Last month we looked at the second Mk 2 design of 1919 pattern holster, since then I have been lucky enough to pick up an example of the Mk 1 holster. This holster was introduced with the rest of the 1919 pattern webbing for RN use in the period immediately after the Great War. The RN used pistols far more than the army as the typical armament for a naval boarding party was culass and revolver, both being excellent melee weapons for the sort of close quarters battles to be expected in the close confines of a ship. The official instructions for the 1919 pattern webbing equipment describe the holster as follows:
Revolver Holster. – This is woven to a size to fit a revolver easily:The end of the barrel –tube is provided with a block to protect the foresight:A large flap is provided with a snap fastener for closing:On the back two double hooks are attached, which engage with the flat loops on the inside of the belt:The holster is lined with smooth material, to allow the revolver to be drawn and returned easily.
As can be seen, my example dates from 1924 and apart from a few small chips to the wooden plug is in excellent condition. Notice how there is no sleeve to hold a cleaning rod on this pattern of holster. The /|\ above an ‘N’ marking can just be made out below the date stamp and this indicates Royal Navy ownership. These holsters were manufactured up until around 1933- 1935 when production changed to the Mk2 example we looked at here. The picture below is taken from the Royal Navy’s Field Training manual of 1926 and shows the holster clearly during a demonstration of how to hold the revolver correctly: