Scarce Original WW1 British 1914 Pattern Leather Equipment Set

Scarce Original WW1 British 1914 Pattern Leather Equipment Set

Code: 55657

£2,650.00 Approx $3300.12, €3084.98

A very rare and mostly complete set of British Army 1914 Pattern Leather Equipment as used during the Great War. 

This pattern of equipment was introduced at the beginning of the First World War as an alternative to the standard 1908 webbing set currently in issue. With large numbers of men joining the army it was not possible for webbing manufacturers to supply enough sets of equipment needed so leather maker's were employed to make a newly designed '1914 pattern leather' equipment set. This pattern was worn throughout the Great War on the Western Front as well as in the Middle East. It was withdrawn from service in January 1921 and a lot of it was disposed of, making it very rare to find today. 

The set is made up from a variety of parts, some of which are British made and some American. The belt is a British made example which is a nice example in good condition and complete with all of its fittings. All the brass work is good as is the snake buckle which fastens the belt at the front. It is soft and pliable and a nice chestnut brown colour. Original cross straps are also present and are marked with the date 1914 - 15 which makes them quite early examples. Again they are in good original condition and are fitted with the correct pattern of brass buckles which allow either a large pack or small pack to be attached. 

The pouches are designed to hold 60 rounds of .303 ammunition each. They appear to be Indian made examples and are most likely made from buffalo leather. They feature brass hardware throughout and inside have a pocket which can house two clips of .303 ammunition. This fastens with a leather strap and one pouch bears the War Department broad arrow marking next to the letter 'C' as illustrated in the pictures. The pouches are both in good condition and are soft and pliable with no serious flaws or damage. 

The entrenching tool carrier is a nice original American made example which was made by 'Cook' in 1915 who were a prolific manufacturer of 1914 pattern equipment. It is in good condition with some signs of age and use but overall it displays well and has a good clear maker's stamp and date. 

The water bottle cradle is a sought-after British made version and is in very good condition. It features brass buckles and British style rivets and there are traces of the stamp to the front of the main strap. A Cobalt Blue MKVII water bottle is fitted inside the leather harness and features a light buff coloured felt cover which is typical of those used during the Great War but dates to the Second World War period. It is none-the-less a good stand-in which looks correct. 

The set also features an original bayonet frog which is again a British made example and features clear markings to the reverse. The maker's name and 1915 date are present as is the place name of 'Walsall'. Attached to this is a rare original British made helve carrier which again features nice clear maker's markings and 1915 date. There is also a War Department stamp to the rear and the overall condition is excellent as can be seen in the pictures. 

Finally is the large pack and the small pack. The large pack is a typical 1914 pattern example. The body of the bag is made from a khaki coloured webbing which has faded to a light colour as is often found with Great War issued webbing. It features the brass buckles to the top and bottom which are specific to this pattern as well as the brass eyelets to the rear straps - all of which attach the pack to the 1914 pattern equipment. The pack features a War Department inspectors stamp to the underside of the flap and comes complete with two leather supporting straps which look to be high quality reproductions. There is also a 1908 / 1914 pattern haversack included with the set which could be fitted in place of the large pack. It again features the brass grommets to the rear straps to allow it to be fitted to the 1914 pattern set and on the whole it is a good example with signs of wear and age. 

This is a great set which is quite complete and displays well. There is room for improvement which has been reflected in the price. A nice set which would make a great addition to your collection!