1925 Pattern Shoulder Braces

Continuing our in depth study of the 1925 pattern RAF webbing set, tonight we come to the shoulder braces. These braces, made in blue grey webbing, are identical in design to both 1919 pattern shoulder braces and early 1937 pattern examples. The straps are made of a single piece of reduction woven webbing, expanding from one inch wide at the ends to approximately 2” wide in the centre part where it passes over the shoulder:imageEach end has riveted brass tips to prevent fraying:imageOne of the two straps has a crossover loop sewn onto it to allow the other brace to pass through to prevent them from separating and ‘riding up’ when worn:imageIt must be explained now that the RAF adopted blue grey 37 pattern webbing and at first glance it can be hard to tell the two sets apart. The biggest indicator is the construction method of the shoulder brace- the 1925 pattern is always a single piece of reduction woven webbing rather than different widths sewn together. The second big clue is the date stamp on the shoulder brace itself; the RAF did not adopt blue grey 37 pattern webbing until 1943 so anything dated earlier must be 25 pattern. This shoulder brace has the Air Ministry Crown mark and a date of 1941 proving it must be 1925 pattern:imageThis subtle difference then shows the value of rooting through boxes of otherwise unexceptional webbing as these rarer pieces of webbing are often misidentified and can turn up for a few pounds- a diamond in the rough to the collector.

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