Continuing my slow acquisition of post war 1937 pattern webbing, a few months back I was lucky enough to come across a haversack to add to the set. The design of the haversack is unchanged from the wartime production, but the fittings are in blackened steel, rather than brass:
Just to remind ourselves, the official fitting instructions describe the haversack as:
Haversack- This consists of a rectangular bag of dimensions approximately 11 inches by 9 1/2 inches by 4 inches, and has a flap secured by two small straps and buckles. The interior is longitudinally divided by means of a partition, which is in turn connected to the front of the bag by a small partition, to form two front compartments of equal size. These compartments contain the water bottle (in carrier) and rectangular mess tin. on the back of the haversack near the top two tabs are fitted for attachment to the shoulder straps and on the base two small buckles are fitted for attachment of the diagonal portion of the shoulder straps. Weather flaps are provided which fold in underneath the flaps.
This haversack matches this description completely, however the fittings have been updated so on the rear both the buckles and the chapes on the end of the straps are in blackened steel:
The same blackened fittings are used on the buckles on the side and front:
This particular haversack was made in 1955 and has the date, manufacturer and stores code stamped to the edge of the underside of the top flap:
These haversacks are routinely ignored by collectors as they are post war in date, however I think they are an important and interesting part in the history of the development of the 1937 pattern set and ironically these items would seen service for decades with both the regular army and latterly cadets right through until the 1990s.
I agree on post-war ‘37 pattern kit being generally overlooked but holding a lot of interest to the serious collector. To me, the most intriguing aspect is that there were two distinct sets on issue, one with regular brass fittings and the other with bonderised (blackened) steel fittings. While I had initially been under the impression that these were merely manufacturing variations, it then occurred to me that all items with bonderised fittings feature a “B” as part of their respective stores codes. I have yet to find evidence of these two types of set were issued to different users.