Canadian Army Military Police
1914 - 1920
Weapons and Belt Equipment
Webley .455 Mark VI Revolver
Colt 1911 Government Model Pistol
Colt New Service Revolver
In 1914, 5,000 Colt Government Model 1911 .45 calibre automatic pistols were purchased for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. These were made available for purchase by Officers, and were issued to certain NCOs and Military Police. The 1911 Colt was the primary pistol issued to the Military Police and remained in service until the end of the war.
Holsters, spare magazines and magazine pouches were purchased from Canadian, British and American sources. .45 calibre Colt New Service revolvers saw service with Canadian troops in the Boer War and a number were still in use in 1914. Additional New Service revolvers were purchased in 1915. As well as Colts, Smith and Wesson Hand Ejector Second Model revolvers in .455 calibre were purchased in 1915 and 1916. About 14,500 of these were bought, and as well, a relatively small number of Webley Mark VI revolvers were purchased.
A wide variety of leather equipment was utilised by Canadian MPs. A commonly seen leather holster equipment was the Staff Sergeant's Pattern. It was a cheaper and more simplified version of the well known officer's Sam Browne belt. It consisted of a waistbelt with two brass rings, a brace, an open top revolver holster and a 6 round ammunition pouch.
Two variants of issue holsters for the .455 Webley or other large frame revolvers. The holster on the left is fitted with a strap and buckle for the cross brace. A brass cleaning rod is carried in a leather loop on the back of the holster.
Front and rear views of the revolver ammunition pouch. Several patterns of ammunition pouches were availible for issue with the leather belt equipment. These were a universal pattern and fit both the leather belt or the 1908 Pattern web waistbelt. The pouch on the right has leather loops for attachment to either the leather belt or the 1908 Pattern waistbelt. The buckle for the brace attachment has been removed on this pouch. This was a common modification, as two braces were not required by Military Police.
Leather holsters and pouches were also worn on the 1908 Pattern web waistbelt. Originally a light khaki colour, the illustrated belt has been blancoed light green. The original colour is visible on the inside of the belt. 1908 Pattern belts were in general use in the Canadian Army until 1940, and were occasionally worn by Canadian Provost until the early 1940s.
5,001 Mills Patent web sets for the Colt 1911 .45 calibre pistol were acquired. These sets consisted of waistbelt, brace, holster, magazine pouch, and for officers, a sword frog. Most of the Canadian purchase were marked with the Mills trademark, dated 1914 and stamped with the C Arrow of Canadian ownership.
Close up views of the holster, open and closed. The Mills and Canadian property marks are clearly visible.
Close up views of the magazine pouch, open and closed. The Mills and Canadian property marks are again clearly visible.
Leather holsters and magazine pouches were purchased from Canadian, British and American retailers. The waistbelt is the Canadian 1915 Pattern. It resembles the Officer's Sam Browne belt but it is made from rough leather and is in 3 sections. Canadian Oliver Pattern leather waisbelts were also worn, especially in Canada.
Detail shots of the leather holster. This pattern of holster is unmarked and is believed to have been part of a lot purchased in Ottawa in late 1914.
Leather magazine pouches holding 2 or 3 magazines were worn on the waistbelt. The illustrated 3 magazine pouch is of British manufacture.
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