When Australia began production of 1937 Pattern Webbing, they changed some of the manufacturing techniques to suit their own industrial capacity and capabilities. One of the pieces where construction methods differed was in the manufacture of the braces. British and empire braces used a number of different methods of construction including integrally woven, wrap around, flared and butt jointed designs. The Australians, however were rather different and it is a pair of these braces we are considering today:
The Australian braces differed in that they used two thin pieces of webbing for the two inch flare of the brace, that sandwiched the ends of the two one-inch straps, with the whole thing being sewn together to secure the construction:
Apart from this construction method, however, these early braces were very similar to all the other braces produced around the Empire and served the same purpose. Australia would update its design later in the war to include a much wider flare for jungle use, but initial production was of this pattern.
The braces have a number of markings on them. Firstly there is a purple ink inspector’s stamp consisting of a letter code over a /|\:
Also stamped on the braces are the initials of the manufacturers:
Here we see the letters ‘MB’ for M Beshara of 151 McKean Street, Fitzroy North, Victoria; again the purple ink is typical of Australian markings. Australian 37 pattern webbing is not easy to find in the UK, but my selection is slowly building up and I am now over half way to finally having a complete set, although there are some components I know I am really going to struggle to find, but that is the fun of collecting, isn’t it?
If you want to learn more about 1937 Pattern Webbing, check out my new book on the equipment set that can be found here.