82 Pattern Small Field Pack

Updated Post- My thanks to Ernst-Udo Peters for some more information on this pack that has allowed an update.

The Canadian Army 82 Pattern webbing set was issued with a small haversack, mounted on the rear of the belt that was officially known as a ‘Small Field Pack’ but colloquially got referred to as a ‘butt pack’ due to its position over the wearer’s posterior:imageThis pack was designed to carry a soldiers essential kit to sustain him in the field for small periods of time. It is made of green nylon and is a small squarish shape:imageTwo distinct variants exist, an early example with friction buckles to secure the top flap, and this later example that came into use in around 1986. It has a top flap that is secured on the front by a pair of dark green ‘Fastex’ buckles and adjustable nylon straps:imageUnder this a draw string is fitted to help keep the contents weather tight:imageWith a plastic friction fastener to secure the draw string tight:imageAgain the earlier variant of the pack has a slightly different cord lock, being made entirely of green plastic up until 1986. The manual provides a nice line drawing of the pack:CaptureThe pack is typically worn on the back of the belt:Capture1To attach it the standard 82 pattern plastic post fasteners are fitted to the rear of the pack:imageThese have the same velcroed tabs as the rest of the 82 pattern items, once the plastic posts have been inserted into the eyelets the two tabs are folded over and secured around the belt for added security:imageAbove these are two further tabs that attach to the Yoke we looked at here:imageThe 82 pattern manual offered two alternative ways of wearing the pack, with the option of attaching a strap into two friction buckles:imageAnd wearing it over the shoulder:Capture2This pack was never big enough, and troops often supplemented it with other larger packs in the field.

Royal Navy Boot Brush

One item of militaria that regularly comes up on Huddersfield Market are army boot brushes, indeed they are so common I have restricted myself to pre-war examples and not paying more than a pound each for them. By contrast Air Ministry and Admiralty marked brushes are far rarer and I was very pleased to finally add a Royal Navy example to my collection a couple of weeks ago for the princely sum of 50p:imageUnlike army brushes which are marked with a /|\ stamp, Royal Navy brushes have ‘ADMY’ stamped into them:imageThis particular brush is dated either 1922 or 1923, but the stamp is very indistinct and I cannot make out the last digit very easily:imageThe original owner has marked it up with his surname ‘Hutchinson’:imageOne distinguishing feature of these early brushes is they often have a number of small brass nails visible on the back:imageRoyal Navy ratings were issued two boot brushes and were required to mark them with their name to indicate who they belonged to. On board ship, sailors normally kept their boot brushes in their ‘ditty’ box along with other small ‘necessaries’ and personal items. These brushes were remarkable well made, hence their survival to the present day. One sailor who joined in the 1950s remarks, The boot brushes issued, with your name stamped upon must be strong, mine are still in service, having seen me through a police career of daily polishing after 12 years RN service.

Another sailor who was serving in the 1960s recalls using boot brushes to scrub the deck of his accommodation block during initial training. In this kit layout the brushes can be seen front and centre:15894770_10154830912618428_9167821151663050466_n

WW1 Postcard of Troops outside a Barrack Hut

This week’s postcard is a fine group shot from the Great War of soldiers posing outside a barrack hut:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (2)I suspect that this photograph was taken as part of a training course as the soldiers display a wide variety of cap badges. Three officers are seated in the centre:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (3)Regiments represented include the Royal Berkshires:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (4)Royal Army Medical Corps:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (6)Northumberland Fusiliers:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (5)Machine Gun Corps:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (7)And The Royal West Kent Regiment:SKM_C45817051611140 - CopyThe men display an interesting assortment of belts including leather 1914 pattern examples:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (8)And 2” wide webbing belts:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (9)I particularly like the jack russell dog being held by the chap on the front row:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (10)Other features to note are the duckboards the men at the front are sitting on:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (12)And the corrugated iron used in producing the hut behind them:SKM_C45817051611140 - Copy (11)Note also the palm frond and large sack leaned up against the hut. The essential role hutted accommodation played in the Great War is often overlooked, but it was the only way to quickly house recruits and men and hutted encampments sprang up all over Britain and France. These huts are largely all gone now, but many have survived as WI Halls, Scout Huts and Community Centres. A dedicated team of volunteers down south has been saving these buildings as they become earmarked for demolition and restoring them to their original splendour. Take a look here for more information on this fantastic project.

20L Osprey Water Jerry Can

Part of the fitness test British Army recruits have to undertake is to carry a pair of full water jerry cans for 120m. The jerry cans used each hold 20 litres of drinking water which combined with the 1kg weight of the can itself gives the recruit a load of 42kg to carry. The jerry cans in question are made of heavy duty black polyurethane plastic and have been in service for many years:imageThey can frequently be seen in the background at Army exercises and operations, quietly providing water for thirsty troops:dscf3787The jerry can has two filling caps on the top, a large one:imageAnd a smaller one:imageBoth of these are secured with a chain to prevent loss. The larger cap allows the can to be easily filled and allows a rapid pour if needed. The smaller one is better for pouring into smaller containers such as personal water bottles. It also acts as an air inlet valve so when you are pouring from the larger opening it doesn’t ‘glug’ as air tries to get in to refill the container.

