UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE BRITISH ARMY DURING WW2
This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to a British Soldier of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in British militaria. It is not exhaustive and will be added to over time. Any reader who wishes to contribute photographs and text will be recognised and credited with such information. I also invite collectors of other nation's militaria to forward content (please see our other countries listed on the drop down menu) - so that a comprehensive list of "Axis" and "Allies" uniform/kit is detailed.
THIS WEBPAGE IS CONSTANTLY BEING ADDED TO - SO PLEASE VISIT AGAIN
Pattern 37 Pistol Holster
The Pattern 37 Pistol Holster, made from durable cotton webbing. This pistol holster was secured to the Pattern 37 waistbelt by way of two brass hooks. The flap of the holster was fastened by way of a brass 'snap' button. This holster was capable of securing the Webley revolver.
Pattern 37 Belt
The Pattern 37 Web Belt was used by all British Commonwealth troops and experienced quite an extensive service life (albeit with some slight modifications). The belt consisted of a 2 & 1/4" (2 & a quarter inch) wide piece of webbing which had a front and a reverse side. The reverse side had a continuous series of small "pockets" woven into the belt. The very tip of each end of the belt, was fitted with a brass encasement from which two brass prongs protruded. The belt was adjustable; so that once the desired width of the waist was ascertained, the excess length folded back onto itself and passed through a brass keeper. The 'prongs' at the tip of the belt, slotted into a small 'pocket' on the inner edge of the belt. Thus, the desired length was secured and this system prevented the belt from inadvertantly working open and becoming loose on the wearer. (PLEASE REFER TO THE PHOTOGRAPH) As can be seen in this picture, the belt has been adjusted to size, however the brass prongs have yet to be inserted into the securing pockets. The length of the belt was secured by way of a brass "male & female" buckle arrangement. The original design of the Pattern 37 belt that went into production for war service, had two 1" brass buckles sewn onto the rear of the belt. These buckles sat where the 'small' of the back would be on the wearer. The Pattern 37 Shoulder Brace straps passed through these buckles, which supported the weight of the load carrying equipment once the set was put together for wear. From a collector's perspective, it is unfortunate that the Army adapted this belt for "Parade" use, by removing the two rear 1 inch buckles. The subsequent result being that many surviving belts are missing the two rear buckles. (This item is held in the Kokoda Historical Collection.)
Pattern 37 Belt (Manufacturer M, W & S Ltd.)
The reverse side (inner side) of the Pattern 37 waist belt. The ink stamping with Government 'broad arrow' acceptance mark indicates that this item was manufatured by M, W & S Ltd (M. WRIGHT & SONS Ltd) during 1944. The small woven 'pockets' mentioned above, which accommodate the brass hooks can clearly be seen; as the method that fixes the belt length and prevents it from expanding inadvertantly.
Mounted Pattern Water Bottle Carrier
Surprisingly, the British Army still had a Mounted 'Cavalry' Division operating in Palestine during the early stages of the Second World War. As this unit was still using the 1903 Pattern Leather Equipment of the First World War, an order was placed with the War Office to modernise certain items of their equipment. There can be no doubt that the cotton Web Equipment in use at the time was very hardy and not subject to deterioration when compared to leather. Subsequently, the Mills Equipment Company was commissioned to produce a mounted version for use by Cavalry. The result was the "Carrier, water bottle Web Equipment, Cavalry Pattern" of 1940. This item of kit is not commonly found in comparison to other pieces of web equipment; and there are very few photographs of this carrier in service. (Image and text courtesy of Joseph Roxbury U.K.)