1888 Pattern (Mark III) Valise Equipment ammunition pouch : British and colonial forces

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL27392.004
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Brass, Buff leather, Tin-plated copper
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1895
Conflict Australian Colonial Forces, 1854-1900

Buff leather ammunition pouch,1888 Pattern (Mark III) Valise Equipment (described in List of Changes 6630 21 November 1891), designed to carry 50 rounds of .303-inch rifle ammunition. The pouch is made from four pieces of leather: front flap and back, front, internal divider, and gusset, stitched together with four reinforcing tin-plated copper rivets at the top corners. The measurements of the pouch are as per the sealed pattern being 7 inches wide, 3 3/4 inches high and 9 1/4 inches from the edge of the flap when open to the bottom of the pouch. The front flap has no darts for shaping and is secured with a leather strap which has been attached with a single rivet. The strap has two tear-shaped holes which fit over a brass stud sewn into the front seam of the gusset. A deep strip of leather lies between the inside front of the pouch and the internal divider. It has been formed and sewn into tubes which carried ten separate cartridges. A leather strip sewn across the pouch behind the divider, separated two unbroken packets of ammunition when carried. Two brown hogskin drawstraps for facilitating ammunition removal are secured by rivets to the internal divider. The free ends of the drawstraps were designed to pass underneath the ammunition packets and are threaded through their own horizontal leather guide loop rivetted to the inside back of the pouch. A single leather cartridge tube is sewn over the rear seam of the gusset on each side. Two vertical leather loops are secured with two rivets each on the back of the pouch to enable it to be carried on a waist belt. A small horizontal stitched loop lies along the lower back. The top of the pouch has two brass 'D' rings secured under stitched leather tabs to thread the braces through when worn. On the outside back the following markings have been stamped. 'PO 6725' and '9 95' (possibly indicating an acceptance date of September 1895). The following names and numbers have been stamped on the inside flap 'C DEFOE', 'F DEDMAN', 'F BLANCHARD', 'LT N JENKINS', 'H.W.HAMMOND', 'PO15574', 'PO5754', 'PO14603' and 'PO6554'. 'W - D 3' (indicating that the item was the property of the War Department) has also been stamped with ink on the inside flap. The pouch has the remains of its original pipeclay coating.

History / Summary

The 1888 Pattern Valise Equipment was also known as the Slade-Wallace equipment, after its two designers, Colonel Slade and Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Wallace. The complete equipment consisted of one waist belt, two ammunition pouches, a pair of braces with movable buckles and a keeper, two greatcoat straps, one mess-tin strap, and one valise to carry clothing, cutlery and other personal equipment. This pattern was issued to British and colonial forces but was replaced with 1903 Bandolier equipment after its performance was criticised in the Boer War. The 1888 Pattern equipment was in service at most for 15 years though some parts such as waist belts, were retained for ceremonial purposes.The Mark III pouch differed from the Mark II in that the guide loops for the drawstraps to pass through were fixed 1 inch lower down. This prevented the packet of cartridges from catching against the lower edge of the loop when the packet was being withdrawn from the pouch.