37 Pattern Mk III Basic Pouches

The design of 37 pattern webbing components was not set in aspic and many underwent greater or lesser modifications over the years to their basic designs. One of the most commonly encountered is the Mk III basic pouch with quick release tab. This pouch was introduced in World War Two, but is not commonly seen until the post war period so is largely ignored by re-enactors and collectors. Like many examples, my pair are in mint condition:imageThe Mk III pouch featured a number of changes over its predecessors. Firstly its length was increased by ½” so Sten Gun magazines could fit in:imageA metal drainage grommet was added to the base of the pouch:imageAnd the press stud was replaced by a two part quick release buckle:imageThe QR buckle was easier to manufacture but quickly frayed and was a pig to use in service, with there often being insufficient room once the buckle was closed to pass the tab down and secure it. The rear of the pouch was unchanged:imageHowever a stores code has been stamped above the C-hooks used to attach the pouch to a belt:imageThis particular pouch was manufactured in 1952 by MECo:imageThese pouches can be seen used in many photographs of National Servicemen in the 1950s, such as the example we looked at a few weeks back here. It appears that thousands of these were left in stores unissued, consequently they are very common and remarkably cheap.

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