South African Dyed Green 37 Pattern Basic Pouches

The South African manufactured 37 pattern equipment was usually manufactured and issued in undyed tan coloured cotton, however a small amount of webbing was produced ready dyed in a green shade, possibly for use in the jungles of South East Asia- possibly as part of the nations EGSC contribution.

The Eastern Group Supply Council (EGSC) was a wartime body set up in British India in 1940 to co-ordinate the build-up of war materiel in the British colonies and dominions east of Suez, with the goal of reducing the amount of supplies shipped from the UK. The project was the brainchild of the Viceroy of India, Lord Linlithgow, who envisioned a largely self-sufficient eastern zone of the British Empire and Commonwealth based around co-operation between India and Australia. A central provisions office was set up in Delhi, and local offices were established in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, East Africa, Southern Rhodesia and the Middle East.

These pouches share the crude construction seen on many items of South African webbing, as can be seen on the reverse where the webbing used to secure the top buckles has been cut to very different sizes and the stitching is crude. The patchy nature of the green dye is a feature shared by both South African and Australian production:

The pouches are secured by tabs that have a metal tip to them to prevent the poor quality webbing from fraying in use:

This seems to be a feature unique to DI Fram manufactured basic pouches. The press stud itself was manufactured in Canada, South Africa lacking the manufacturing capacity for this component imported large quantities from Canada:

As already mentioned, these pouches were produced by DI Fram and their stamp is marked under the top flap:

A couple of South African property marks can be seen on the webbing, in purple ink. One is on the underside of the top-flap as seen above, whilst a second is on the exterior of the pouch (note also the gold painted iron buckles, again typical of South African manufacture):

All South African manufactured 37 pattern webbing is scarce, however green dyed webbing is particularly unusual, possibly because it was sent to the far east and in the jungle its poor quality meant that it fell to pieces particularly rapidly.

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