a bandage; it would also help stop a boot being sucked off in mud that was part and parcel of life in the camps and trenches. The Fox Brothers Company in England was a primary producer and made 70,000 pairs of puttees per week as well as khaki cloth for uniforms during the war. Likely because of the high demand for the khaki coloured puttees, it was during WW1 that the company stopped making the blue puttees. Some of the blue puttees worn by the Regiment were obtained from the CLB (Church Lads’ Brigade) supply. Newfoundland Regiment military historian, Dr. David Parsons puts aside the myth of the reason for wearing of the blue puttees when he wrote that, “When they ran out of the Fox [Brothers] Company puttees, other ones were made from blue material purchased locally and not because of a shortage of khaki material.”
The blue puttees chosen for their uniform became a badge of honour for the men of the first contingent and the “Blue Puttees” is the term forever synonymous with the First Five Hundred. Each subsequent draft wore the British regulation khaki coloured puttees.