The enamelled kidney shaped water bottle was to have an extraordinarily long service life with the British military. It’s successor was to be equally long lived and it is the black nylon water bottle and cup introduced in the 1960s which is still in use today. Originally the 58 pattern webbing set did not have a dedicated water bottle- the old enamelled Mk VII bottle was expected to soldier on in service despite it having been obsolete as early as the First World War. It was quickly understood a new plastic bottle was essential and after a couple of different trials models the familiar design was agreed upon in olive green plastic. By the mid-1960s this had been changed to the familiar black:The water bottle holds two pints and comes with a separate cup that fits over the top half of the bottle when stowed in a pouch:As is typical with plastic bottles, a moulded warning is provided reminding the user to keep it away from heat, note also the date for this particular example, 1985, moulded into the side:Bizarrely the NSN numbers for the bottle allocate a separate code for the bottle, cap and cup! The cap is also dated 1985 and is secured to the collar of the bottle with a flexible plastic strap:Once the S10 respirator was introduced the bottle lid was replaced with a new design that allowed a straw to be attached for use with the new design of mask. The cup provided for the bottle is also made of black nylon, with two folding metal handles:The use of a plastic cup prevented the user form burning his lips when drinking hot liquids, but meant that you couldn’t use the cup to melt snow for a cup of tea- many troops found old 1944 pattern cups and swapped them over! The metal handles are secured to the cup with a riveted plate and fold flat around the cup for stowage:This water bottle remains in widespread use in the British military and water bottle pouches were added to the PLCE and MOLLE systems when they were introduced to carry the same design of bottle. As it is cheap to buy (the stores catalogue prices the bottles at £1.14, the caps at 40p and the cap retainers at 10p each) and held by the military in massive quantities it seems likely that there are many more decades of service ahead for the humble black water bottle set!