British Cavalryman Impression, Syria 1941

It is 1941 and Syria is one of the few parts of the world where cavalry are still serving on the front line for the British Army, the four legged creatures being able to go places that wheeled and tracked vehicles just can’t manage. This cavalryman has been issued with the newly introduced 1940 pattern webbing, a far more practical design than the old 1903 pattern equipment with its various straps and bandoliers that all need to be crossed over one another. He wears a KD bush jacket and trousers with anklets and ankle boots and wears a Mk II steel helmet on his head. He has dismounted and his rifle is the famous SMLE with a canvas cover over its action to keep the fine dust of the desert out of the moving parts.

To access his haversack, the trooper first unfastens the keyway strap from the corresponding stud on the cartrige carrier:

This then allows the haversack to slide forward so it can be accessed without taking it off the back:

Original photographs of 1940 pattern webbing in use are few and far between, but these interesting photographs show units of the Trans-Jordanian Frontier Force wearing the webbing in Syria in 1941:

  1. KD Trousers
  2. Mk II Steel Helmet
  3. KD Bush Jacket
  4. 1940 Pattern Webbing
  5. Ammunition Boots
  6. Webbing Anklets
  7. SMLE with dust cover


  1. Nice impression. An acquaintance of ours served as an officer with the Cheshire Yeomanry in Palestine during the war. When the Cheshire Yeomanry was converted to a signals unit, he transferred to the Scots Greys. We never discussed his wartime experiences, though. We later learned that his father was German. After the war he was very active in equestrian activities in Canada and the United States. He lived near Washington, D.C.

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