Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Results 1 to 10 of 10

WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

Article about: Recently purchased a WW2 British water bottle and carrier said to be from a Polish Italian campaign veteran. Not your typical Pattern '37 kit. So after quite a bit of online searching; and f

  1. #1

    Default WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    Recently purchased a WW2 British water bottle and carrier said to be from a Polish Italian campaign veteran.

    Not your typical Pattern '37 kit.

    So after quite a bit of online searching; and for the sake of 'knowing', I decided to sacrifice the cover on my WW2 water bottle...

    First off its not a WW2 water bottle. Not quite. It is a Mk VI water bottle which was introduced in 1903 as part of the Bandolier Equipment, Pattern 1903 but better associated with the Pattern 1908 Web Equipment. That said it could have been manufactured anywhere between 1903 and 1939 when the green enameled Mk VII water bottle was introduced. My Mk VI is blue enameled iron and the top and bottom are pressed (and welded?) onto the kidney shaped body, which is made like a tin can with a welded seam on one side. The spout is welded to the top plate and has parallel sides which was a return to the Mk IV bottle spout from the funnel shape of the Mk V spout. It has a eye hook welded next to the spout to fasten the cork string to the bottle in the fashion of the Mk VII water bottle, most likely this being a post 1939 modification. Previously the string was attached to the cover. The cover was originally thick lighter coloured khaki felt but was changed to a thinner darker coloured drab one. There are no stamps/marks and it is enameled inside and out.

    The stopper is a cork with a eye bolt through the center and a dished oval fastener with two washers at each end, the one on the inside of the bottle being galvanized. Its attached to the bottle by a short string.

    The 'skeleton' carrier is interesting. It is a 'Water Bottle Carrier, Other Services' which was originally made in leather as part of the Pattern 1903 Bandolier Equipment. The web version is sometimes misidentified as the 'Water Bottle Carrier, Home Guard' which was the updated nomenclature for the leather carriers which were still available/being made and issued to the British Home Guard and others. The web version was first made by the British Mills Equipment Company in 1943. My carrier is marked M.E.Co 1943 ^ (arrow) on the inside of the bottom strap.

    Apparently these carriers were issued to units in WW2 not requiring the Pattern 1937 webbing which has buckles to attach the carrier to the web belt. I found a reference to an Australian soldier using the Australian Pattern 1903 (sometimes known as the Australian Pattern 1915) leather carrier who was part of a transport company in WW2. The WW2 Australian troops went to war first equipped with old 'Pattern 1915' leather equipment until they started to receive/manufacture their own Pattern 1937 webbing. Speculation but I think that these carriers were used by drivers and other support troops as they were probably more comfortable and suitable; and kept Pattern 1937 webbing available for combat troops especially infantry.

    Never thought there would be so much to learn about a water bottle and its carrier.

    The picture uploader doesn't seem to be working right now so I'll post the pics to a hostserver and link to it until the problem is resolved.








  2. #2

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    A blue MK.V11 bottle with khaki cover was introduced in 1940 for the RAF and the 1903 bandoleer equipment did not have a water bottle and carrier they used existing equipment the carrier being the Water bottle carrier, water bottle, with shoulder strap, Mk. I and MK.11. In 1924, the MK.11 nomenclature was changed to Carrier, water bottle, Other Services. In 1941 manufacture was simplified by removing the canvas shoulder pad leaving an all leather strap.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rafbot.JPG 
Views:	1259 
Size:	41.8 KB 
ID:	353605  

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    Quote by joseph barrett View Post
    A blue MK.V11 bottle with khaki cover was introduced in 1940 for the RAF and the 1903 bandoleer equipment did not have a water bottle and carrier they used existing equipment the carrier being the Water bottle carrier, water bottle, with shoulder strap, Mk. I and MK.11. In 1924, the MK.11 nomenclature was changed to Carrier, water bottle, Other Services. In 1941 manufacture was simplified by removing the canvas shoulder pad leaving an all leather strap.
    Its interesting that the British manufactured the Mk VII water bottle in blue enamel for the RAF when they had perfectly good green enameled Mk VII's for everyone else. Is there a reason for this?

    So what I have then is an RAF blue enameled water bottle made in or after 1940 in a 1943 M.E.Co. 'Water Bottle Carrier, Other Services' in webbing? Which came from a Polish soldier who served the Italian campaign in WW2.

