I was very pleased last week to add another component to my expanding 1940 pattern webbing set. Regular readers will know that this is something of an ongoing project for me and I have been slowly tracking down the component parts in the hope of one day getting a full wearable set. The latest addition is a pair of keyway straps:
The official handbook describes them as:
Straps with Keyway Fitting- These are interchangeable and each consists of a strip of 1-inch webbing, fitted with a keyway fitting at one end and an eyeleted tip the other end.
The keyway fittings are brass buckles with a ‘key hole’ shaped cut out:
This cut out engages with the raised stud on the cartridge carriers:
The opposite end has a metal tab to prevent the webbing from fraying. This would be secured to one of the buckles on either the water bottle carrier or the haversack:
The other buckle on the water bottle or haversack is attached to the horizontal strap on the cartridge carriers:
The keyway strap passes through the beckets on the shoulder braces:
The user can then undo the front keyway strap and the haversack or water bottle will slide forwards to be used, whilst the strap ensures there is no danger of it falling to the ground whilst the user is on horseback. This pair of straps is marked MECo and dated 1940:
This seems to have been the only year this set of equipment was produced as every item of 1940 pattern webbing I have come across is dated 1940. MECo also seem to have been the only manufacturer as it is their mark that is seen exclusively on this webbing. I am now in a position of having four of the six bits of webbing I need to complete the set:
If anyone out there has a 1940 pattern back adjustment belt or the haversack please get in contact as I would be very interested.