Over the last month or so we have looked at a couple of pieces of olive green PLCE webbing. Now thanks to my friend and fellow collector, Michael Fletcher, I now have a complete wearable set of early PLCE:
As with the Canadian webbing earlier this year, to save overloading you and boring everyone to tears I am going to look at the components piece by piece each week for the next month and a half. I have already covered some of these pieces in their DPM form, but there are considerable design differences between early and later PLCE so we will revisit these components as they are different enough to warrant their own posts- it’s not just the colour that changes!
We kick off tonight with the PLCE utility pouch:The utility pouch is designed as a general purpose pouch that can be used for carrying extra ammunition, or a soldiers personal kit. Maximum flexibility was emphasised in the design, as seen on the rear:Here two sets of fabric loops and two brass c hooks give the user a choice of a high or low slung pouch:The top of the pouch has two metal D-rings that allow it to be fitted in place of the ammunition pouches on either side of the belt buckle- the rings being used to attach the yoke to:This was a major upgrade from the old 58 pattern set and gave far more flexibility. The black plastic female Fastex fastener allows the pouch to be attached to the rucksack should you so desire.
These early pouches do not have sewn in stores labels, but rather have the information printed straight onto the fabric:As can be seen this is no longer always very clear, but you can make out the NSN number and the /|\ marking fairly easily.
This early olive green PLCE is still available, but slowly becoming scarcer as it was only produced for a short period of time. As such it is an excellent set for the serious student of British load bearing equipments to start putting together whilst it is still easy to find.