Leather Other Services Water Bottle Carrier

Back in 2014 we considered the webbing Other Services Water bottle Carrier (here), we mentioned then that this carrier replaced an earlier leather example. Since writing that post I have found just such a leather water bottle carrier and that is the subject of tonight’s post. A comparison between the two shows how similar the two designs are ( please note the bottle shown here is missing its wool cover):imageMade of leather, this water bottle carrier was introduced to replace an earlier and almost identical carrier that differed only in having a canvas central section to the cross strap. The carrier is made of brown leather, with a cradle that passes below the bottle and around it in two positions:

imageThe components are secured by brass hose rivets:imageWith the strap attaching to the main carrier through two large metal rings:imageThe length of the strap is adjustable with a small roller buckle:imageThese carriers were on general issue to all troops that did not have one of the typical webbing sets, i.e. those not equipped with 08 or later 37 pattern webbing. When the webbing ‘OS’ carriers came into service the leather examples were issued to the Home Guard, here the central figure in an anti-invasion exercise taking place in York in November 1941 can be seen to wear the water bottle slung over his shoulder:The_Home_Guard_1939-45_H15191Interestingly a black leather version of the carrier exists and this appears to have been for St John’s Ambulance use. The basic design of carrier was remarkable long lived, being used in various guises from the turn of the twentieth century into the 1950s. Due to the simplicity of the design, variations can also be seen having been produced and issued in India to local troops, indeed the basic design is so simple that I have in the past made my own replica of the version with a central canvas section to the cross strap.

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