39 Pattern Modified Basic Pouch

The 39 Pattern webbing set was introduced as an emergency measure to supplement 1937 pattern webbing which it was proving difficult to produce in large enough quantities. The basic pouches were copied from their web equivelant, but made in leather with a stiff fibre lining. The pouches are made of brown leather and the box lid on each is secured with a brass press stud:

The rear of the pouches have two leather belt loops to allow the pouch to be slid on a belt and a tab to hold the brass buckle at the top that the shoulder braces attach to:

Originally these pouches were handed, with each having a triangular tab to secure to the belt with. This was quickly changed to the two plain loops seen here to make them cheaper to manufacture and to remove the need for two different patterns of pouch:

The large tab at the top often has the manufacturer’s details, here one of the pouches is marked for M.G.Co and a date of 1939:

An eyelet at the base of the box pouch was fitted to allow any water to drain out:

These pouches saw very little service in their orignal configuration, but were to be issued to the Home Guard when they started receiving Sten guns. Many home guardsmen were issued a single 39 pattern basic pouch to carry the sten magazines, here the fourth and seventh men from the left wear them

These needed to be modified to carry the longer sten magazines, this was achieved by rivetting in a strip of leather to raise the height of the pouch lid:

They also needed to move the tab for the press stud, so a small hole can be seen where the tab was originally fitted:

This then allows Sten gun magazines to be fitted into the pouch, trial and error reveals that it can hold five mags quite comfortably:

Laurie Butler recalls:

When I had the Sten gun I had one pouch attached to my belt, with only one mag of ammunition in it. It was worn on the left hand side and had nothing on the other side just a webbing strap. The pouch was made of brown leather and was really solid. It was dammed uncomfortable to lie on. We had to do things called a leopard crawl and it made life very difficult.

This adds another set of pieces for my 39 Pattern collection, its slowly getting there and hopefully one day I will have enough of the correct pieces to make a wearable set:

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