Voltmeter Pouch

By the Second World War, the British Army had a huge reliance on early electronics, as witnessed by the rapid expansion of the Royal Electrical and mechanical Engineers (REME) throughout the conflict. Electronic devices need testing and although there were large devices that worked well on a work bench, there was also a need for smaller hand held devices to check things such as voltage in the field. These voltmeters were around the size of a large pocket watch and needed to be held securely, but within easy reach for the soldier testing an electrical circuit. An added complication was that in order to work, these little voltmeters had a trailing wire with a contact on them and a pointed stud on the base. These protrusions were liable to damage so a pouch was needed that could accommodate this odd shape and be easily attached to the belt of the soldier. The pouch adopted, was made of cotton webbing and was rectangular in shape, with a single press stud to hold the top flap in place:

A single belt loop is sewn to the rear of the pouch to allow it to be carried:

Although very faint on this example, the front of the pouch is stamped ‘Case for Voltmeter Pocket 250v No2’:

These cases were issued with a stores number of ZA.7369, indicating they were for use with wireless signals equipment. The underside of the top flap indicates that the pouch was made by Bagcraft Ltd:

Although from the outside, this is just a simple rectangular pouch, inside it is a little more complex. Firstly there is a small amount of padding to the rear of the pouch to help protect the voltmeter. Also just visible are two webbing tapes sewn three quarters of the way down the pouch with a gab between and space below them:

These allow the metal probe of the voltmeter to sit between them, whilst the main body of the instrument is supported above.

These pouches are often misidentified as being for compasses, especially as the writing on the front is very prone to wearing off as seen in this example. I now need to track down an example of the voltmeter to fit inside and finish off the little set.

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