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'37 pattern

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This is the webbing yer ol' feller wore during WWII. Webbing, Pattern 1937 to be exact - and the gear that finally replaced all that '08 pattern stuff from the Great War. Quite well thought out, the webbing consisted of:

  • Belt
  • Braces x 2 + attachments for when the ammo pouches were not in use
  • Ammo pouches x 2
  • Canteen harness for the enamelled, felt-covered bottle
  • Bayonet frog for the 'pig sticker' spike bayonet
  • Entrenching tool cover
  • 'L' straps - both left & right, for attachment of the large and small packs
  • Small pack
  • Large pack

The whole ensemble fitted together quite well and the small pack could either be worn on the back or as a side pack either attached to the trails of the braces or more commonly as a simple shoulder bag using a spare brace.

The large pack was worn in a manner of what would later be termed CEMO. This rig could often be seen sporting an SMLE sword bayonet in an '08 frog rather than the No.4 - particularly in non-front line units, e.g. the Home Guard.

The webbing was manufactured in a rather bright sand-coloured cotton - which was fine for the western desert, but quite conspicuous in European and jungle theatres. It was '37 pattern's unsuitability in the latter that ensured that '39 pattern webbing was adopted as an interim measure and prompted the development of '44 pattern webbing.

1937 pattern webbing was still in use in the 1980s by some TA units and the Royal Navy.

See here and be amazed! How it's all put together