THOMPSONS DOWN UNDER
The 5x20 round is intended to replace a universal pouch in the P1937 equipment. It has two large brass hooks on the back for attachment to the belt and the buckle visible in the photo for attachment of the shoulder brace. The webbing is unmarked however the press studs are stamped CARR-AUSTRALIA.
The drum pouches are intended to be hung from the ends of the shoulder braces in the same way as a P1937 water bottle. The khaki one is marked inside the flap in purple ink (typical for that era) TYPE F H. LTD 1942 and the press stud is also stamped CARR-AUSTRALIA. The green pouch has similar purple markings which are unreadable except the date 1943. The lift the dot type fastener is stamped CARR FAST. Co. AUSTRALIA.
Australian troops were issued with the M1928A1 Thompson from mid 1940 and later with the M1A. These were used with good effect against the Italians and Germans in North Africa and Crete. They were issued with 20 and 50 round magazines but I can't find any records of Australia purchasing 30 round mags. The Thompson continued in Australian service in the Pacific theatre even after the introduction of Australia's Owen Machine Carbine in November 1942. We just couldn't make them fast enough. In 1946 the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow was asked to factory thorough repair (FTR) the Thompsons. As they had no spare parts this was done by cannibalizing the guns available. The repaired weapons were reissued to the Royal Australian Air Force where they continued in service until the 1960's.
My gun was assembled from parts left over at the factory and although it makes a fine display item I have not been able to locate a bolt for it. The photo shows the usual Australian modification to the sling swivel positions. This was done by unit armourers to allow the gun to be supported by the sling in the ready position. Guns with both type of fore grip were issued and swivels were attached to both types.