Carrier, water bottle

Introduced with the W.E. Patt. '08 by List of Changes entry L. of C. §14288, dated 31st January 1908, the Carrier, water bottle, was designed to hold the Bottle, water, enameled (Mk. V) or (Mk. VI). The Water bottle carrier underwent a number of changes throughout its service life.

 

Carrier, water bottle

1908 front1908 rearThe first issue W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle, consisted of a 2-inch web strap with Twigg buckles on each end that passed under the Water bottle from end to end, sewn to a 1-inch web strap that passed horizontally around the Bottle's mid-section. A second 1-inch strap passed under the Bottle from front to back. This strap was sewn to the back horizontal but extended past it, ending in a crimped brass tip. This extension was used when the Carrier was mounted on the Haversack. A fourth, vee-shaped 1-inch strap of thin, single weave web was sewn to the back horizontal. At its apex, this securing strap has a fastener crown. The spigot portion of the fastener was mounted front center on the horizontal. Finally, a second fastener crown was located on the rear 1-inch vertical strap near the bottom. This one connected to a spigot on the front of the Haversack, when the Carrier was mounted on the Haversack. This example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1908. From the Carl Woods Collection. Photographs © Carl Woods 2009.

 

1st 2 front1st 2 detail1st bottle front1st bottle rearAnother example of the first issue W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle. It is shown here as issued to a soldier of the 21st London Regiment in December, 1912, complete with a Canadian made aluminium Water bottle. The remains of his service number can still be seen on the web. Like the example above, it is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1908. From the Steve Chambers Collection. Photographs © Steve Chambers 2011.

 

 

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, First / Second Transitional Issue

1909 front1909 rearThis unusual example of the W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle, appears to be a transitional piece between the first and second issues. It has both the single securing strap and the sliding rear strap of the second issue, but both straps have plain, crimped brass tips, not eyeletted ones. It also has the fastener crown on the lower part of the rear vertical strap, as does the first issue. A Water bottle carrier with these features would be able to be attached to either the first, or second issue Haversack. This is the only example KW seen with this combination of features. It is maker marked "M.W. & S. LTD", for M.Wright & Sons and is dated 1909. From the Richard Marshall Collection. Photographs © Richard Marshall 2008.

 

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, Second Issue

1911 wbc front1911 wbc rear1911 front1911 bot rearThe second issue of the W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle, was introduced with List of Changes entry L. of C. §15048, dated 22nd November 1909. This List of Changes entry specified minor modifications to just about every item in the W.E. Patt. '08, based the experience gained in its first year in service. In the case of the Water bottle carrier, the vee-shaped strap was replaced by a single one, and the method of attaching it to the Haversack, when carried on the back, was changed. The fastener crown on the rear strap was omitted. Instead, the rear strap was not sewn to the horizontal, but was allowed to pass freely through a loop in it. The example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1911. From the Karkee Web Collection.

 

wbc haversackstep1step2step3To fit the second issue Water bottle carrier to the second issue Haversack, the lengthened strap is threaded through a loop sewn to the flap of the Haversack, passed back through the rear horizontal strap on the Carrier, then passed over the top of the Haversack and attached to the upright buckle in the center. The Water bottle carrier used in these pictures is the Australian Patt. '08 one described directly below, whilst the rather soiled and worn Haversack is a second issue version, maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1911. It is unit marked to the A.A.O.D. and has an acquisition date of 1912, which makes it part of the first delivery of Patt. '08 to Australia. From the Karkee Web Collection.

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, Australian Pattern 1908

aus 2 frontrearaus 2 mark 1aus 2 mark 2This variation of the second issue W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle, is unique to Australia. Australia ordered its first supply of Web Equipment, Pattern 1908, in 1911, with the first deliveries in 1912. There was a second order in 1913. This equipment was issued to the first four Brigades of AIF units as they formed in 1914/15. As far as KW has been able to tell, the only difference between the "standard" Patt. '08 of that time period and this Australian issue is the construction of the Water bottle carrier. The Australian Carriers have the body of the Patt. '08 second issue Water bottle carrier, but the vee-shaped securing strap of the first issue. This type of Carrier is seen in early war photos of Australian troops. This example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1911. It is also marked "W.A.I.R." The meaning of this mark is unknown. From the Richard Marshall Collection. Photos © Richard Marshall 2013.

 

 

aus bookIn conjunction with the 1911 issue of W.E. Pattern 1908 in Australia, the War Office prepared a new set of Fitting Instructions titled The Pattern 1908 Web Infantry Equipment | Published by the War Office and Reprinted 1.9.11. | (with corrections.), and printed by J. Kemp, Government Printer, Melbourne. This set of Fitting Instructions is an intermediate version between the first British issue (May, 1908), and the second British issue, published in 1913. The last plate in the chapbook, shown at right, is a photograph of the Water bottle carrier from the rear, positively identifying this type as the part of Australian issue Patt. '08.

