The Canadian were the only country, besides Great Britain, to manufacture their webbing in blue-grey for air force use during the Second World War. This followed on from their adoption of blue-grey 1925 pattern webbing just before war broke out and so it was a logical step to produce 1937 pattern equipment in the same colour. The webbing produced in Canada for the RCAF had the same changes and modification made to it as items produced for the army and so offers a unique set of equipment for the collector. Today we are looking at an example of the large, curvaceous Canadian 1937 pattern holster in blue-grey:
The holster features the same edge binding as seen on other Canadian equipment and it is fitted on the rear with c-hooks to allow it to be attached to the rest of the equipment set:
These were made in plain brass, unlike British made examples that can be found in both brass and with a green lacquer on them. The two vertical c-hooks allow the holster to be mounted on a belt, whilst the horizontal one allows an ammunition pouch to be attached above:
Internally a small channel is provided to take a cleaning rod:
The holster is stamped under the top flap with the letters ZL&T Ltd for Zephyr Loom and Textile Ltd and a date of 1942 together with the Canadian property mark of a /|\ inside a ‘C’:
These holsters were used for many years after the end of the war, but this particular example is in mint, unissued condition and clearly never saw any service at all. Of all the elements of RCAF webbing, this is probably the easiest to find in the UK, other items being much scarcer and we will return to some of those in the coming months.
If you would like to find out more about 1937 pattern webbing, then please check out my book, Webbing at War Volume 1- 1937 Pattern Webbing which can be found here.