Lurking in junk boxes and old tool chests, the brass kitbag D Ring is a very common piece of militaria and having a number of them I have pretty much stopped picking them up. Much harder to find however are examples in white metal and so I was very pleased to add this example to my collection a few weeks back:Brass was a strategic resource in the Second World War and its use was prioritised for key items such as shell casings. Other less strategic brass items such as cap badges and kitbag locks were made from alternative materials. In the case of cap badges plastic was used and for kitbag D-Rings a white metal was substituted.
This piece is made from the alternative metal, probably steel, but in design is similar to the older pieces. The swinging arm is hinged using a pin:Whilst at the opposite end a hole is cut to allow a padlock to be used to secure the kitbag:This particular kit bag D Ring is very square in shape, presumably to act as a more comfortable handle when on the kitbag. There was actually a large variety in the shape of these d-rings as seen here when seen alongside a couple of brass examples:In this image of a returning soldier, the kitbag d-ring can just be made out at the neck of his kitbag: