51 Pattern Mess Tin Pouch

One of the unique elements of Canadian webbing design was to add a dedicated mess tin pouch to their 51 and 64 pattern sets. Most nations carried their mess tins inside the large pack, or if the design permitted slung from a convenient strap on part of the equipment. Canada however seems to have looked at the experience of its troops in the Second World War where it was common for them to acquire a second water bottle carrier to be used as a mess tin pouch- the mess tin then being easily available at unexpected ration stops without the need to go hunting in the main pack:etool10etool10-copyThe 51 pattern set had a large pouch to carry the mess tins in:imageThe top flap is secured with a quick release pull tab fastener:imageA pair of mess tins fits inside, they are tight enough to prevent rattling, but easy enough to pull out:imageThe methods of attaching the pouch to the rest of the equipment follow the same pattern as the canteen carrier we looked at last week:imageWith a wire hook to attach to the belt:imageAnd a pair of brass Twigg buckles on either side to attach to the ends of the shoulder braces:imageAs with a lot of this 51 pattern webbing, the markings are too faint to read, however unusually this pouch appears to have been blancoed at some point in its life, giving it the slightly shiny appearence seen in the photos abovve. Interestingly despite adopting this pouch, and a similar one for the following 64 pattern webbing set, Canada abandoned aluminium mess tins in the 1980s due to fears of aluminium poisoning- something the British military clearly didn’t consider a problem for their troops as aluminium mess tins are still issued!

As ever my thanks go to Andrew Iarocci for helping me add this piece to the collection.

2 thoughts on “51 Pattern Mess Tin Pouch

  1. greg

    hiya, nice info on the 51 patt mess kit pouch,…but the picture you show is of a soldier in France after D Day and he is wearing a square mess tin set inside his 1937 pattern water bottle holder (sleeve type) as a lot of tommy’s did in this period they were issued or aquired a 2nd carrier and either put their mess tins inside it or a 2nd water bottle instead of carrying it inside their haversack.

    Reply
    1. hatchfive Post author

      Hi Greg, you are correct, the illustration was to show the existing practice that was taken to its logical conclusion by the Canadians when they introduced a dedicated pouch.

      Reply

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