South African 37 pattern webbing remains one of the hardest sets of webbing to collect and I have been slowly working on my set for over ten years now. The webbing itself is often of very poor quality and does not survive as well as other country’s production due to the low quality fittings that were used- those pieces with painted metal buckles being especially vulnerable to rusting. The bayonet frog does not have metal components and so these often survive in better condition than other components. Today we are going to be considering a South African bayonet frog manufactured by DI Fram of Johannesburg:
The most obvious feature of this frog are the parallel lines of stitching running the length of the frog to reinforce the multiple layers of thin webbing used to manufacture the frog. The frog itself was manufactured to take the sword bayonet and so has a loop at the top to secure the handle of a 1907 pattern bayonet:
However at some point it has been modified to carry the spike bayonet instead and so has a slot cut into the upper loop to accommodate the smaller stud of a spike bayonet’s scabbard:
The bayonet frog is marked on its rear face:
We have the name of the manufacturer in black ink:
And a /|\ within a ‘U’ property mark in purple showing that this frog belonged to the Union Defence Force:
This frog is a little ‘salty’, however it is a rare piece of webbing and another component for my slowly growing set of South African manufactured 1937 pattern webbing. These sort of projects require a great deal of patience, however this is rewarded in the end by having a rare and unusual set of equipment- hopefully it won’t take me another ten years to finish the set however.
If you want to learn more about 1937 Pattern Webbing, check out my new book on the equipment set that can be found here.