Green Holdall

The British Army has issued a wide variety of bags, holdalls and suitcases to its troops over the years in which to carry their kit when moving from one deployment to another. With the possible exception of the current issue black ‘grip’ with integral shoulder straps, none of these bags could be said to be easy to carry when filled with uniform, boots and webbing. Tonight we are looking at a green holdall issued in the 1990s to troops which despite its prodigious carry capacity can hardly have been the easiest thing to carry on and off trains or lorries:imageThis holdall is made from green canvas in a roughly rectangular shape with two large carrying handles, one on either side of the bag:imageMetal loops are provided to attach a shoulder strap, although the width of the holdall would suggest that this would not have been any more ergonomic for carrying than the two top mounted carrying handles:imageA zipper runs across the top of the bag to give access to the contents within:imageA smaller pocket is sewn to one side of the holdall, with a clear acetate window also visible where the owner’s details could be displayed to allow it to be identified amongst a sea of identical bags:imageThe two ends of the bag have heavy reinforcements at the corners to prevent the fabric from fraying and becoming damaged with extensive use:imageThe base of the holdall has a stiffener within it and a series of white metal feet to lift it off the ground and to offer greater protection from wear:imageWhilst not as versatile as the latest issue black holdalls, this green example must have been well liked when it was introduced as it is far more practical and up to date than the traditional kit bag or a fibre suitcase. This type of holdall seems to have been issued throughout the 1990s until the early 2000s and although now obsolete they do appear for sale on the surplus market occasionally. For the collector their huge capacity and relatively square shape make them very useful for storing other items of uniform and kit inside and this example is doing just that in my collection.

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