Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Mystery haversack


morant2004
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear all,

I recently came by this haversack, and am confused as too exactly which pattern it is. The colour is slightly more khaki than the photo (with flash). As can be seen it closely resembles the pattern 1903, though it does not have the external pocket. It has an internal divider, and four unusual equipment loops sewn near the upper inside. Too me it resembles the earlier 1888 pattern, but is clearly marked ME& Co. 1916. The material is the rather coarse linen type. I have an Australian pattern 1908/15 haversack of identicle fabric type and colour.

Kindest regards, Andrew

post-26004-1194231199.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear all,

I recently came by this haversack, and am confused as too exactly which pattern it is. The colour is slightly more khaki than the photo (with flash). As can be seen it closely resembles the pattern 1903, though it does not have the external pocket. It has an internal divider, and four unusual equipment loops sewn near the upper inside. Too me it resembles the earlier 1888 pattern, but is clearly marked ME& Co. 1916. The material is the rather coarse linen type. I have an Australian pattern 1908/15 haversack of identicle fabric type and colour.

Kindest regards, Andrew

Another photo

post-26004-1194231378.jpg

post-26004-1194231391.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It strongly resembles the haversack shown here in a photo of the Isle of Wight Rifles taken in late 1914. Although these are clearly quite dark in colour, I also have earlier photos of the same haversack in white or whitened material. As you say it appears to be larger than version issued with the 03 pattern equipment which the Rifles were equipped with. In this photo they have reached the bottom of the barrel to supply equipment for the guard.

Gareth

post-890-1194249386.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andrew

If it was German I'd have called it a bread sack. However, could it be an early grenade carrier? I'm sure I've read stories of Bombers carry 'sacks' like that.

Gunner Bailey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andrew

It's definitely the Slade-Wallace haversack from the 1888 pattern equipment. They were made in both white and drab. I can't understand why it is marked 1916 though. Does the dating look authentic on close inspection?

Regards

Wainfleet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Dear All,

Thank you very much for your informative replies, and I'm sorry for not responding earlier. regarding Gunner Bailey's suggestion of the grenade sack, I had not considered this, but have been unable to find any references - though I continue to search. For Wainfleet; yes i also suspect it is a Slade-Wallace sack, though they are impossible to find here in Australia for comparison, and I'm also confused by the dated stamp. I actually have two of these haversacks, both dated, and they correlate closely with other ME & Co. stamps I possess. Here are the two stamps juxtaposed.

Kindest regards, Andrew

another image

post-26004-1194993008.jpg

post-26004-1194993106.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andrew

It's definitely the Slade-Wallace haversack from the 1888 pattern equipment. They were made in both white and drab. I can't understand why it is marked 1916 though. Does the dating look authentic on close inspection?

Regards

Wainfleet

Totally agree ! This pic shows it being used at Mons . But as for the date 1916 ? very strange "MO"post-13272-1195041968.jpg

Hmm just looked again and maybe its not quiet the same , but it is very similar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a militaria seller in the Midlands who is a bit handy with a MECO stamp. Could it be a genuine article with a fake stamp to make it more collectable?

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a militaria seller in the Midlands who is a bit handy with a MECO stamp. Could it be a genuine article with a fake stamp to make it more collectable?

Alan

His MECo stamp was wrong for WW1. The twin arrows show that the item has been released from WD ownership; SAP probably indicates later ownership by the South African Police. Many 1903 pattern bandiliers are similarly marked.

Allen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to agree that the stamp is bogus - some cretin must have thought it would be a good idea to “improve” the bag. However it is still the rarest bit of the Slade-Wallace equipment, virtually impossible to find if you want one, and at least the marking isn’t visible on the outside. I had a couple of these through my hands when I also collected Boer War militaria and there is no doubt what it is. They are rare because most of them were converted to fit the 08 equipment (as shown by MO above). I also had one of those through my hands and all they have done is cut off the long strap and fit 08 buckles. The conversions must be even rarer than the original bags as they would soon have been used up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And spurious unit markings on rifle breech covers. Have a gander at the 08 helve carrier and frog he has.

There is a militaria seller in the Midlands who is a bit handy with a MECO stamp. Could it be a genuine article with a fake stamp to make it more collectable?

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again gentlemen,

thank you all for your informative replies. Out of politeness, I have deliberately witheld the source of the haversacks, but they are extremely reliable dealers (not from the British Midlands), and they were also confused regarding the date. They did, however, tell me that they had found them in South Africa, so ARVP's observations are very perceptive - thanks.

I had bought them as a fillers for sets of Australian Light Horse equipment - again, the original 1903 haversacks are virtually impossible to find in Australia!!!, though I have an Oliver waterbottle and 1882 pattern bandoleer, so I'm extremely happy about Wainfleet's advice. Can you tell me the purpose of the small sewn upper internal pocket loops??

Kind regards, Andrew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other quick question - can anyone give me some advice where i can find descriptions of Slade-Wallace equiment? I realize that this site is dedicated to 1914-18, and would not post images here, but i have some unusual pieces with measurements which do not match the descriptions of the 1888 equipment.

Regards, Andrew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned earlier the pack in the question does not match the ones in the 2 posted pics. The pack in question has the straps joining at the rear of the bag whereas the ones in the pictures posted join at the ends. I have no doubt it is of the same type , but wonder if the bag in question is a mounted version and the others dismounted ala 1908 pattern ? "MO"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other quick question - can anyone give me some advice where i can find descriptions of Slade-Wallace equiment? I realize that this site is dedicated to 1914-18, and would not post images here, but i have some unusual pieces with measurements which do not match the descriptions of the 1888 equipment.

Regards, Andrew

Pierre Turner's "Soldiers' Accoutrements of the British Army 1750-1900", Crowood Press Ltd, 2007, is the best reference I know.

Eric

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two questions to answer here:

Andrew: The internal pocket loops are for the knife, fork and spoon.

MO: Whilst it is unwise to be categorical about anything to do with the Great War, I am pretty positive there’s no such thing as mounted 08 patt. Mounted troops wore only 03 patt. As you correctly point out, the straps and buckles are in a different position in the picture you posted. This is because rather than attach 08 buckles to the ends of the original straps; they have cut the whole of the long strap off and attached short straps with 08 buckles to the side of the bag. If they hadn’t done this, the bag would not have fitted the set properly.

BTW Andrew I know the dealers you mean - I meant to buy one of these bags myself but was too late! They were quite open with me about the tatty one they had left - they said they were not sure about the date as the bags were definitely earlier. I’ve known these people nearly 30 years and whilst I won't claim they are whiter than white (and who is?!) they certainly weren’t hiding anything.

Edit: Mo, having just reread your post I see I've misunderstood it. These haversacks were issued in the Boer War to both mounted and dismounted units, whatever their equipment was. They have an extremely long adjustable strap to enable the bag to be worn in the small of the back like a rucksack with the strap looped over the shoulders and under the Slade-Wallace pouches to distribute the weight on long marches.

Best wishes,

Wainfleet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...