Single Webbing Ration Carrier

Getting hot rations up to troops in the field has always been difficult and one of the constant complaints by men in the First World War was that by the time soups or stews reached them they were cold. By the Second World War insulated containers had started to be introduced that helped alleviate this problem however the weight of a full container raised its own problems. These containers were cylindrical and did not have any handles so were particularly awkward to transport so a couple of different webbing carriers were developed. There were double carriers to hold two insulated containers and this type that held just a single example:imageThis heavy duty carrier is worn on the back in place of the small pack and worn in rucksack fashion with a pair of shoulder straps, that could be attached or detached at the base using a large pair of brass hooks to make it easier to don the heavy pack:imageThese straps could be adjusted with a pair of small buckles on each strap:imageFurther adjustments could be made by using a pair of 2” Twigg buckles at the top of the pack:imageA chest strap is included that helps distribute the load across the upper body:imageThe only date markings are on the shoulder strap where there is a faint date of 1945 marked:imageThe carrier itself is a large webbing bag, with a flat back containing a fibre board for rigidity:imageThe base of the carrier has a small set of metal feet that help protect it from damage when it is taken off and placed on the ground:imageIt was recognised that the weight of the full carrier would be uncomfortable for the wearer, so large pads were fitted for comfort; one at the top:imageAnd another at the base:imageThese carriers were never personal issue pieces and were instead kept at unit level for distribution as and when needed for those who were picked for ration duties. As such they were never blancoed and it seems that few were ever used as nearly all examples that turn up are 1945 dated and completely unissued. I do have an insulated container, however this is one of the taller post war types and so doesn’t work with this carrier. The post war containers seem to be much easier to find than the wartime type, but I will keep my eyes out for one as it would be nice to match it up with this carrier.

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