Collecting the 1903 Pattern leather kit has been a bit of a back burner project for many years. As so many bits of the set were worn individually, there has never been the need to pick up every single piece to have a wearable set. Having said all that, it is always nice to add another bit to the set and get a bit closer to a full set of marching order. Last year’s Victory Show was an excellent place to hunt down items of militaria and amongst the (far too many) purchase I cam home with was this pair of 1903 Pattern 10 round pouches:
They are made of leather and each resembles one of the pockets of the accompanying bandolier. The pouches are shaped to hold chargers of .303 ammunition, with a shape like a truncated triangle. The pouches can each hold two five round chargers and the tops are secured with a flap that is held down by a metal stud:
The pouch is secured to a flat piece of leather on the rear with four pop rivets and these create a channel along the rear that acts as a belt loop to allow the pouch to be threaded onto the belt:
Under the top flap is a securing tab that keeps one of the chargers secure so the user can open the top flap, withdraw a charger to use and not have to worry about securing the top flap to prevent his other charger falling out, saving precious seconds in combat:
The fitting instructions provide a concise description of the pouch:
The 10-round pocket is conical in shape, and the cartridges in chargers are inserted bullets point down. Each 10-round pocket has a strap inside by which the front charger is secured by buttoning the point of this strap on to the stud on the front of the pocket.
This pair of pouches are devoid of maker’s marks and dates but are well made and in good supple condition and together with the 15 round pouches I already had allow me to complete the belt equipment of this set. I am still looking for a suitable GS haversack and the greatcoat roll harness, but my 1903 set is another step closer to completion.
These look distinctly New Zealand manufacturer for the NZ Mounted Rifle Bandolier equipment set. WW1 period. Used in conjunction with the 2nd and 3rd type bandoliers.