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British WWI Pattern 1908 Complete Webbing Equipment Set - Grade 2

Regular price $124.95

Item Description

New Made Item: GRADE 2 condition. FINAL SALE non-returnable. Items were exposed to some moisture, may have odor and oxidation on brass fittings.

Ten piece set WW1 British P08 web set features heavy cotton web construction with all brass fixtures.

The British were the first European army to replace leather belts and pouches with webbing, a strong material made from woven cotton, which had been pioneered in the United States by the Mills Equipment Company. The P-08 Pattern Webbing equipment comprised a wide belt, left and right ammunition pouches which held 75 rounds each, left and right braces, a bayonet frog and attachment for the entrenching tool handle, an entrenching tool head in web cover, water bottle carrier, small haversack and large pack. A mess tin was worn attached to one of the packs, and was contained inside a cloth buff-colored khaki cover. Inside the haversack were personal items, knife and when on Active Service, unused portions of the daily ration. The large pack could sometimes be used to house some of these items, but was normally kept for carrying the soldier's Greatcoat and or a blanket. The full set of 1908 webbing could weigh over 70 pounds when fully loaded.

Set compromised of the following-

• Adjustable waist belt- 48 inches long by 3 inches wide.
• Small haversack- 10 inches x 10 inches x 2 inches
• 2 x cross straps (aka braces or shoulder straps)- 58 inches long by 2 inches wide.
• 2 x Ammunition pouches (Left and Right)- holds 75 rounds each.
• Bayonet Frog with separate attachment for Etool handle
• Entrenching Tool Helve Carrier
• Skeletal water bottle (canteen) carrier

History of the P-1908 Web Set-

When the First World War broke out, the British infantryman wore the best set of field gear of all the nations in the conflict. Its official name was Pattern 1908 Web Infantry Equipment, often abbreviated in Army documents as the W.E. 08.

The Royal Army was very enthused when they introduced the new gear. The manual says:

(A) The component parts of the equipment are all directly connected together.—The result of this is that the whole of it can be taken off in one motion, and … remains intact and ready for putting on again at a moment’s notice.

(B) The equipment is perfectly balanced.

(C) There are no straps crossing the chest.

(D) Flexibility of the equipment.—the articles carried by the soldier can be disposed in a variety of ways.

Our Tommy is wearing his W.E. 08 in the official configuration. But, as point D above says, components may be worn in various ways. In practice, many Tommies suspended the E-tool carrier in the back rather on the right side. Some official photographs show the frog further forward, being positioned behind the last cartridge pouch on the left side, but we found that if the pouch was filled with ammunition, the bayonet was forced to hang at an uncomfortable angle, so we’ve moved the frog slightly to the rear. This position is also seen widely in contemporary photographs.

The One-Hundredth Anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 is 2014. When the Fiftieth Anniversary was observed in 1964, massive attention was given to the event, and the price of original equipment from the era skyrocketed. Now, original equipment of all types from the Great War is simply unavailable. When 2014 arrives, replica equipment of all types and all nationalities will become very scarce and very expensive, so now is the time to get ready and gear up.

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