Post War RAF MkIII 37 Pattern Basic Pouches

We have previously considered the Wartime RAF 37 Pattern Mk III basic pouch here, however the design received the same updates as the standard army pattern and in the immediate postwar period stocks were manufactured with the quick release tab on them:

Quite why this was necessary is unclear as the large number of surviving wartime dated unissued pouches suggests they had large quantities of the older pattern in store, but perhaps with the ramping up of the Cold War they felt it would be useful to have a war establishment in store. The only change from the earlier design is to replace the tab and press stud with a quick release tab and metal staple system on the flap closure:

Placing the two designs side by side, the update is clear:

This update was not necessarily an improvement for the better. Although reasonably effective when new, the tabs soon wore and became increasingly difficult to put back into the staple as the edges frayed and the stiffening wore out.

The rest of the pouch is pretty similar to the older design, with a drainage eyelet in the base:

The rear of the pouch has the C-hooks to attach it to the belt and the top buckle to attach the shoulder braces to:

The manufacturer, stores code and date are stamped under the top flap in a particularly heavy black ink:

The RAF 37 pattern webbing doesn’t receive a lot of love from collectors, which is a pity really as it is well made, cheap and did see some service. I am slowly trying to build up a full set of this pattern and the variations of the major components.

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