DPM General Service Holdall

The General Service Holdall was introduced in the Second World War as a replacement for the traditional wash roll. It was to be updated several times over the decades and even as late as 2014 a plain green example was listed in the Stores catalogue (as 1950 pattern) at a price of £6.17 each. The holdall was also produced in DPM cordua nylon and it is an example of one of these we are looking at today. As with other examples, the holdall is designed to be carried rolled up to protect the contents and secured with the cord tapes fastened to the outside:

Undoing these cords allows the holdall to be opened out and inside are a series of different pockets, with a top flap to hold the contents into each pocket securely:

Although traditionally used for wash kit, the wording ‘general purpose’ suggests that by the time this example was produced, the holdalls were more likely to be used as small tool rolls, to hold writing instruments or for a myriad of different purposed where a number of small items needed to be held securely in one place without rattling around. The label on this holdall indicates it was manufactured in 2013:

It seems that issue of these holdalls to men for personal use as originally intended had long fallen by the wayside by this date so its more general use was more likely.

One comment

  1. The holdall GS is still on issue and it’s been updated to MTP material together with the separate lidded sleeve that’s included with it for carrying a knife, fork and spoon in.

    Here’s it in use in a Royal Marines training video of hygiene in the field https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc2k-hwbckM.

    A ‘holdall’ or ‘holdall field, roll’ are listed as Basic Kit for all ranks of the Royal Marines in the latest update to Part 6 of the Royal Navy Personnel Management manual (BRd (3) Volume 1)

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