A large handle is fitted across the top of the can:imageThis has a small tag fitted to it indicating that it has been used for contaminated water at some point and should not be used to carry drinking water any more. The sides of the can have expansion grooves moulded into them, along with a /|\ mark and the words ‘WATER’:imageBelow this is a moulding indicating manufacture date, in this case October 1988, and the NSN stores number for the item. There is also the manufacturer’s name ‘Osprey’ here:imageOsprey also produce individual water bottles, again from the same heavy duty black polyurethane plastic. These jerry cans have been in service for many decades now and have proven to be a reliable and robust design for both carrying water and improving physical fitness! It seems unlikely they will be replaced anytime soon.

RAF Aircraft Cigarette Cards Part 4

Tonight we have the penultimate part of our series covering the RAF Aircraft cigarette cards set.

Card 31- Short “Sunderland” Flying Boat

The latest type of general purpose flying boat to go into service with the Royal Air Force. It is a military development of the now well-known Short “Empire” class which is widely used by Imperial Airways. Four Bristol “Pegasus” engines are fitted and although it is not permissible to divulge details of performance, it may be stated that it has a much superior performance to any similar type in service use. The “Sunderland” has a wing span of 113 feet 9 inches and a length of 85 feet 4 inches. There is a crew of 6.SKM_C45817060207581SKM_C45817060207581 - Copy

Card 32- Supermarine “Scapa” Flying Boat

This is a reconnaissance flying boat, developed from the “Southampton” and is built by Supermarine Aviation (Vickers) Ltd. It is powered with two Rolls-Royce “Kestrel” engines of 525 h.p. each, and has a wing span of 75 feet and length of 52 feet 6 inches. To fit it for its main function of searching the seas, it has a wide range- 1,025 miles, and a moderate speed of 143 m.p.h. It carries a crew of 5, including the pilot. The “Scapa” plays an important part in coastal defence. Because of the “Scapa’s” long range, special attention has been paid to its equipment with a view to the comfort of the crew.SKM_C45817060207581SKM_C45817060207581 - Copy (2)

Card 33- Supermarine “Stranraer” Reconnaissance Flying Boat

A twin engine long range general purpose flying boat constructed by a company with wide experience of this type. It is an unequal-span biplane powered by two Bristol “Pegasus X” 9-cylindar radial air-cooled engines of over 900 h.p. The maximum speed is 165 m.p.h and the normal range 1,000 miles, although this may be increased by the fitting of auxiliary tanks under the lower wings. Provision is made for the carriage of a spare engine. Sleeping quarters for the crew, food and water storage, and facilities for cooking are arranged for. The “Stranraer” has a wing span of 85 feet and a length of 54 feet 10 inches.SKM_C45817060207581SKM_C45817060207581 - Copy (3)

Card 34- Supermarine “Walrus” Amphibian

This type of ‘plane is normally carried on capital ships and cruisers, from which it can be catapulted. It is the largest and heaviest R.A.F. aircraft which can be launched by this means. The “Walrus” is built by Supermarine Aviation (Vickers) Ltd., and fitted with a Bristol “Pegasus” 580/600 h.p. engine. The wing span is 45.8 feet, but the wings fold to a span of a little over 17 feet for storage on board ship. The speed of the “Walrus” is reckoned in knots, the top speed being 122, about 140 m.p.h. Landing wheels, which retract into the wing, enable the aircraft to land on the ground when required.SKM_C45817061407560 - Copy

Card 35- Vickers “Vincent” General Purpose Aircraft

This general purpose biplane is similar in design to the “Vildebeest”, except for a reduction in the toal weight. Like the “Vildebeest” it is built by Vickers and is fitted with a Bristol “Pegasus” engine. It has a higher top speed and wider range- 142 m.p.h. and 620 miles respectively- than the “Vildebeest”. The “Vincent” is employed almost wholly on overseas service, for which it is found to be especially suitable. It has taken part in many long distance inter-Command flights in the Middle East. The “Vincent” carries a crew of 2.SKM_C45817061407560 - Copy (2)

Card 36- Vickers “Wellesley” General Purpose Aircraft.

