Bren Gun Carrier Ammunition Grab Bag

Tuesday’s market brought up a number of nice finds, including this very nice large leather bag:imageThis bag is designed to carry Bren gun magazines inside a Bren Gun Carrier, the bag being designed to be grabbed quickly if the crew needed to dismount quickly with their weapon. The official designation is “ Pouches, detachable ammo, filled mags, Bren, Thompson, Grenades” and the interior of the pouch is large and roomy for ammunition:imageThe back of the case has a metal bracket riveted to the main pouch:imageThis allows the bag to be securely fixed to the side of the vehicle, as in this preserved example where leather pouches can be seen stowed down the right hand side:carrier%20046Eight of these pouches were carried on each Bren Carrier, to be positioned at the commander’s discretion. According to the stowage diagram they were to contain between them ‘25 Mags, Bren .303 MG Mk II* (Filled); 8 mags, Rifle Boy’s Mk II (Filled); 12 Grenades, Hand…Case, Spare, WT, Parts 5c.’  Some suggested stowage positions are indicated in the diagram below, highlighted in red:carrier%20mk%202There are a number of different versions of this bag, some made of canvas or fibre (which seem to be Canadian) and some with two fasteners, this example though has just a single strap and metal buckle to secure the top:imageThere is a short leather carrying handle attached:imageThis is marked with a /|\, date of 1943 and the stores code 14076 which is a generic code used for all variants of this pouch: imageMy best guess is that the pouch held six or eight magazines originally, possibly in an inner canvas liner with subdivisions. Information on these pouches seems rather limited. Whilst this pouch is a nice item, unfortunately I haven’t got a Bren Gun Carrier to go with it!

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