Royal Canadian Air Force
1940 - 1946
Web Equipment Patterns 1925 and 1937
RCAF Station Guard House circa 1940. The Airman on sentry duty is wearing grey Web Equipment, Pattern 1925 over his greatcoat and is armed with a .303 calibre Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle.
Web Equipment, Pattern 1925
When the RCAF entered the war in 1939, the standard web equipment was the same as that used by the RAF, ie: Web Equipment Pattern 1925 (W.E. Patt.'25) Made from blue/grey dyed cotton web, it was manufactured in both England and Canada. Initially, all W.E. Patt.'25 used by Canada was made in England. Production in quantity of W.E. Patt.'25 did not begin in Canada until 1940.
The W.E. Patt.'25 set for Airmen armed with rifles consisted of right and left cartridge carriers, waistbelt, braces, bayonet frog, waterbottle with carrier, haversack, and a two part rucksack. The cartridge carriers formed the front part of the belt and the belt buckle.
The set for Officers and Airmen armed with revolvers or pistols consisted of a 3 piece waistbelt, brace attachments, braces, pistol holster and ammunition pouch. The Officer's waistbelt differed from the Airman's in that it had adjustable brace attachments and no stud for the bayonet frog. After 1941 many of the pistol sets appear to have been whitened for use by Service Police.
The basic set of W.E. Patt.'25 as worn with the top part of the rucksack. Note the rucksack shoulder braces connected to the loops at the top of the cartridge carriers. Each cartridge carrier is capable of holding 15 rounds of .303 calibre ammunition in 5 round clips, for a total of 120 rounds. A lesser quantity of .30 calibre ammunition could be carried when armed with an Enfield Pattern 1917 rifle.
Rear view of the W.E. Patt.'25 illustrating the method of carrying the helmet on the rucksack. According to dress instructions, the haversack is worn on the left, suspended by the brace ends, with the top edge even with the bayonet barrel ring. The bayonet barrel ring is worn to the rear.
Front and back views of the right cartridge carriers.
Front and back views of the left cartridge carriers.
Whitened bayonet frog for ceremonial use.
Detail of the waterbottle and carrier. The carrier is Canadian made and bears the marks of Zephyr Loom & Textile and the date 1940 on the inside. The water bottle was identical to the army issue bottle, except that the cover was in blue wool felt instead of khaki brown.
Closeup view of the water bottle carrier markings.
The top and bottom components of the rucksack.
The complete rucksack as worn in marching order.
Detail of the maker's mark and Canadian property stamp on the inside flap.
Rear view of the rucksack showing the shoulder braces.
Web Equipment, Pattern 1925 Revolver Set
Assembled Airman's Pattern Waistbelt.
The component parts of the waistbelt.
Waistbelt detail showing typical markings.
Revolver ammunition pouch of British manufacture.
Whitened revolver ammunition pouch of Canadian manufacture.
Holster for large frame revolvers such as the Webley Mk VI.
Flap open, showing the manufacturer's mark (ZL&T 1940) and C Arrow property stamp.
Whitened holster for small frame revolvers.
Flap open, showing the manufacturer's mark (MS&U 1940 or 41) and C Arrow property stamp.
Pattern 1925 revolver holster of British manufacture.
Back view of the holster showing the external sleeve for the cleaning rod and belt clips.
Flap open, showing the date and Air Ministry property stamp.
Web Equipment, Pattern 1937
The RCAF version of Web Equipment Pattern 1937 (W.E. Patt.'37) was similar to the khaki Army Pattern but was produced in blue/grey.
Canadian manufacture of W.E. Patt.'37 in RCAF blue/grey was under way by 1940, and both it and W.E. Patt.'25 appear to have been worn concurrently in Canada until at least 1945. Around 1942, RCAF Service Police appear to have adopted the white web used by the Army Provost, ie: whitened waistbelt, brace, brace attachment, pistol holster and ammunition pouch. It is likely that W.E. Patt.'25 and W.E. Patt.'37 components were used interchangably.
The revolver in wear as set out in Drill Instructions. The revolver is worn on the left, the grey lanyard is worn under the jacket collar with the "turk's head" sliding knot centered over the top button.
Pattern 1937 waistbelt.
Revolver ammunition pouches, a W.E. Patt.'25 pouch (top)illustrates the difference in size and profile.
Bayonet frog for the SMLE MK III, Pattern 1914 or Pattern 1917 bayonets.
Bayonet frog modified for the No. 4 Mk II bayonet.
Back view of the small frame revolver holster illustrating the difference between the Pattern 1937 (left) which has two clips for the ammunition pouch and the Pattern 1925 which does not bear the clips.
Holster for large frame revolvers.
Web Equipment, Pattern 1937, Whitened
Whitened waistbelt made by ZL & T in 1942.
Whitened small frame revolver holster.
Whitened revolver ammunition pouch.
Whitened bayonet frog.
Whitened revolver ammunition pouch showing the original grey web and ZL & T 1942 manufacturer's mark.
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