This low-wing monoplane is the first aircraft constructed on the “Geodetic” principle to have been put into quantity production for the Royal Air Force. It is a Vickers Aviation product and is fitted with an air cooled 9-cylinder Bristol “Pegasus” engine developing 950 h.p. The fuselage is of oval-section metal structure and the wing span is 74 ½ feet. The “Wellesley” attains a top-speed of 228 m.p.h. and has a range of over 1,300 miles at normal cruising speed. There are enclosed cockpits for pilot and observer, with intercommunication. The aircraft mounts 2 machine-guns.SKM_C45817061407560 - Copy (3)

Card 37- Westland “Wapiti” General Purpose Aircraft

An aeroplane designed for general purpose and Army co-operation work. It is fitted with a Bristol “Jupiter VIII. F” engine developing 460 h.p. at 4,000 feet. A crew of 2 is carried. The “Wapiti’s” maximum speed is 128.5 m.p.h. and its range 305 miles. This type has been extensively used overseas, and was at one time the standard type in the Australian and South African Air Forces. The dimensions are: wing span 46 feet 5 inches, length 32 feet 6 inches and height 11 feet 10 inches.SKM_C45817061407560 - Copy (4)

Card 38- Avro “Anson” General Reconnaissance Aircraft

This is a military development of the Avro 652 commercial monoplane, and is designed for coastal reconnaissance duties. A low-wing monoplane with mechanically operated retractable undercarriage, the “Anson” carries a crew of 4, has a bomb compartment in the nose, compartments for the navigator and wireless operator, and a gun turret in the top decking of the fuselage. The constructors are A. V. Roe & Co. Ltd., and the two Armstrong Siddley “Cheetah IX” engines produce a top speed of 188.5 m.p.h. The “Anson” has a wing span of 56 feet 6 inches and a length of 42 feet 3 inches.SKM_C45817061407560 - Copy (5)

Card 39- Fairey “Swordfish” Torpedo Spotter Reconnaissance Aircraft

The type allocated to the Fleet Air Arm. It is fitted with a Bristol “Pegasus” air cooled engine developing 690 h.p. The armament consists of 2 machine guns. A load of bombs is carried or, alternatively,an 18-inch torpedo. The “Swordfish” has a maximum speed of 154 m.p.h. and a duration of flight of 5.7 hours. The wing span is 45 feet 6 inches but the wings fold to 17 feet 3 inches for storage aboard ship. Owing to its adaptability, this type is of great use in naval warfare.SKM_C45817061407560 - Copy (6)

Card 40-Hawker “Osprey” IV Torpedo Spotter Reconnaissance Aircraft

This is a two seater Fleet spotter reconnaissance aircraft built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd., and is fitted with a Rolls-Royce “Kestrel V” water-cooled engine of 640 h.p. The construction is mainly stainless steel and the fuselage fabric-covered. The wing span is 37 feet but the wings fold for carriage on board ship. The aircraft can be employed either as a landplane or seaplane, the land undercarriage being interchangeable with twin single-step floats. A top speed of 175.5 m.p.h is attained by the “Osprey” and its endurance at cruising speed at 10,000 feet is about 2 ½ hours.SKM_C45817061407561 - Copy

4th West Yorkshire Regiment Mess Table Knives

A few weeks back we looked at a mess table sauce bottle holder marked to the 4th West Yorkshire Regiment here. Tonight we are looking at a set of six knives marked to the same regiment:imageAs before my thanks go to the East Yorkshire Regiment Living History Group and Mike Lycett for their help in adding this to the collection. The knives are marked in a couple of ways. Three of them have a stamp on the blade saying ‘4th West York’:imageWhilst the other three have a cypher impressed into the bone handle, these are unfortunately rather indistinct:imageHere we can see the Prince of Wales feathers and the initials ‘WY’ for the regiment. The knives were made in Sheffield, as indicated on the blades:imageMost cutlery in the country was made in Sheffield in the first half of the twentieth century, the city having a worldwide reputation for quality and output. These knives predate stainless steel so have suffered from rust far more than later knives would. Again I suspect these date from around the time of the First World War.

Padded Ammunition Bag

I am describing tonight’s object as a mortar round ammunition bag, however from the outset I must make it clear that this is an educated guess on my part as no-one I have spoken to has been able to give me a definitive identification as to this bags exact purpose:imageThe bag is made of the same cotton twill as .303 bandoliers and has a box lid secured by two copper staples, again like a bandolier:imageThe inside of the bag is divided up into five spaces with an internal divider:imageThese pockets are the right length for a 2” mortar round, but too large as the round wobbles about. However rounds inside their metal carry tin, as used in the 1960s (see here) do fit in more comfortably and at this point I suspect that this is what was intended to be carried in the bag. Other suggestions I have heard have been for Claymore mines, grenades or Bren magazines. The base of the bag is ‘D’ shaped and heavily padded:imageThe inside of the bag has an ink stamping with an ordnance code, SV375A, a date of October 1966 and a manufacturer of C.B. & Co Ltd:imageAs always if you have some more information on this item and can confirm what it was used for please get in contact, or leave a comment below.