1925 Pattern Rucksack

This evening we are looking in more detail at the RAF 1925 pattern rucksack. This particular webbing is very complicated, with numerous straps and buckles and thus gained the name octopus from RAF personnel issued with it. This seems to be a trend across the board with the Mills Equipment Company during the interwar period. The simple packs of the 1908 pattern webbing system give way to ever more complicated systems with multiple straps for different pieces of equipment to be slung off them. It is perhaps understandable when one realises that the British Army had millions of spare sets of 08 webbing left over from World War One; a tailored webbing system was MECo’s attempt to find new markets and try and tempt the army with something that could do more than what it already had. Needless to say the Army took economy over innovation and these systems were sold to the RAF, RN and Empire nations instead.10993500_10152654392088045_3435389414497653358_nThe 1925 pattern consists of two parts, an upper and lower pack, that fasten together:imageNoticeable are the two cross straps running over the top of the upper pack’s weather flap, these were used to secure a steel helmet to the pack; when not in use they were fastened under the flap to present a neat appearance. Buckles join the two packs together at the front:imageAnd rear:imageThe lower pack is a simple webbing bag that cannot be worn on its own, it provides additional carrying capacity but would have housed non- essential kit that could be left in unit transport if required:imageThis example is Air Ministry marked, 1940 dated and named to 976966 Maule:imageInterestingly the lower pack is stamped ‘BACK’, clearly to prevent people attempting to fasten it to the upper pack incorrectly:imageThe upper pack is a small self-contained bag, capable of being worn on its own:imageTo the rear are ‘L Straps’ like those used on the 1919 and later 1937 webbing sets:imageThis part of the rucksack is dated 1939:imageThis equipment was adopted by both the RAF and the RCAF, from whom we have these details following the introduction of the 1925 pattern webbing sets:list

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