Lightweight Respirator Case

A couple of years back we looked at the dark green jungle respirator case, but until now we have not considered the far more common light green haversack that was in widespread use in western Europe throughout the Second World War and into the 1960s. The haversack is a box shaped bag, in light green canvas with a tan cotton webbing sling:imageThis particular example is mint, out of the box (quite literally) and looks as they would have been issued when new.The haversack has a box lid, secured with a metal staple and webbing quick release tab:imagePockets are sewn onto either side of the case, these are designed to hold a tin of anti-gas ointment in one side and cotton waste in the other:imageThe shoulder strap attaches through a large metal ring, and is secured and adjusted with a slide buckle:imageA pair of brass C-hooks are sewn to the rear of the case to allow it to be attached to a belt:imageThe underside of the lid has the manufacturer’s details and a date of 1944 (I think, the stamping is not the easiest to read):imageLooking inside the haversack we can see a large pocket at the back for the anti-gas eye shields, a loop at the bottom to hold the shoulder strap when not needed and a small pocket for the anti-dimming tin:imageThe following description from a 1944 British Army Pamphlet explains the methods of carrying the case:

Carriage of the respirator – The respirator may be carried in one of three ways. i.e., slung over the shoulder, on the chest, or on the equipment belt. Details are as follows:-

i) Slung position – when slung over the right shoulder the haversack is on the left side of the body, quick release tab and eyelet away from body.

ii) Chest position – when worn on the chest the sling is shortened until it will just pass over the head, quick release tab and eyelet to the front. The haversack should be high up on the chest, and, if further shortening of the sling is necessary, one of the slides on the sling should be detached and fastened , at a suitable position, to the sling, on the far side of the other slide. The chest position may be found suitable for transport drivers.

iii) Belt position – When carried on the equipment belt, the haversack is secured at the rear by means of the two double hooks. The sling is detached and held inside the haversack by means of the canvas tape and press button.

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