As long term readers will know, I have something of a love hate relationship with eBay. Occasionally bargains come up, but often prices get inflated and I am notoriously bad at wining auctions. It is very frustrating to be outbid by 1p with two seconds to go! Despite that items do come up and I tend to use ‘buy it now’ when I can. Today’s item is from one such listing and is actually something rather rare that seems to have slipped under the radar of other collectors…
As discussed a few weeks back, the Royal Navy adopted the 1919 pattern system of webbing after the Great War. Although cartridge pouches were produced, the Royal Navy prioritised pistol and cutlass sets, with these being the standard issue to boarding parties into the Second World War. One distinctive element of this set was its belt, which although appearing similar to the later 37 pattern belt, is a very different beast:
As can be seen the belt is the same two inch wide width of its more numerous successor, however where the 37 pattern belt is one piece, the 19 pattern is made up of three distinct sections which allow its length to be adjusted:
The prongs on each end piece fit into loops on the back belt and a becket secures any excess neatly together:
The male and female fasteners are firmly sewn onto the ends of the belt:
This example is dated 1940, and as is typical of later production 1919 web equipment doesn’t have the /|\N marking indicating naval ownership:
Unfortunately this belt is missing the two back buckles, but I am going to try and replace these with a pair form a junked 37 pattern belt, providing I can find a good colour match for the webbing. These belts are making up to £85 each on some dealer sites, so to pick mine up for a third of that was a lucky find. It certainly makes a nice pairing with my 1919 pattern holster:
Sadly I think tracking down the ammunition pouch to go with it might prove somewhat harder as it is a rare item and has been faked in the past.