58 Pattern Compass Pouch

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:imageIt is more square in shape than earlier designs and the box lid secures with a brass turn buckle rather than a press stud:imageThe lid opens to allow a marching compass to be fitted inside:imageThe interior of the pouch is padded with felt to help protect the slightly delicate compass from shocks and bumps:imageManufacturer’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:imageThe 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:imageFor some reason, this pouch has had a splash of yellow paint added to the rear:imageI 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.


  1. Often in a unit a standardised colour code is assigned to sub units to enable each to mark, and therefore easily distinguish, their equipment. This is meant to ensure that when equipment is pooled or loaned you receive your items back, and to discourage items being illegitimately acquired, or less serviceable items being swapped. Used on both serial numbered items (often in conjunction with a locally assigned number) and those without serial numbers. Red, yellow, blue and emerald green are commonly used colours, and are sometimes combined with triangular, square, circular and semicircular shapes to enable further identification.

  2. Anchor Supplies recently sold an AF0210 watch strap for £249 !

    It was repackaged as 6645-99-910-1003 Strap, wrist, instrument.

    I inderstand the A6/AFxxxx webbing was tropical issue, and more general issue p44 webbing became A1/AAxxxx

    The transition in numbering system is illustrated by the pattern 44 webbing binocular case. This began as AF0259, Case, Binocular, in 1945. Intended for carriage of Binoculars, prismatic, No. 2, 7 x 30, this was a very neat, padded design, only stiffened in its base, with a hooded lid closed by a QR (Quick Release) fastener. This then transitioned to A6/AF0259, and then A1/AA/2004, and by 1955 was CN/AA/2004. When repacked in November 1964 it was 6650-99-973-6182, still Case, Binocular.

    The binocular case above seems to be 973-6xxx

    Do you know much about the history of the watch strap.

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