1972 Pattern Webbing Left hand Pouch

In the early 1970s the British Army trialled a new set of webbing designed for the nuclear age. This new webbing was the first to move away from cotton weave to a butyl nylon that could be easily decontaminated. The webbing system was a radical departure from previous design and had some innovative features that were not followed up on subsequent designs. The webbing system was officially known as ‘75 pattern’ by the MoD, is commonly referred to as ’72 Pattern’ by collectors and was actually introduced as early as 1971…complicated enough for you? As can be imagined, components for this set of webbing are rare and so far I only have two of the four main components. We kick off tonight looking at the left hand pouch assembly:imageAs can be seen the design has a large pouch designed to hold the water bottle and other personal items, this is secured with a black plastic buckle:imageThis pouch has the usual grommet on the bottom to allow any water to drain out:imageAnd on the side belt loops are sewn to allow an SLR bayonet to be carried:imageNext to this is a single ammunition pouch with a rounded top flap:imageThis holds a single SLR magazine for quick access and has a press stud fastening:imageThe webbing set is unusual in not having a belt to fasten other items to, instead having the male and female buckles sewn directly to the pouches, this example has the black plastic male fastener:imageAlso of note on the front is a webbing tab with two eyelets to allow extra items such as another water bottle to be attached:imageThis seems particularly impracticable as anything hung from it would be conveniently positioned to hit the wearer in the groin! Turning the ammunition pouch over we can see that the back is pretty plain:imageA large white panel is sewn on to allow the wearer to write his name and number on the webbing:imageThe pouch connects to the ‘bum pack’ part of the webbing through large plastic US style clips:imageMy thanks go to Stephen Madden for kind permission to use these photographs of his complete set of 72 pattern webbing showing how the parts all fit together:15202703_1543249369025610_5341110630851096588_n15202491_1543249612358919_2433907004048512584_nReturning to my pouch, the manufacturer’s details and a date of 1972 are stamped onto the underside of the main pouch lid in black ink:imageThis web set is pretty rare, and I suspect it might be unknown to many readers. I have also picked up the yoke for the set which we will be looking at in the new year, I am therefore after the right hand pouch and the ‘bum pouch’ if anyone can help me track them down!15241217_1541944765822737_7607187199140377599_n


  1. I bought my complete ’72 “CEFO” brand new in the 1980s. It had 2x Utility Straps that attach to the rear Yoke Straps. I’ve never seen these anywhere else, online or whatever.

    The trials Rucksack is near identical to the GS Rucksack. The shape in the picture is misleading because the pack’s been padded out with boxes – it’s definitely not so square as in the demo photograph. I’ve only ever seen 2x.

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