RAF 37 Pattern Small Pack

The RAF 1937 Pattern webbing set included all the main components of its army counterpart. I have now got a complete set of RAF webbing to make up a set for marching order and over the coming months we will be looking at the various components not previously covered on the blog. The haversack was a copy of the army model, but pre-dyed in blue-grey:

The rear of the pack has a pair of tabs to allow the shoulder straps to be fastened to it:

And a pair of buckles on the base for the same purpose:

The interior of the haversack has the usual dividers, but again these are finished in blue-grey rather than the usual kahki:

The packs were to see extensive post war use, and as such finding mint examples is not easy, this example has been marked up with its owner’s name in red marker on the top flap:

This was a sensible practice in service use when there would be many identical haversacks all piled together on exercise and being able to quickly identify your own was very useful. There is no doubt that Sergeant Atkinson would have no difficulty in finding his haversack!

The pack is marked under the top flap with an extensive ink stamp giving manufacturer, date and stores code:

Sadly this is not particularly readable as the original stamping was poor to begin with and it has heavily worn over the years.

I have always thought of RAF 1937 Pattern webbing as being pretty common, however when finally trying to finish this set I have discovered that a lot of what is sold as RAF webbing is actually Belgian or Dutch air force webbing from the 1960s rather than genuine RAF issue items. With RAF items fading badly and the stamps not always surviving it has proven trickier to track down all the components than I expected and the help of another collector was invaluable in completing the set.

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