There are times when a collector has to rely on his intuition, common sense and knowledge of his subject to make a ‘best guess’ as to the use of an item of militaria. Tonight’s object is one such item, I have only ever seen one other example of this haversack and the owner was enquiring as to its use as well, so please be aware that some of what follows is conjecture on my part.
This haversack is made of grey-green waterproofed canvas and is a large bag, with a rounded bottom:The markings inside the bag date it to 1944, the /|\ indicates it was War Department issue and identify it as being for a mule:This is the point where guesswork comes in as no one seems to know what the bag was designed to carry, in my opinion it was to store a mule gas mask:The size and shape are consistent with the large round gas masks issued to fit over the muzzles of these pack animals. As ever if anyone has further information please let me know! Inside the bag is a cotton divider:Whilst the lid is secured with Newey studs:And leather straps:That pass through metal staples:to secure the lid:A webbing tape on the bottom helps support the contents:Whilst a pair of two inch webbing straps and buckles allow the haversack to be secured to other equipment:Since buying this, very obscure, item of military kit I have been kicking myself for passing over a mule gas mask that appeared on eBay last year. If anyone has one for sale or knows of where I could find one I would be very interested in adding one to my collection and completing this interesting set.