    Are you suggesting this is a put together piece because the RAF water bottle uses a different style of Other Services carrier than the 1943 M.E.Co. webbing version of the Mk 1/Mk II water bottle carrier? (which is listed under Associated Equipment to the Pattern 03 B.E. on the Karkee web site)

  4. #4

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    Quote by dastier View Post
    Its interesting that the British manufactured the Mk VII water bottle in blue enamel for the RAF when they had perfectly good green enameled Mk VII's for everyone else. Is there a reason for this?

    So what I have then is an RAF blue enameled water bottle made in or after 1940 in a 1943 M.E.Co. 'Water Bottle Carrier, Other Services' in webbing? Which came from a Polish soldier who served the Italian campaign in WW2.

    Are you suggesting this is a put together piece because the RAF water bottle uses a different style of Other Services carrier than the 1943 M.E.Co. webbing version of the Mk 1/Mk II water bottle carrier? (which is listed under Associated Equipment to the Pattern 03 B.E. on the Karkee web site)
    I think all Joseph was trying to do was point out a few mistakes that you made in your first post, and he is absolutely right.

    Firstly, none of these carriers have anything to do with the 1903 Bandolier Equipment, apart from being used with it. They weren't designed to be used with it either, as you state, as they were, in fact, designed specifically for the new Waterbottle Mk V (and the later Mk VI and VII), with no other consideration. Prior to the introduction of the 1908 Web Equipment, no British Army equipments had ever had their own waterbottle carrier or bayonet frog, they used whatever type fitted the bayonet or bottle in use.

    Secondly, blue enamelled Mk VII Waterbottles definitely exist, with both blue and drab felt covers, although I have never seen a green enamelled bottle with a blue cover. Whether these are all RAF issue specifically I am not sure, perhaps Joseph has a reference for this?

    Rob

  5. #5

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    You are quite right as I should not have stated "The 'skeleton' carrier is interesting. It is a 'Water Bottle Carrier, Other Services' which was originally made in leather as part of the Pattern 1903 Bandolier Equipment" as the Mk I leather carrier that was used with the 1903 Pattern Bandolier Equipment predates that equipment and was not, as I implied, designed for the Pattern 1903 B.E.

    But the Mk I carrier becomes the Mk II carrier and was relabeled in 1924 to the Carrier, Other Services (Karkee: "In 1924, LoC A3 changed its nomenclature to Carrier, water bottle, O.S., which denoted Other Services, in other words personnel not equipped with Patt. 08, e.g. cavalry, but also artillery, etc.") and Karkee further states that "Around 1943, an all webbing version was then introduced and the leather seems to have been transferred as the Carrier, water bottle (Home Guard Pattern)." So the Mk I carrier used with the Pattern 03 B.E. is a forerunner of the webbing version of the Water Bottle Carrier, Other Services.

    Which is the carrier that I have; and is more or less what I was trying to state in my original post.

    And the Karkee web site describes these carriers under the heading 'Bandolier Equipment, Pattern 1903 - Associated Equipment' which is why I was referring to the Pattern 03 B.E. in the first place, although Karkee adds the disclaimer: These items were not part of B.E., Patt. '03, but are associated with it in some way.

    And I have come across the webbing 'Carrier, Other Services' being misidentified as the 'Home Guard' version on the internet. And to further muddy the waters there was also 'Leather Infantry Equipment Pattern 1939' which was the Pattern '37 webbing manufactured in leather. Karkee Web also reports "it would have been an upgrade,as the Royal Artillery were then using the Haversack, Other Services and a water bottle in the Carrier, Other Services" which I'm assuming is the 1924 Mk II carrier in leather.

    As I stated on my original post: "Never thought there would be so much to learn about a water bottle and its carrier. " And frankly - its giving me a headache.

    Plus I made an assumption about the water bottle as I could find no reference to the MK VII being made in blue enamel until mentioned in this thread. My understanding is that the colour blue in the enamel comes from one of the minerals used to do the enameling process (zinc, I believe) and the change in colour reflected the need to preserve this mineral for more important processes other than enameling water bottles.

    Hence my question as to why this was done.

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    It's gets worse actually...

    Although Karkee Web have told the story accurately, there was certainly some variation in naming too. The Priced Vocabulary of Stores 1915 lists the following items as being on issue in that year (with relevant LoC in brackets):

    CARRIERS, water-bottle, brown leather, with two brass rings for shoulder strap (11460, 11769)
    STRAPS, shoulder; water-bottle, Dismounted services, 5ft, with web shoulder piece, for Mark V and Mark VI water-bottles (11460, 12994)
    STRAPS, shoulder; water-bottle, Mounted services, 4ft 6in, with web shoulder piece, for Mark V and Mark VI water-bottles (11460, 12994)

    Carriers, water-bottle, with shoulder strap, brown leather; for all services, with Marks V or VI water-bottles (12994)

    Which are the two carriers we were talking about without the Mk I and II nomenclature.

