An original 1937 economy pattern British webbing belt clearly dated 1943 and marked size small
This pattern of belt came into issue with the British Army during 1943 as an economy version of the standard 1937 pattern belt. Manufacture carried on until the end of the war when the original pre-war pattern was re-instated. This pattern would have been a common issue item for servicemen fighting in North West Europe, Italy and the Far East in 1944-45.
This pattern differs from the earlier pattern by having webbing sliders either side of the buckles rather than brass. The construction of the end of the belt (seen inside the belt when buckles are attached) is also different to earlier belts and was implemented as an economy measure to save on materials. This example also features steel metal fittings rather than the standard brass making it a true mid-war economy item.
The original markings are still present inside the belt and nice and clear after 75 years. It was made by 'MECo', or 'Mills Equipment Company' who were the original and most prolific manufacturer of webbing for the British Army during both World Wars. The 1943 date is present as is the War Department broad arrow marking and the letter ’S’ which denotes the size.
As stated on the interior of there belt it is a small size but still measures at approximately 37” when full extended so would still be suitable for a re-enactor as well as a collector.
The condition of the belt is very good indeed and it displays very nicely as can be seen in the pictures. It has had a light coat of blanco which is clearly the powdered wartime version and not a post-war oil based blanco, adding to the authenticity of the belt nicely.
Altogether this is a fantastic example of a war dated British belt and would make an excellent addition to any collection. The clear date and markings are very nice whilst the steel fittings set it aside as a true collectors piece.