Royal Navy 1912 Pattern Ammunition Pouch

The introduction of automatic side arms to the British military was a slow one. Early automatics were not always reliable and traditionally Britain had used revolvers as officers’ sidearms. Interestingly the first widespread issue of automatics was to the Royal Navy rather than the army, who adopted the Pistol, self-loading, Webley and Scott, .455 inch, Mark 1 in May 1913. The pistol had a seven round, detachable box magazine in the handgrip and remained in use until the second world war. Like many early automatics it was not always reliable; the sailors using it not always appreciating the need for more regular cleaning, due to the higher number of moving parts, than with a revolver. More details on the revolver can be found here:

To accompany their new pistol, the Royal Navy introduced a new holster and ammunition pouch to use with their 1901 pattern leather equipment. I have the good fortune to own one of these ammunition pouches and this is today’s object. The official term for this item is Accoutrements, naval, pattern 1912- pouch, cartridge, pistol Mark 1. The pouch itself is made of dark brown leather, 5 ½”x 5 ½”x2”:

50E2AB30-E2B6-49C3-829C-F96D7884E754On the rear is a pair of belt loops (the straps with buckles are post war additions):

C9700BE9-84ED-4810-92B9-F8EA0CDDD0CEWhilst the lid is secured by a brass stud:

127ACA61-5542-478E-A4CA-197F4BA23419Inside there would have been two brass clips for securing two box magazines for the pistol, unfortunately only one of these survives:

F4CD40D2-CC75-4EAE-B291-A77797784A28A further 49 rounds of ammunition could be stored, in their paper packets, in the lower part of the pouch. The pouch is dated 1915 and was manufactured by J.A. Hillman Ltd: 1A70C80C-9EB7-479A-A597-E60C66295807

There are a number of other stamps on the leather including the WD /|\ mark:


This item has the dubious distinction of being the only item in my collection currently included on the Karkee Web site. I think the chances of finding a deactivated pistol to go with this case at a price that I could afford are virtually nil, but the pouch is an interesting and rare item in its own right.


  1. Hello, I recently acquired a black, leather ammo pouch which I believe is for the Webley MkI N, .455 cal., Self Loading Pistol. It is maker marked and also marked with the New Zealand Military Mark (N/I\Z). It looks very much like the one shown above with rivets holding the flap strap and belt loops. However, it does not have, nor does it appear that it ever had, any internal fittings for holding box mags for the pistol. If you send me your email address I can send you photos. It is 5-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ in size. The maker’s mark is partially obscured but what I can read appears to be “C.H. TR—–” over “CH – CH” over “SADDL–” in an oval. Any help with identification will be most appreciated.

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