There were several manufacturers of webbing in India during the Second World War, each producing some or all of the components of the 1937 pattern webbing set. Today we are looking at a pair of holsters produced by two different Indian manufacturers. They are very similar, but there are detail differences and obviously the markings do differ. Firstly, we have an example made by the Government Harness and Saddlery Factory in Cawnpore:
This is a well-made holster, although the webbing is a little soft when compared to British made examples. The rear of the holster has the usual brass c-hooks to allow it to be connected to the belt or the ammunition pouch:
The press studs have the typical Indian ‘snowflake’ pattern on them, the rear marked ‘MB Ltd’ with three stars:
Although I have no proof, my guess is that MB will be the Metal box Company who manufactured many items of metalwork for the Indian Army during the war.
The holster is marked with ‘CA1943’ and an inspector’s mark, both indicative of the factory in Cawnpore:
The other holster has been blancoed and so is in a faded green shade now, rather than being in the plain cotton tan webbing colour of the previous example:
Again, the quality is good, but this example is marked ‘KEF’ with a date of 1943:
KEF is the mark of the Kossipore Equipment Factory. If you would like to learn more about the manufacture of webbing in India during the war, together with more about the 1937 Pattern set in general, then please take a look at my book on the subject, which can be found here.