When first introduced in 1938, the 1937 pattern basic pouches had the C-hooks used to connect them to the belt set quite high on the rear of the pouch. This meant that when being worn, the pouches hung quite low on the belt. This was not a problem for troops marching, however with the increase in motor transport it was found to be uncomfortable when the wearer had to sit down for any length of time as the bottom of the pouch dug into the leg. The solution was to move the belt loops lower down the pouch, so that the pouch sat higher on the belt. This was initially done as a modification to existing Mk I pouches, but was also introduced into new production examples which were known as the Mk II pouch:
Looking at the rear face, we can see the new lower position of the C-hooks used to secure the pouch to the belt. Note also the faint ink marks indicating that these are Mk II pouches:
The Mk II pouches remained in production for a couple of years before being updated to Mk III pouches by increasing their size by half an inch to accommodate Sten magazines. A metal eyelet was also fitted to the base at this point for drainage, these Mk II pouches lacking this feature.
The Mk II pouch is the quintessential mid-war pattern of basic pouch, seeing extensive service from 1940 onwards and although subtle, the half an inch difference in height between this and its successor is an obvious feature when you know to look for it. This pair are in a lovely unblancoed condition and are an excellent addition to my ever expanding selection of 1937 pattern variants which I have been working away at over the last couple of years.