    There are also :

    STRAPS, black, water-bottle, leather, 74in x 5/8in with sliding loop (2734, 5906, 10595)
    STRAPS, brown, water-bottle, Dismounted services
    STRAPS, brown, water-bottle, Mounted services
    STRAPS, buff, water-bottle, Dismounted services, 74in x 5/8in with sliding loop (2976, 7956)
    STRAPS, buff, water-bottle, Mounted services, 66in x 5/8in with sliding loop (7956, 10595)

    which are for earlier pattern bottles.

    Rob

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    Well Rob when I purchased this water bottle and carrier it was meant for a display I'm putting together and in learning more about this water bottle and carrier, I have learned that it is not suitable for my display at all.

    A very good example for doing research before purchasing militaria But it did force me to learn more about webbing, particularly British webbing, which will benefit me in the long run. Plus I only paid $18 CDN for it, so it didn't break the bank.

    I would like to learn more but there seems to be little available on the internet. Are you able to recommend other sites or even... books?

    I posted this thread on another forum and commented that in its day, Mill's webbing was probably a big thing (that we take for granted today). I'm no expert on webbing, or any kind of personal load bearing equipment of any belligerents during WW2, but who else used webbing besides the Allies (once the manufacturing technique was shared)? Germans used leather mostly, correct? What about the Russians or French and Italians? Poles and Finns? I believe most used leather but I could be wrong.

    And if someone wants to enlighten me about my purchase, as in who did use it and under what circumstances... I'm all ears.

  8. #8

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    Quote by dastier View Post
    I would like to learn more but there seems to be little available on the internet. Are you able to recommend other sites or even... books?
    Well certainly, Karkee Web is probably the best resource for British and related equipment at the moment. It is one of the few sites that actually uses proper source material, and is, in my mind, quite a masterpiece (I did make a small contribution to the site and am very proud to be listed as a contributor to it ). There have been myriad books written about webbing, but the subject just goes on and on forever. The source I quoted (Priced Vocabulary of Stores 1915) is an original copy of this I own, and I have to admit that when I first aquired it (sometime in the 1990s I guess), I was quite shocked to see how it didn't match popular 'collector beliefs'. Karkee Web is unique in that it actually matches the information in it

    It also shocked me to realise there were British Army issue billiard tables (I kid you not), "Beds, Lunatic", "Glasses, Champagne", and many other bizarre things the Army apparently had 'in stock'

    Quote by dastier View Post
    And if someone wants to enlighten me about my purchase, as in who did use it and under what circumstances... I'm all ears.
    That's a very good question. The only concrete examples I have seen recently of the item's use was from this thread:

    Home Guard and ATS pattern water bottle carrier

    The general rule would be any personnel not equipped with 1937 Pattern equipment would use it, but who would that be, apart from the ATS and Home Guard? I would presume any mounted troops still using 1903 Bandolier (if there were any by 1943). It is also possible they were unit or camp issue items too but...

    Rob

  9. #9
    NCA
    NCA is offline
    ?

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    'beds, lunatic'?? well i never...one for the completist.
    And to the OP, have you heard of the magazine 'the armourer'?I have just bought a number of back issues from the 90's and 00's and there are a number of in depth features on water bottles from pre Boer war to modern Osprey types.Ill have look through them and let you know the relavent issues if you like?back issues may be available...

  10. #10

    Default Re: WW2 British water bottle and carrier - not '37 Pattern

    Thanks NCA, have not heard of 'The Armourer'. But I don't want anyone to go to too much trouble.

    As I posted this water bottle and its carrier are interesting in their own right and did force me to learn more about British webbing. But was bought in error.

Similar Threads

  1. 04-30-2012, 09:22 PM
  2. Question P1937 type water bottle carrier.

    In Equipment and Field gear
    03-29-2012, 05:49 PM
  3. Question WWII German water bottle and gun oli bottle?

    In Field Equipment And Accessories of the Third Reich
    02-24-2012, 08:25 PM
  4. Australian 08/15 Pattern Leather Water bottle carrier and bottle

    In WW1 Allies: Great Britain, France, USA, etc 1914 - 1918
    01-04-2012, 12:43 PM
  5. British Water Bottle

    In Equipment and Field gear
    06-23-2011, 12:58 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •