Following the horror of World War One, it is unsurprising that throughout the interwar period there was a widespread belief that gas would be widely used on the battlefield. Although as dangerous to the operator as to the enemy, and of dubious tactical use, gas was a terrifying weapon, and to those brought up on stories of soldiers drowning in their own bodily fluids on the battlefield, it is easy to see why there was widespread fear.
To counter this all the armies in the conflict issued gas masks to their troops and these of course needed bags or canisters to carry them in. Tonight we are looking at an Indian made gas mask bag. It appears that India did not manufacture its own masks (if anyone knows different please let me know), importing them from Britain, however it did make the bags for them. With a massive cotton and weaving industry India was well geared up for producing equipment like this.The bag itself is clearly based on the British version, but with several key changes. Firstly the press studs normally used have been replaced with brass studs that engage with holes in the lid flap:The studs themselves are secured by a complex ‘star’ of stitching:On the base the three round grills to allow air in to the respirator canister have been replaced with eight reinforced holes:Generally the fabric is a little coarser than its British equivelant, but the quality is much closer to the mother country than say Indian produced webbing. This particular bag is only marked 1G, but this May be due to 70 years of grubbiness obscuring other faint markings: