Flare Pistol Holster

It has been a long time since we looked at my flare pistol here, since then I have managed to add a flare cartridge tin to my collection here and now I have found a nice wartime dated flare pistol holster to go with the set. The holster is a large heavy duty affair made of brown leather:imageAs can be seen it is much larger even than a World War One Webley holster, with a very wide section where the mussle of the flare pistol sits to accommodate the flared ends of some models. On the rear is a broad belt loop allowing it to be attached to a webbing belt:imageThis holster originally had a shoulder strap, to help support the weight of the flare pistol, but this has long since been removed. The holster has clearly seen some hard times as all the stitching has been replaced at some point, the original stitching clearly not having survived. The flap of the holster is secured with a brass stud and a leather strap:imageUnder the flap of the holster is stamped the date ‘1944’, a maker’s stamp of HK & Son and an acceptance mark with a /|\ mark:imageThis holster has ‘No 3’ painted on the main body:imageThis suggests it was from a pool of flare pistols kept for some use in a central location and loaned out as needed. My flare pistol fits nicely into the holster:imageAs can be seen there is still plenty of room with this little pistol:imageThis suggests the holster was designed to be able to take a variety of different flare pistols of different shapes and sizes. The use of holsters does not actually seem to have been that common in front line infantry units, in this famous picture of Fusilier Tom Payne, it can be seen he is carrying a flare pistol:Fusilier_Tom_Payne_from_11_Platoon,_'B'_Company,_6th_Battalion,_Royal_Welsh_Fusiliers,_Normandy,_12_August_1944__B9005However it is tucked behind his ammunition pouch rather than being in a purpose made holster:Fusilier_Tom_Payne_from_11_Platoon,_'B'_Company,_6th_Battalion,_Royal_Welsh_Fusiliers,_Normandy,_12_August_1944__B9005 - Copy

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