44 Pattern Haversack, All Ranks

The 44 pattern haversack as introduced was a considerable improvement on the 37 pattern design. However following operational experience in Malaya and Borneo it became clear that a larger design was needed and in August 1965 a new pattern was introduced. This new ‘Haversack, All Ranks’ was much larger but followed the same basic pattern of a large central compartment and two side pockets:

The interior waterproofing was improved with a thicker material used in a grey-green colour rather than black. Each side pocket was secured with a turn button fastener, originally blackened but now worn away to brass on this example:

These pockets were designed to take the two halves of the mess tin set, with items packed inside the tins. The base of the haversack has two straps that can be used to secure items such as a rolled poncho under the pack:

Note the channel these straps run through, they allow the straps to be folded up and tucked away nearly when not in use. The main body of the haversack is obviously much larger, however it works in a similar way to previously with a pair of weather flaps that can fold over, the eyelets allow a piece of cord to be used to secure them:

The designers recognised that the pack might not always be full, so a strapping tab is sewn to the underside of the top flap:

This can be secured to a matching buckle on the main haversack that allows it to be drawn in tightly:

The top flap has a series of loops and c-hooks to allow other items of equipment to be carried, note also the two long straps at the bottom:

These cross the main body of the haversack, as seen in the first photograph, and act like the supporting straps on the 08 pattern webbing giving somewhere for a helmet or other bulky equipment to be stowed. The underside of the top flap has the maker’s mark, here MECo, an NSN number and the date of manufacture, 1966:

The haversack attached to the rest of the 44 pattern set in the same manner as its predecessor. Buckles above the side pouches allow it to be slung on the hip from the brace ends, whilst on the rear are the tabs needed to allow a pair of L- straps to be fastened:

The unit markings here are intriguing and show at least two stages of use. There was originally a black circle with writing that was then overpainted with a white square. Quite what the meaning of this was is now unclear but was something probably agreed at unit level.

This new design of haversack was far more practical than its predecessor and continued in service into the late 1970s when the general service rucksack with its metal frame became more popular.

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