1944 Pattern Compass Pouch

The final piece of the puzzle for my set of 1944 Pattern pistol equipment was the compass pouch. Like the earlier 1937 pattern set, the compass pouch for the 1944 pattern set externally exactly mirrored that of the pistol ammunition pouch. It was a small box pouch made of lighter weight webbing than its predecessor. It featured a box lid secured with a quick release tab fastener and a pair of eyelets were fitted to the bottom edge to allow other items to be hung from it with M1910 style hanger hooks or to connect it to the top of the pistol case:

The rear face of the pouch has a pair of vertical loops that allow the pouch to be slid onto the belt if preferred. If the pouch is resting above the belt, the top loop is used to pass the brace attachment through and prevent the pouch from falling forward, away from the body:

So far, then, this pouch is identical to that used for the pistol ammunition, it is on the interior that the change in design can really be seen as the pouch has a stiffener on both the front and rear and thick felt padding inside to protect the compass from damage:

The pouch would have been marked under the box lid, however in this example the printing is too faint to make out and so it is unclear as to the date of manufacture:

Compasses were essential tools in jungle warfare. Jungles do not have many defining features and were often poorly mapped. This made navigating through them difficult and often marching along a bearing or using dead reckoning with a compass had to suffice for navigation. Added to this, the climactic conditions bring hot and humid and the risk of impact damage from slips and bumps in thick undergrowth all made a good way of protecting the compass essential and the 1944 pattern compass pouch was to see service in this role for many years.

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