Long time readers will know that I have slowly been collecting up the various parts needed to put together a WS38 set. One of the major components eluding me until recently has been the webbing cradle that the radio sits in when being worn. Happily I have now picked one up and my WS38 set is finally complete enough to wear in an impression.
The cradle is made of strips of webbing, sewn together in a similar fashion to a water bottle carrier, but shaped for the box shape of the WS38 set:
In order to hold the radio safely, the cradle is a very tight fit around the body of the wireless, but with a bit of gentle persuasion can be made to fit:
Note the long steadying strap on the right. This passed around the body when the radio is worn and prevents it from bouncing around too much. One end of the steadying strap is sewn to the cradle, the other has a brass hook that can be clipped to a corresponding ring on the opposite side of the carrier:
The back of the carrier has an inverted V shaped piece of webbing ending in a large ring:
This is used to attach to a carrying hook, that in turn is secured to the soldier’s webbing to hold the weight of the radio securely. This particular carrier is dated 1943, the date, stores code and manufacturer’s initials being stamped in black ink on the steadying strap:
This piece then allows me to set out where I currently am with the WS38 set radio, and bar a few small pieces it is pretty much complete now:
I am still missing items like the battery, junction box etc, however as these are usually carried inside the haversack I can live without them for now. A few months back I was able to borrow a friend’s WS38 set for a photo shoot, and this picture shows the setup I now have available to me: