1939 Pattern Leather Belt

Continuing my slow and steady acquisition of 39 Pattern Leather Infantry Equipment pieces, my latest addition has been the leather belt:imageFamously used by the prop department of the BBC for Dad’s Army, these belts were not actually commonly issued to the Home Guard but were used with the short-lived 39 pattern set. The design of the belt is based off the webbing 37 pattern example, with two buckles secured to the back of the belt with leather chapes secured by hose rivets. These are designed to allow the shoulder braces to be secured at the rear, however they are open gate examples of the three bar buckle rather than the closed type seen on the webbing version:imageThe belt also uses the brass male:imageAnd female buckles of the 37 pattern belt:imageNote how the belt is noticeably narrow for the buckles, the buckles being designed for a 2” wide belt, and the 1939 pattern belt using leather 1 7/8” wide. This difference is so the belt can use another standard fitting, the brass securing loop and pin that holds it at the right adjusted length:imageThis standard fitting, the Buckle, brass, waist belt, 1 7/8-in, dates back to the 1882 pattern Valise Equipment and the designers of the 39 pattern equipment clearly copied the belt design closely from these late Victorian patterns. Again this sort of clever design indicates the speed of development of this equipment set- apparently the prototype was produced in a single weekend! The pin passes through the belt and then into a slot on the rear:imageNote how instead of the brass slides used on the webbing belt, two leather runners are used to help keep the belt taught at the buckles, secured on the rear by another hose rivet.

This makes four different components in my collection now- still plenty more to track down!

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