Indian Made Signals Satchel

As well as the standard 37 pattern webbing, India also produced a number of associated items of webbing equipment. Amongst these was a signals satchel that was largely a copy of the British made example (here). The satchel is made of the distinctive, slightly striped, webbing that other pieces of Indian webbing are made from:

The satchel is marked as such on the lid, and like much Indian webbing these markings now have a slightly washed out and faded look to them:

This is quite common on webbing and seems to be down to the dyes used in the original printing process. The buckle is made of brass, but has a slight greenish tinge. This green is repeated on the other fittings, such as these on the shoulder strap:

These are not covered in verdigris, the green seeming instead to be some sort of lacquer. This is most likely to deter corrosion in the heat and humidity of south east Asia, but I confess it is not something I have seen on Indian webbing before. Interestingly, the brass fittings are dated as well, in this case 1942:

Unlike the British signals’ satchel, the Indian pattern has stiffening on both the front and back and the sides and bottom of the main bag. The inside is also lined with cotton drill to help protect the contents:

This is stamped with BHFH and the date 1943:

I haven’t been able to identify this manufacturer and it’s not an Indian manufacturer I am familiar with, but the design is certainly Indian in origin and if anyone can offer more information then please get in touch. These sort of Indian made associated pieces are far rarer to find than standard webbing items and it’s a nice new avenue to start collecting going forward…

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