The Pattern 1925 Strap, adjustment, and Pieces, side were introduced with the Web Equipment, R.A.F., Pattern 1925, under Air Ministry Weekly Order No. 793/1927, as Stores Ref. 23/85 (Adjustment strap) and 23/81 (Side pieces). The Adjustment strap and Side pieces can be assembled together to form a Waist belt. This very early example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1926. From the Karkee Web Collection.
The Pattern 1925 Attachments, brace, were introduced with the Web Equipment, R.A.F., Pattern 1925, under Air Ministry Weekly Order No. 793/1927, as Stores Ref. 23/73. Unfortunately, the A.M.W.O. gave no description but, following those of Patt. ’19, the dividing link was circular, which constituted a 1st Issue. Like W.E.O. for the R.A.F., the link served only to thread the Brace end from “outside”, to “inside”, i.e. behind the Waist belt. The examples at left are from the Chris Pollendine Collection, photographs © Chris Pollendine, 2010. There is no discernable date, nor was there a modifying A.M.W.O., so it is inferred that these must have been manufactured before 1929, when LoC A 4174 modified the Patt. ’19 form.
The 2nd Issue are identical to the Pattern 1919 2nd Issue Brace attachments, with the hinged pin cranked and the gateleg frame recessed to locate the pin end. This pair is contract marked "716131/37" and dated 1938. From the Karkee Web Collection.
The Pattern 1925 Holster, pistol, Colt was introduced with the Web Equipment, R.A.F., Pattern 1925, under Air Ministry Weekly Order No. 793/1927, as Stores Ref. 23/83. Like the Patt. '19 Pistol case, this first issue Patt. '25 Holster has a wooden base plug, but it is smaller and shaped differently than the Patt. '19 one. It was made to carry the Colt .455-inch Auto, not the large frame Webley. If you look at the center left picture, you will see that this example has two fastening spigots. The central one is the original. The one to the left was added by A.M.O. N. 523 /1938, with the R.C.A.F. equivalent authorised in 1939 by A.F.R.O. 253 of 1939. This was in order to adapt the Holster for the Pistol, revolver, No. 2, Mk. I,a .38-inch. This weapon replaced the Pistol, revolver, Webley, Mark VI, otherwise known as the Pistol revolver, No. 1, Mark VI. This example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1927. It is interesting to note that the Air Ministry clerks made a mistake on the Colt Stores Ref. - weapons not being coded in Section 78 in A.P. 1086. It should have said "7B"! From the Karkee Web Collection.
This is a later issue of the Patt. '25 Holster, pistol. KW are not sure when this type replaced the earlier version. As can be seen, the Holster in now fully made of web, without the wooden base plug, and has a sleeve sewn on the rear to hold a cleaning rod. Notice also that while the spigot is centralized, the crown fastener has been offset, again indicating that this particular Holster was intended to be used with a Pistol, revolver, No. 2, Mk. I. This Holster has only two vertical hooks to attach it to the belt. This, together with the external cleaning rod sleeve, distinguishes it from the otherwise identical Patt. '37 model. The Patt. '37 Holster has an internal sleeve and a third horizontal hook above the other two that connects to the Patt. '37 Pouch, ammunition, pistol. This example is contract marked "783549/38" and dated 1938. From the Karkee Web Collection.
This previously unknown and undocumented variation of the Patt. '25 Holster, pistol, Colt was reported to Karkee Web by KW stalwart and RAF collector Ric Stubley. It is marked with the Canadian "C-broad arrow", dated 1939, and maker marked to the presumably Canadian manufacturer L.A.C. Ltd. As one would expect from a Canadian maker, the construction is folded and sewn, rather than integrally woven. Other than that, and the obvious fact that the muzzle is web rather than the earlier wooden "sewing reel", it does seem almost identical to the 1st issue Patt. '25 Colt holster, and clearly intended for an automatic pistol. In fact, it very closely resembles the 2nd variation automatic pistol Holster made by M.E. Co. for the R.A.F. Web Equipment, Officers. This is the only such Holster that KW have seen, and we would welcome anyone who can provide further information. From the Ric Stubley Collection, photos © Ric Stubley 2012.
The Pattern 1925 Carrier, Magazine, pistol was introduced with the Web Equipment, R.A.F., Pattern 1925, under Air Ministry Weekly Order No. 793/1927, as Stores Ref. 23/79. It is designed to carry two magazines for the .455-inch Colt Automatic Pistol. This integrally-woven Carrier is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1927. From the Carl Ellingstad Collection. Photos © Carl Ellingstad 2009.
The Pattern 1925 Pouch, ammunition pistol was introduced with the Web Equipment, R.A.F., Pattern 1925, under Air Ministry Order No. 523/1938 as Stores Ref. 23/101. It is designed to carry ammunition for the Pistol, revolver, No. 2, Mk. I, introduced under the same A.M.O. Except for color, it is identical in design to the Pouch issued as the Patt. '19 Pouch, cartridge. After abandoning the Pouches, magazine, machine carbine, in favour of the Patt. '37 W.E. Pouch, basic, Mark III, the pouch became a Pouch, ammunition, pistol and filler magazine. The right-hand Magazine pouch had been qualified as " ...With tool pocket...", which meant the Filler, magazine, Mark II needed carrying elsewhere. The existing Pistol ammunition pouch was used, where required. This example not maker marked, but because it is integrally woven it could only have been made by M.E. Co. or M.W. & S. The Pouch is contract marked "A/1213/40" and dated 1940.
Another Pattern 1925 Pouch, ammunition pistol. This example differs from the one shown above in its construction. The body of the pocket is "folded and sewn", rather than being integrally woven on a Mills patent loom.This example is maker marked "D. & M. LTD" (Durie & Miller Ltd.) and dated 1941. It is additionally marked with a crown over AM (for Air Ministry). This pouch from the Rog Dennis Collection. Photographer Martin J. Brayley.
NOTE ON .455-in. AMMUNITION
Despite a requirement to use pistols taking issue ammunition, any officer purchasing a .455-in. Colt M1911 had already made a decision to use a round that was less widely available within the Army, so would probably be responsible for his own ammunition supply. The .455 Webley revolver round (far left) was rimmed, whereas the .455 auto round (centre left) was semi-rimmed. At near left is a .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) round which was a rimless cartridge. Between 1912 and July 1915, 4,200 Colts were imported into the U.K. and were calibre .45 ACP. From 1915 to 1919, 13,300 .455 Colt Autos were imported, of which 600 were for commercial sale and 2,200 for the War Office, the balance going to the R.F.C.. The semi-rimmed round was used by the Royal Navy, who had adopted the Webley Automatic pistol as a limited standard. One hundred Webley Autos were also issued to the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Flying Corps. The latter Corps had also received 10,200 Colt .455-in. Automatic, starting around 1917, which used the same Webley Auto round. Having effectively ignored the requirement to use the more common revolver round, there was no reason why his choice of pistol might be other than a Colt, in calibres other than .455-in. too. Cartridges from the Terry Hawker Collection. Photograph © Terry Hawker, 2010.