Last year we covered the Royal Canadian Air Force’s webbing anklets. Far more common than this pattern, however, were the anklets produced for the army. These were produced in plain tan webbing rather than blue and have the same distinctive features as other Canadian produced webbing:
The most distinctive feature is the binding around the edges that can be seen on many items of Canadian webbing:
The brass tips to the straps are in battle brass, a phosphated finish used by Canada:
The bottom edge of the anklet has a piece of cotton sewn to it and leather reinforcement where it would rub over the heel and top of the foot:
The anklets are a Size 3 and the maker’s initials are from one of the smaller Canadian producers, GP&R Ltd:
These are the initials of Gutta Percha and Rubber Ltd. More details of the company can be found on a blog post here.
I once ordered two pair of web anklets just like that pair. They came from a well-known American on-line surplus store that does not size things very well. Moreover, I wasn’t sure what size I needed anyway, in spite of having the manual with sizes explained (which is War Clothing Regulations 1943). So I ordered two pairs in different sizes. One pair is marked “3”, the other pair is marked “4.” They are exactly the same size. I have another not quite matching pair marked size 3, which is larger than the other two pair.
Of the first two pairs, one is marked “A.B.L” over ‘O.V.M.” and dated 1952. This pair has been thinly blancoed.
The other is marked “A B L” over “A M S” and dated 1954. The straps on both of them have plain ends (no brass tip) but both have leather reinforcements. They might be Danish, Belgium, or British. The other pair I mentioned is Canadian, marked with a broad arrow within a “C”. It has a binding around the top edge only. One of the two is marked “G.P. & R. Co,” with an illegible date. The other non-matching anklet is marked MS&U Ltd 1941.
ABL is the stamp for the Belgian Army- they copied a lot of British designs in the early 1950s