Plier’s Frog

Linemen were used to maintain and repair telephone lines used by the British Army. Much of this time was therefore spent up telegraph poles using tools such as pliers. Obviously if these were to be dropped, it would be a long way back down to retrieve them. We have previously looked at a pair of pliers with a lanyard loop and this was one way of securing the tools, more common however was a specialist webbing frog that allowed a pair of pliers to be securely fastened to the users belt, seen here in a photograph from World War Two:imageThe webbing frog can be clearly seen and this design was to remain in production and use for many years after the end of the Second World War. Tonight we are looking at a webbing pliers frog that, although dating to 1977, is of the same design as that used in wartime. In appearance it is a simple webbing frog similar to that used for a bayonet:imageUnlike a bayonet frog though, there is of course no hole from a scabbard stud. The pliers are placed in nose down and the design of the tool ensures that they naturally stay in the frog securely:imageThe frog was designed for 9″ pliers, but could be easily modified with a couple of stitches to carry 5″ or 7″ pliers as well. A loop is sewn into the frog to allow a belt to be passed through:imageThe rear of the frog is stamped with the makers initial, MWS, a date of 1977, an NSN number and the /|\ mark indicating military ownership:imageIronically, although these frogs saw far more and far longer service as part of lineman equipment, they were originally introduced in the 1930s as part of the now almost forgotten and exceptionally rare Royal Artillery pattern of webbing. The main webbing set was quickly replaced by 37 pattern equipment in World War Two, but the plier’s  frog proved so useful it continued in service and manufacture for decades more.

One comment

  1. I don’t have a particular interest in Signals, but a couple of years ago I called in to the Royal Signals Museum, and found it fascinating.

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