Web Infantry Equipment, Pattern 1944

Component Pictures and Data


Evidently the new Pattern was placed in V.A.O.S. Section A6, since all 1945 manufacture is coded with the prefix “AF”. This is a glaring omission in the “Remarks and previous L.of C. reference” column of the 1951 LoC C 4686. Only three items have an LoC reference, C 2311, which moved the carrier, the water bottle and its cup from Section A6 Jungle Warfare Equipment to A1 Accoutrements & Musical Instruments, with the comment “…as standard items for all Services in possession of Patt. ’44 equipment…”, in other words they were to be a General Service item.

In 1951, LoC C4686 moved the Pattern to C.C.N. Section CN Accoutrements and Steel Helmets. The column of Old Codes were all Section A1 codes, i.e. prefixed with “AA”, presumably courtesy of an LoC that has yet to be found! The codes now changed to “CN/AA” prefixes, although only new manufacture from 1946 carried these codes.

By 1976, the cataloguing medium was the C.O.S.A., or Catalogue of Ordnance Stores and Ammunition, still under Section CN. Codes were now the 13 digit or N.A.T.O. Stock Number (N.S.N.). The first 4 digits were the N.A.T.O. Supply Class Code  (N.S.C.), whose first 2 digits were the Group, followed by a 2 digit Class code. A two digit Nation Code Number (N.C.N.) followed, the U.K.’s being 99. The remaining 7 digits were split into 3 and 4 digits, simply for ease of reading. These constituted the Item Identification Number. With the prefix of the Nation Code, the 9 digits became the N.A.T.O. Identification Number (N.I.I.N.). This group and the changed components it contained, are separately covered at the end of this account.


Around 1946, it is assumed that an LoC transferred Patt. ’44 W.E. from V.A.O.S. Section A6 Jungle Equipment to Section A1 Accoutrements and Steel Helmets, reflecting a decision to make it a General Service pattern. No LoC has yet been found for this. LoC C 4686, approved in 1951, transferred  V.A.O.S. Section A1 into the Catalogue of Clothing and Necessaries, as Section CN. For economy in printing and layout, the suffixed “W.E. Patt. ‘44” became a single sub-title, under which each component was listed. For presentational purposes here, this single sub-title has been repeated as a prefix, which effectively it was. The Old and New codes remained unchanged, as the former had not been allocated in the provisional, wartime 5000 sequence. The A1/AA prefix to the codes therefore became CN/AA.


Early aluminium fittings had a brown coating, which more resembles paint than anything anodised. The later anodised fittings are first in dark green and later in black. The shade of webbing, notionally S.C.C. 19, varied noticeably, becoming darker with later production batches, though there was no especial significance in this.

The first three items are out of alphabetic sequence – deliberately. This is because they are out of sequence,  with the block 0254 - 0271 that was assigned to Patt. ’44 W.E.. This followed normal practice with bottles, dating back to Victorian times. Only one bottle, the Pattern 1915, had ever been designated by a Pattern Year. With a code of AF 0025, the bottle falls between AF 0023 Boxes, document, Company commander, AF 0028 Ponchos and AF 0045 Covers, waterproof, lightweight. This shows that the bottle started off life as a Canteen – reflecting its American inspiration. Equally, Ponchos must originally have been Capes, giving the correct alphabetic sequence! In later years, once the American inspired NATO coding system was used, the Bottle became a Canteen once again! The Cup, which ought to succeed Cover, has a code one higher than its bottle. This is due to Army habit of placing component parts underneath the assembled item, For the Army, therefore, Cup starts with a “B” - because it is prefixed with Bottle, water, aluminium. Simple!!