Web Infantry Equipment, Pattern 1937

Entrenching tools, Patterns 1939 & 1937, and their Carriers


The Patt. ’08 Intrenching tool was the first such tool to be issued to all infantry. The decision to then abandon it seems not to have been published. Other European armies certainly retained theirs, many being of the Linneman Tool form. Perhaps it was a reaction to the horrors of trench warfare, but more probably it was a recognition that established trench systems were constructed with normal tools – spades and pickaxes, not Sirhind tools.

Approved in 1923, Army Order 267 made the Patt. ’08 Implement, intrenching obsolete. L. of C. §25979, approved on 6 September 1923, made the Web Equipment, Pattern ’08, Carrier, intrenching tool, head and the Web Equipment, Pattern ’08, Carrier, intrenching tool, helve obsolete, together with the Implement, intrenching, Pattern ’08, head and …helve. There seems to have been some ambivalence as to nomenclature, both tool and implement being used! At that time, entrenching was also spelled with an “i”. The Royal Navy did not make theirs obsolete and the Royal Air Force did not take them on charge on 1st April, 1918.

The Tools and their web Carriers are discussed on separate pages below.