We continue our study of the South African 70 pattern webbing set by looking at the kidney pouches this week:
These pouches were fitted to the back of the webbing set and were used to carry a soldier’s essentials in the field. Packs were often discarded when going into battle to make it a little easier to move around, but the kidney pouches remained with the soldier. As such they were used to carry the essentials a man might need for 24 hours without his main pack, items such as rations and mess tins to get a hot meal.
The design was clearly inspired by earlier patterns, both the 61/64 SADF set and the British 58 pattern before that. The design features two large pouches, joined together, that hold the man’s equipment. Each of these is covered with a top flap, secured with a strap and pressed metal buckle:
Under these top flaps are pairs of weather flaps that protect the contents from the elements, secured with a small press stud:
Attached around the kidney pouches are further magazine pouches for the R1 rifle’s magazines. A pair are stitched to the tops of each individual kidney pouch:
Another pair of ammunition pouches are attached to either end of the kidney pouches:
Finally on the left hand pouch, a bayonet frog is also sewn:
Turning to the rear of the pouches, it can be seen that there are a number of metal d rings to attach the yoke to, as well as a pair of belt ends that are attached to either end of the kidney pouches:
The ends of the belt have a standard Mill’s pattern buckle sewn to them to secure the ends at the front of the waist:
Note also the two pairs of D-Rings that are used to secure the yoke to the front of the belt set.
This particular 70 pattern kidney pouch set was issued to a man called Jones according to the underside of one of the pouch flaps:
My next task is to try and find the correct 1970s period contents to fill out the kidney pouches with- if anyone has a list of contents then please comment below as I would be fascinated to find out what I need to hunt out.