Tonight we are looking at the 44 pattern water bottle and carrier. Perhaps the surprising thing about the 44 pattern water bottle is how long it took to be introduced. Even before the 37 pattern webbing set had been issued to troops it was clear that the enamelled steel water bottle was hopelessly outmoded. It was an awkward shape, impossible to clean properly, the enamel chipped easily allowing it to rust and the cork rotted and disintegrated after extensive use. These problems were all apparent before the war and an aluminium bottle was introduced- and then rapidly withdrawn.
Both the water bottle and its holder draw heavily upon the US M1910 water bottle and cradle. The 44 pattern webbing finally took notice of the design that the Americans had been using for the last 34 years and gave the British Soldier his first effective modern water bottle:
In the rear of the cover is a small pocket to hold a Millbank bag:This is a filtration bag, it is filled with water and suspended, allowing the water to drip through leaving any impurities behind. Sterilising tablets can then be added to make it safe to drink. This example is dated 1945:And a set of instructions for use are printed on a label near the mouth:
The 44 pattern water bottle has remained highly popular with troops, even after it was officially withdrawn as obsolete and is still sought after by those serving today. Not surprisingly then examples are not as common or cheap as their more numerous predecessors.