Tonight we are looking at a Canadian made utility strap:I have called this a ‘utility strap’ because, to be honest, I have been unable to find out what its official designation should be. The 1908 and 1937 pattern webbing both included ‘supporting straps’ that are used to help balance the large pack and at first glance this strap appears to be one of these, however when measured my example is just 27” long rather than the requisite 32” in length. This strap would certainly have had a use and was probably for securing something in a roll or to another piece of webbing, but I do not have a definitive answer. This example was made in Canada in 1943 by Zephyr Loom and Textile Ltd, as can be seen by the ink stamp on the webbing:Note also the /|\ inside a ‘C’ acceptance stamp of the Canadian military and the slight yellowish colour of the webbing that is so characteristic of Canadian production. This strap is unusual in having the chape fitting made of the usual brass:But the buckle is made of ‘battle brass’:Battle brass was brass finished in a brown phosphate finish to prevent it from reflecting light in the field and seems to have been a uniquely Canadian feature. Battle brass was introduced in 1943, the year this strap was manufactured and my guess would be that the buckles on this production line ran out before the end chapes and so this strap has ended up with a mix of fittings as one component was transferred over to the new material before the other.
If anyone reading can help identify exactly what this strap has come from please get in contact. There seems to be a myriad variety of these sort of straps in different lengths which all clearly had a purpose when they were made that has been forgotten about since!