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Scarce 1943 South African Braces

Article about: While it is very common to see British, Canadian and Indian braces (as well as Australian if you're actually in Australia) on the collector's market, South African braces are relatively unco

  1. #1
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    Default Scarce 1943 South African Braces

    While it is very common to see British, Canadian and Indian braces (as well as Australian if you're actually in Australia) on the collector's market, South African braces are relatively uncommon. This is partly due to the inferior quality of South African webbing as well as the country of origin's geographical location.

    South Africa had two main producers of webbing during WWII, D. I. FRAM CO. LTD. (Daniel Isaac Fram & Company, Limited) and S.A.P.A.W. (South African Proofing and Weaving Company (Pty) Ltd). Both of these firms were located in Johannesburg, but they both employed radically different methods of construction for the various components of the Pattern 1937 web equipment.

    These braces are different than any other style made during the war, since the 1" strap runs the entire length of the 2" shoulder section. While other webbing firms in the UK and India chose to make braces out of three separate pieces of webbing, S.A.P.A.W. used two (possibly to add reinforcement to their inferior webbing).

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    Unblancoed South African webbing was also made in a distinctive pale shade of khaki, which is evident when shown next to a 1941 British-made brace attachment (made by Wrights). The faint maker's mark is also evident in blue-green ink and reads "S.A.P.A.W. ~ JHB. 1943".

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    The brace tips are characteristically South African and are made of cheap alloy painted gold (these are often heavily corroded).

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    Lastly, the Union of South Africa ownership mark is partly stamped on one of the braces. This mark consisted of a broad arrow inside the letter U (which stood for the Union) and was often stamped in red ink.

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    Last edited by karkee; 03-03-2015 at 07:18 AM.

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    Thanks Michael a first for me and I am happy to see them posted here with your detailed description and information supplied therefore in about the periods of production and the manufacturers.

    Regards Mark
    Always on the look out for WW II Canadian Helmets and Cam nets to add to my collection.

    Found a Canadian Mk II Medics Helmet and yes I know they are about as rare as hens teeth !!!!!

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    Brilliant post as always, first time I've seen a pair of these. I only have one piece of 37 patt SA webbing at the moment, buts its a set I'd like to get together.

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    Thrilled you guys found it informative! I took me about five years to decipher S.A.P.A.W. and find any information on FRAM & CO.

    This style of brace was also a mystery to me for years, given that I could not find an example that still bore any markings. I always suspected it was the style used by S.A.P.A.W., but I wasn't able to prove it until I found these particular braces.

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    Great thread most helpful karkee.

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