 

 

aus wbc frontwbc aus rearbottle aus frontbottle aus rearThis example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1913. It is also marked "5R. 4th BTN",which, as Chris Henschke has informed us, indicates 5th Reinforcements, 4th Battalion, AIF. The 4th Battalion was part of the 1st Bde, from NSW. Chris also notes that the 5th Reinforcements for 4th Battalion embarked from Sydney, New South Wales on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 13th April 1915. From the Karkee Web Collection.

It's worth noting that the markings on this Carrier do not comply with the Orders for the Australian Imperial Force (issued with MO No 359 of 1915 and reprinted with amendments, MO 787 / 1915). Given the early date that the 5th Reinforcements sailed, though, it seems likely that the piece was marked before this order was issued.

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, Mills Web Infantry Equipment (New Zealand "Pattern 1911")

1911 nz front1911 nz rearnz bottle frontnz bottle rearThis is the Water bottle carrier for New Zealand's Mills Web Infantry Equipment, known to collectors (unofficially) as Web Equipment, Pattern 1911. This variation of W.E. Patt. '08 was required because the New Zealand Army was still using the old Long Lee-Enfield rifles. These rifles had 10 round magazines that had to be loaded one round at a time, rather than with 5 round chargers like the new SMLE's. This was the same problem Canada faced in 1910 with its Ross Rifle Mk. II, and the solution was similar. In Canada, though, only the Cartridge carriers were altered, whereas in New Zealand the modifications to the basic W.E. Patt. '08 design were more extensive. The modifications to the Water bottle carrier anticipated those of the Patt. '08 3rd issue by eliminating the fittings that allowed it to be carriers on the Haversack, but also reverted to the vee-shaped securing strap used on the 1st issue. This example is maker marked "M.E. Co." and dated 1911. It is also unit marked to "The Canterbury Regt." From the Karkee Web Collection. The best available reference for New Zealand "W.E. Patt. '11" is New Zealand Army: Personal Equipment 1910 - 1945, by Barry and Matthew O'Sullivan.

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, Third Issue

1915 wbc front1915 wbc rear1915 bottle front1915 bottle rearThe third issue of the W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle, was introduced with List of Changes entry L. of C. §16763, dated 24th February 1914 and amended 2nd March 1914. This entry deleted the fittings to the Water bottle carrier and the Haversack that had been provided to mount the Carrier on the Haversack. The short web loop mounted on the flap of the Haversack, and the 1-inch chape and buckle mounted on its centre rear, were deleted. On the Water bottle carrier, the rear vertical strap was shortened and sewn to the rear horizontal. This was the most common type of W.E. Patt. '08 Carrier, water bottle, used during the Great War. This example is maker marked "M.W. & S. Ltd." and dated 1915. From the Karkee Web Collection.

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, Modification

wbc mod frontwbc mod rearbottle mod frontmod rearAuthorised by List of Changes Entry L. of C. §24092, dated 6th June 1921, this modification to the Carrier, water bottle, was a pattern for both new construction and for alteration for existing Carriers in service. The single securing strap that passes over the Bottle has been replaced by two short straps, one of which has the spigot portion of the fastener, and the other the crown. The spigot on the horizontal strap has been removed and the hole sewn shut. This example, altered in accordance with the L. of C. instructions, is maker marked "M.W. & S. Ltd." and dated 1918. From the Karkee Web Collection.

 

 

 

Carrier, water bottle, India Pattern

ip bottle frontip bottle rear ip bookThe Carrier, Water bottle, I.P., (India Pattern), as the name suggests was used by the Indian Army. As such it does not have an entry in the British List of Changes, and we have not yet found any other documentation on it. As can be seen, it has the double "vee" strap of the early issues, but no rear extension to allow it to be mounted on the Haversack. The chapes, with 2-inch buckles, are unique. On all other versions of the Patt. '08 Water bottle carrier, these are extensions of the side straps. Here, presumably because of the differently shaped Water bottle, they are angled and separately sewn to the horizontal. The Bottle shown here may not be the type originally used with this Carrier. It closely resembles the "Bottle, water, aluminium, I.P.", described in and "recommended" by the officer's Dress Regulations, 1900. The photo at right shows the India Pattern Water bottle and Carrier in use. This picture is a detail from a much larger photograph published in The Neglected War. Mesopotamia 1914-1918, by A.J.Barker, Faber and Faber, London, 1967. This example is maker marked "M.W. & S. Ltd." and dated 1917. It is also marked with the broad arrow over "I" Indian Army inspection mark. From the Paul Hannon collection, photos © Paul Hannon 2009.