When 37 pattern webbing was introduced the military recognised that not all troops needed the large box pouches designed to hold Bren Gun magazines. Troops such as drivers, artillerymen and other’s in service rather than infantry roles still carried rifles, but needed smaller quantities of ammunition and greater comfort whilst doing tasks such as driving. To meet this need soldiers were issued with pairs of cartridge carriers. These carriers were made of webbing and each had two pouches, each of which could hold 2 5 round clips of cartridges. This gave soldiers a respectable 40 rounds, felt quite sufficient for troops that were not expected to be in the front line for any length of time.
The pouches themselves were a one piece woven affair, much like the pouches on the old 08 pattern webbing, however they only had room for two clips of ammunition rather than three:The pouches were sewn to a brace attachment on the rear:At the top of the brace was a buckle to fasten the cartridge carrier to the cross straps and allow the L-Straps of a small pack to be attached:Brass ‘C’ hooks were fitted to allow the cartridge carrier to be fastened to the belt of the 37 pattern set:The pouches were made of reduction weaving, with flaps secured by a brass press stud:There were two sets of male studs, allowing the pouch to be secure whether there was one or two clips of ammunition inside secured by a Newey stud on the flap:It is interesting to note the original early war pea green blanco on this set of cartridge carriers, this seems to be original and shows the vibrancy of the colour used at the start of WW2. Unfortunately the blanco has obscured any dates or manufacturers details. I can see where they are in the right light, but not with enough clarity to identify what they say. The cartridge carriers were officially declared obsolescent in 1941 and reintroduced the following year…needless to say the exact history of their use is complicated and Karkeeweb explains it far better than I can http://www.karkeeweb.com/patterns/1937/1937_cartridge_carriers.html