39 Pattern Utility Pouches

The 39 pattern leather equipment set included not only the standard personal load bearing equipment sets, based off the webbing 37 pattern set, but also various accessories including the subject of tonight’s post the utility pouches. These pouches were used to carry either additional Bren magazines, 2” mortar bombs or anything else that might be fitted into them. The pouches are based off the webbing versions but made of leather, I have two rear pouches:imageSadly the front pouches seem much harder to find. The case is formed of brown leather hose-riveted to a fibreboard backing, one in red-brown and one in grey-black:imageThe side of the pouch shows the single rivet in the centre used to attach the leather to the fibreboard on this side:imageThe lid of the pouch is secured using a leather tab and a snap fastener:imageTurning to the rear of the pouch we can see a fairlead riveted to the bottom half of the pouch, the front pouch had a leather strap that passed around the body and through this fairlead to prevent them bouncing around:imageAt the top of the pouch is a leather tab connected to a 2” buckle. This was to allow the pouch to be attached to a leather yoke that then went over the shoulder connecting front and rear pouches. Note also the /|\ marking:imageA drainage hole is fitted to the base of the pouches to allow any water to run off and not collect inside:imageAs with most 39 pattern equipment, these pieces were made in fairly large quantities but saw little use beyond training and some second line units. The 39 pattern set has largely been ignored over the years but is starting to get a following; some items are incredibly rare, but these pouches are one of the easier pieces to find.

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