1940 Pattern Back Belt

The 1940 Pattern Cavalry webbing set is possibly the hardest of all the World War II British webbing sets to put together. Over the last ten years I have slowly been picking up components and recently I have been lucky enough to add the back belt to the set:

My thanks go to my friend Michael Skriletz who very kindly helped me add this to the collection. The official fitting instructions for the 1940 pattern set describes it as:

Back Adjustment Strap- This is made in one size to give a range of adjustment from 32 inches to 48 inches. The width is 2 1/4 inches. It is fitted with an eyeletted tip each end:

And two buckles centrally for attachment of the braces. Two keyways are also fitted which hang below the lower edge to engage studs in the base of the waterbottle carrier and haversack:

The back of the belt piece follows standard Mills practice and has small loops woven into it to allow it to be adjusted to length in combination with the brass c-hooks on the back of the cartridge carriers:

The belt is stamped on the rear and indicates it was made by Mills Equipment Company in 1940:

All pieces of 40 Pattern webbing I have seen are dated 1940 so I suspect Mills were given the contract and fulfilled it all within the year and there was never a need to follow it up with more purchases.

This component now allows me to assemble the pieces of 1940 webbing I have and I have an incomplete set looking like this:

I am still missing the haversack and brass brace fitting to complete the set, as seen in these illustrations from the original fitting instructions:

Obviously I am not there yet, but I could never have believed ten years ago when I started picking up pieces that I would get this far!

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