When it was first introduced the 58 pattern webbing set did not include any of the pieces of webbing usually used by officers, so there was initially no binocular cases, holsters or compass pouches. It was quickly realised that these were essential components for any equipment set and by the early 1960s these pieces had been introduced, although they do not appear in the fitting instructions for the 58 pattern set. Tonight we are looking at the compass pouch from this set which accompanies the pistol and binoculars cases I already have nicely. The case is a small square pouch in the green pre-shrunk cotton typical of the 58 pattern set:It is more square in shape than earlier designs and the box lid secures with a brass turn buckle rather than a press stud:The lid opens to allow a marching compass to be fitted inside:The interior of the pouch is padded with felt to help protect the slightly delicate compass from shocks and bumps:Manufacturer’s details were printed on the underside of the box lid, unfortunately in this case they are now very faint and I can’t make out who made this pouch or when:The rear of the pouch has a single metal ‘C’ hook and a transverse webbing loop to allow the 58 pattern yoke to be slotted through:For some reason, this pouch has had a splash of yellow paint added to the rear:I am not sure exactly why this has been done, possibly it has been added by a previous user so he can quickly identify his piece of webbing in a pile of his comrades.
As items like the binoculars case, holster and compass pouch were produced in smaller numbers than the standard infantry 58 pattern webbing, they are slightly harder to find today than other components. Having said that, they are still out there and careful shopping will allow the collector to find them at a reasonable price. I paid £5 for this case and the dealer I bought it off had three of them for that price so they are still readily available.