Carry Harness

One of the more intriguing pieces of World War Two webbing is the subject of tonight’s post. Few pieces of web gear can be so consistently misidentified as the webbing carrying harness:imageI have seen this described as being for the carriage of a Bren gun tripod on numerous occasions, however although it will attach to a Bren tripod, actually wearing and using it as such would soon cripple the user! The actual use of this harness is a little more prosaic as it is just a general purpose yoke for helping support heavy weights when being carried. It is often seen in use with 3” mortar bomb or PIAT bomb tubes, although the straps could be used to support any heavy weight being carried in the hands such as ammunition boxes or jerry cans. The short cross piece goes behind the neck at the top of the back:imageA pair of straps hangs down, one each side of each shoulder. The end of each strap has a buckle and a short web tab that can be passed through an object and secured:imageObviously this arrangement only works if the soldier has two items of equal load, but would help move the strain from the arms to across the shoulders where it is more comfortable. All the examples of this harness I have seen date from 1945 and most seem to be in unissued condition. This might be as simple as a dealer finding a bale of these made in 1945 and releasing them onto the collector market, equally they might have been introduced in 1945 and a massive production run made in that year. The harness is stamped on the rear of the cross piece in black ink and has date, manufacturer and stores code:image

One comment

  1. You can see these yokes that have been taken apart being used as cross straps in Dad’s Army. The stitch marks from the cut-off short cross piece are obvious as is the extra length of the straps.

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